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The University of Illinois will host college dairy students at the Midwest Dairy Challenge in Freeport in northern Illinois. The educational event is intended for students planning a career in the dairy industry. More than 120 students from 21 four-year colleges and technical schools are expected at the 15th-annual Midwest Dairy Challenge.

The event is one of four regional contests sponsored each year by North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. The regional contests – plus a national event for about 300 dairy collegiates – are funded by 130 agribusinesses and dairy producers.

Student participants at the Dairy Challenge will be assigned to teams, working with students from other colleges whom they are meeting for the first time. Those 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.

The event will be held Feb. 13-15 at Highland Community College, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport. Visit www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php or call 608-807-9412 for more information.