UNH Dairy Science Students Place Third in Quiz Bowl at Scientific Meeting

Researcher Named Outstanding Advisor by American Dairy Science Association

Monday, August 5, 2019
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The UNH team of four undergraduate women defeated teams from the University of Florida and the University of Georgia to take third place. From left to right: Hannah Majewski, Jessica Sexton, Jeanne Marie Cassidy, and Natalie Roth.

Dairy science students from the University of New Hampshire bested students from five other universities to take home third place in the American Dairy Science Association quiz bowl, which tests their knowledge about dairy science and the dairy industry.

In addition, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researcher Peter Erickson, professor of agriculture, nutrition, and food systems with the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and extension dairy specialist, received the association’s outstanding advisor award at its 2019 annual meeting held recently in Cincinnati.

The UNH team of four undergraduate women, all of whom who are studying dairy management as part of their bachelor’s in animal science degrees, defeated teams from the University of Florida and the University of Georgia to take third place. “The quiz bowl is a great way to test our all-around knowledge of the dairy industry and give us some friendly competition with other schools. It gives schools a competitive edge while allowing others to still learn and grow their skills,” said Natalie Roth, a sophomore from Longboat Key, Fla.

“I had never before participated in a quiz bowl competition and am still new to the dairy industry. Being able to represent UNH for dairy quiz bowl was an amazing opportunity to test my knowledge and to also learn from the other girls on my team and the other students from other schools that we were competing against. It was a great opportunity and I am very proud of how far we went as a team. I hope to return next year and do even better,” said Jeanne Marie Cassidy, a junior from Lebanon, NH.

Jessica Sexton, a senior from Plaistow, NH, said her upper level dairy classes such as Dairy Nutrition and Lactation and working on research projects at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station’s Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center helped her prepare for the competition. “The questions we were asked were from both sides of dairy science -- production and dairy foods. The dairy foods questions took more studying for us since we aren’t as familiar in those areas. We had to learn about cheese making, ice cream making, milk processing, and milk marketing.” 

The four women have been active with Cooperative Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM), a student-run cooperative in which students operate and manage a small business consisting of a registered Holstein dairy herd. Started in 1997, CREAM is a yearlong course that gives students the opportunity to gain hands on experience in working with the dairy cows. Most of the students also have lived in student housing at the dairy.

The UNH students joined more than 100 collegiate peers and their advisors along with 1,800 professionals and guests from the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In addition to participating in the quiz bowl, the students engaged in professional development, educational, and networking events, and paper and poster competitions. Students also attended symposia, oral sessions, and poster sessions presented by professional members of the organizations.

“By attending our industry’s scientific meeting, our students gain an appreciation for the size of the global dairy industry. All of them come to the meeting with first-hand working knowledge of the dairy industry through their work and research at the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center. However, interacting with dairy industry professionals from all over the world gives them a better understanding of why we do what we do,” Erickson said.

Hannah Majewski, a sophomore from Westmoreland, NH, attended the meeting for the first time this year and said it was an eye-opening experience. “It was amazing to see so many professionals in the dairy industry come together. Quiz bowl was another great experience where I could test my dairy industry knowledge. We had a lot of tough competition, and I’m so proud of how our team placed,” she said. 

This material is based upon work supported by the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Deparment of Agricultural, Nutrition, and Food Systems, and the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the state of New Hampshire.

Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural research farms, the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.


Lori Wright, NH Agricultural Experiment Station