Student Spotlight: Sara Harn

Dairy Science student, Sarah Harn, just graduated this winter.Make sure to look for Sara’s feature in the Holstein News this January. In the mean time please check out a sneak peek below.

Name: Sara Harn

Hometown: Brooklyn, WI

High School: Homeschooled

Class Size:

Farm: Kalos Brown Swiss

Major: Dairy Science/Ag Business Management Certificate

Why did you decide to attend UW-Madison?

A few factors went into my college decision—strength of the dairy judging program, reputation of the dairy science department, and location. I wanted an opportunity to be on a winning dairy judging team, to receive a world-class education, and be close enough to home to still be able to show my heifers. Because of these factors, UW-Madison was the only school I applied to.

What has been your most memorable college experience?

Being named the Top Individual in the World Dairy Expo collegiate dairy judging contest is something that I will never forget. Working with my teammates and coaches over the years and ending my judging career with a win was so sweet.

What has been your favorite course?

I loved my senior capstone course (Dairy Science 535). This class was hands-on and allowed me to use my education in partnership with my classmates to assist Hurtgenlea Holsteins in Elkhorn, Wis. create plans to meet future goals.

What are your future career goals?

I graduated in December and started my career as a Marketing Associate at Filament Marketing in Madison, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Science to Host Expanded Midwest Dairy Challenge



Anna Troester, Midwest Dairy Challenge publicity chair, 563-880-6019 or

Theodore J. Halbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Contest Host, 608-263-3305 or

Madison, Wisconsin December 20, 2016 – University of Wisconsin-Madison will host college dairy students at the Midwest Dairy Challenge, February 8-10, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin. Dairy Challenge® is a prominent educational event for students planning a career in the dairy industry.

A growing demand among students in the region has led organizers to increase the number of participants from 80 to 120 this year.

“I believe we are uniquely positioned with the necessary resources it takes to grow the Midwest contest,” states Ted Halbach, UW-Madison faculty associate in dairy management.  “No other university has the number of progressive dairy operations located within a 30-mile radius of campus that we do and a concentration of industry professionals who deliver them their services.  Hopefully, a good number of these folks now working in the industry will step forward as volunteers “to give back” to a program that benefitted them as undergrads.”

The Midwest event is one of four regional contests sponsored each year by North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC). These regional contests – plus a national event for about 300 dairy collegiates – are funded through generous support by 130 agribusinesses and dairy producers. Over its 15-year national history, Dairy Challenge has helped prepare nearly 5,000 students for careers as dairy owners or managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.

At Dairy Challenge, each team of students puts textbook knowledge to the ultimate test – providing solutions for a dairy. Student participants will be assigned to teams, working with students from other colleges whom they are meeting for the first time. These teams inspect an operating dairy, analyze farm data and interview farm owners. Then they develop recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health and housing to help the farm optimize performance and profitability.

Teams will present their recommendations to farm owners – while being evaluated by a panel of five judges including dairy producers, veterinarians, farm finance specialists and industry personnel. In addition to this consulting competition, students have ample opportunity for networking and education.

Media, sponsors and dairy enthusiasts are invited to the following Midwest Dairy Challenge events at the Madison Concourse Hotel. Please make advance arrangements by contacting Anna Troester, Midwest Dairy Challenge Publicity co-chair at 563-880-6019.

Educational seminars          Wed., Feb. 8           3:00-5:00 p.m.              Student Senate

Community service             Wed., Feb. 8           6:15-6:45 p.m.              Wisconsin Ballroom

Student farm visits             Thurs., Feb. 9         8:00-11:00 a.m.             Two area dairy farms

Student presentations         Fri., Feb. 10            7:00-10:45 a.m.             Conference Room

Student presentations         Fri., Feb. 10            11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.     Conference Room

Educational Program           Fri., Feb. 19            8:30-10:00 a.m.             Senate Room AB

Educational Program           Fri., Feb. 19            12:00-1:30 p.m.            Senate Room AB

Industry Innovation Fair     Fri., Feb. 13            8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.       Wisconsin Ballroom

“We would not have been able to accomplish such a big task without the help of the regional and national leadership of NAIDC and I am always impressed to see how the industry pulls together to give students interested in dairy production this tremendous learning and networking opportunity,” concluded Halbach. “I’m privileged to be a part of this effort.”

About Dairy Challenge

NAIDC is an innovative two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. Its mission is to facilitate education, communication and an exchange of ideas among students, agribusiness, dairy producers and universities that enhances the development of the dairy industry and its leaders.

The 2017 national event will be March 30-April 1 in Visalia, CA; details are at .


Join Us This Saturday to Tailgate Prior to the Badger/LSU Game

Badger-LSU-Dairy-Tailgate-FlyerThe biggest college football event in Lambeau Field history is coming! The Wisconsin Badgers take on LSU’s Tigers in the season opener for both teams September 3rd in Green Bay. Even College Game Day will be there to mark this historic occasion.  Something this big deserves an epic celebration so Dairy Science is partnering with Feed Components to host a pre-game tailgate party at Badger State Brewing, 990 Tony Canadeo Run where alums and dairy industry personnel can socialize, network and have fun prior to what we hope is a huge Badger win.

