Dairy Science Club goes to American Dairy Science Association National Conference

Carter Collins

Most ISU students know the Dairy Science Club for its $1 homemade ice cream sale. Every Wednesday in front of Lush Auditorium in Kildee Hall, students can find nine different flavors of homemade ice cream being sold by the Dairy Science Club. But what most Iowa State students may not know is that the Dairy Science Club is one of the top three dairy science clubs in the nation. This year was no different.

The 2012 American Dairy Science Association National Conference Joint Annual Meeting, or JAM for short, was held in Phoenix on July 15-19. Haley Jones, senior in dairy science and public relations chair of the club, said Iowa State was the second-largest represented college at the conference.

Iowa State’s Dairy Science Club walked away with two club awards, two gold and five silver student academic achievement awards, and one of the top student honors at the national conference.

While at the conference, Iowa State’s representatives networked with leaders in the dairy industry, attended seminars regarding new research, listened to a career roundtable discussion and competed in a quiz bowl against about 25 other schools.

Jones competed in the Best Club Fundraiser Competition, presenting the Dairy Science Club’s successful Iowa State Fair fundraiser, “I Milked a Cow.” Professors, advisers and leaders of the dairy science program at Iowa State presented at the conference, with one adviser receiving the American Dairy Science Association Teaching Award in Dairy Science.

Iowa State was mentioned 57 times in the American Dairy Science Association five-day conference schedule.

The club as a whole received third place in the Dairy Science Club Website Competition and third place in the Dairy Science Club College Yearbook Competition.

“Every year we win in these categorizes,” Jones said. “We are always updating our website, adding new pictures and letting everyone know what we are up to.”

“Our yearbook is our centerpiece for promotion,” said Erich Hodges, senior in dairy science and fifth-year member of the club. “It gives an overall view of what we did, from fundraising to volunteer work.” The yearbook is published and distributed at the Dairy Science Yearly Banquet.

Throughout the conference, each school received points for its presentations, seminar participation, participation in competitions such as the quiz bowl, and other factors, such as number of representatives. The school with the most points becomes the overall winner of the conference.

“It always comes down between us, Iowa State, and two other schools, Virginia Tech and Penn State, on who wins the [American Dairy Science Association] national conference,” said Derek Nolan, senior in dairy science and current president of the Dairy Science Club. This year, Iowa State was not able to nab the overall award, placing behind Virginia Tech.

Several members were awarded for their academic achievement, but recent alumna, Leah Henkes, took home the highest student award from the.

“[Henkes] was involved with the dairy industry from a very young age,” Nolan said. “She did an excellent job promoting the industry.”

Henkes received the 2012 Genevieve Christen Distinguished Undergraduate Student of the Year award. According to the American Dairy Science Association’s website, this award is given to a student who demonstrates leadership ability, academic achievement, involvement in the industry and participation in their local club activities.

Jones said the dairy science advisers nominated Henkes for her work as president of the Dairy Science Club in 2011. This is the second time in three years that an Iowa State student has received this honor.

“Not only was she a great student, but she was good at getting each member involved in some aspect of the club,” Hodges said, “finding what they would be good at and making them feel like a necessity to the club.” 

Jones remembers her freshman year, when Henkes came up to her and made her feel welcomed to the Dairy Science Club.

“She made me comfortable with dairy science people,” Jones said.

The Iowa State Dairy Science Club plans to continue this year’s success next year when Iowa State will host the Midwest Regional Conference in February.