The game kicks off at 2:30pm, so be sure to arrive bright and early to enjoy some of Badger State’s award winning brews!  Admission is free and doors open at 9:00 AM.  The format will be a cash bar with beer specials and giveaways for those attending the tailgate.  For additional information contact Kari Kuehl at (262) 203-4016.


Sydney Endres and Michaela Slind to Attend AFA Animal Institute in April 

Two undergraduates from the UW–Madison Department of Dairy Science have been selected to attend the Agriculture Future of America’s annual Animal Institute. Only approximately 90 students are selected each year to travel to the three-day event April 3-5, and Micheala Slind and Sydney Endres are among them for 2016.

“Since learning about the Animal Institute, I became interested in the networking opportunities with both leading companies in animal agriculture and also students from other leading universities who are looking to pursue degrees similar to mine,” says Slind. “I enjoy learning from people by listening to their experiences, triumphs and failures, and I think that the Animal Institute will give me the opportunity to do this.”

The Animal Institute is held in Kansas City, the heart of the Animal Health Corridor, which is a cluster of animal health companies along Manhattan, Kan. and Columbia, Mo. At the event, students will learn about animal-related career opportunities and connect with industry leaders. Slind and Endres will also visit area animal health services and businesses and attend an industry dinner where they can network with corporate leaders.

“We are extremely proud of Sydney and Micheala for being chosen to attend this important event,” says Dairy Science chair Kent Weigel. “Interacting with other young leaders in food and agriculture will not only help their own career development — it will also allow Micheala and Sydney to bring back valuable information and useful perspectives that can be shared with their peers, regarding key issues and career opportunities in animal agriculture.”

In order for students to be selected for the opportunity, they have to display industry and leadership involvement, possess career goals in agriculture, and show how the program can benefit their career development.

“I believe having a better understanding of other agriculture industries is really valuable because it gives a new perspective on the things I learn on campus and ways to hopefully continue improving the dairy industry,” says Endres. “AFA is an amazing organization that brings in the best of the best to help leaders in agriculture learn more about the field.”

Last Call for 4-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference Registrations

The 2014 4-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference is fast approaching on June 11-12 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. The conference will present the latest research on issues concerning the dairy industry including feed efficiency, calves and transition cows.

This conference is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota Extension and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

The program starts on June 11 with a pre-conference symposium. Milo Wiltbank will cover reproduction and amino acid balancing and Dan Luchini will discuss the benefits of feeding methionine during transition. Other topics include amino acid balancing for lactating cows and factors affecting vitamin availability.

Select breakout topics include:

• Can genomics improve feed efficiency?

• What cows have to say about NDF and starch digestion

• The first 60 days: can we make it better?

• Economics of intensified calf feeding programs

• Automatic calf feeders study update

• Can amino acids improve use of non-milk proteins on milk replacers?

• Wisconsin cost of raising heifers survey results

• Transition cow health: meeting lactation demands while maintaining a healthy liver

• How robotic dairies are feeding their cows

“This conference has more than 20 different speakers during the symposium and breakout sessions. Every producer will find something relevant to their work in the dairy,” said Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota Extension educator.

Other topics to be covered include understanding mastitis diagnostic results, dairy title of the farm bill, dairy nutrition models, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome and transition cow crowding.

2014 Four State Brochure

For more information and to register, visit or contact  Wisconsin Agri-Service Association,  608-223-1111  , or Jim Salfer, Extension Educator at or  320-203-6093  . The conference registration fee is $150 early until May 31 and $175 after.

Last Call for Golf Registrations and Sponsorships



Lunch and social hour sponsorship opportunities still available Missed getting a team signed up for this year’s Department of Dairy Science’s Dave Dickson Memorial Golf Classic?  Starting to get spring fever with the warmer temperatures and greening lawns all around us? You are in luck!  Spots for two additional teams opened up this week and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  The golf outing is next Wednesday, May 21 at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. The Golf Classic uses a scramble format, where each team member plays the ball closest to the hole after each shot. The event is open to the public. A registration fee of $120 per golfer pays for 18 holes of golf, cart rental, free lunch and lots of prizes. All proceeds support the dairy science department’s scholarships and dairy judging and dairy challenge teams. Last years outing raised nearly $30,000 for those programs. Individuals or companies can still support the event through a sponsorship or donation.  A lunch sponsorship for $2000 is available and comes with special event signage and a golf foursome. A social sponsor for $600 that includes special event signage is also still being sought. There will be both a silent and live auction, featuring a variety of dairy-related items and sports memorabilia. Auction items can be viewed at under either the alumni or donor tabs. Contributions beyond the actual cost of the golf or any auction item are tax deductible, as allowed by law. Don’t delay! To register or to learn more about donations or sponsorships contact Cathy Rook by email at or phone at 608-263-3308.