Regional Farm Competition Brings Students to Maine 

At Stonyvale Farm in Exeter, the daily chores can be challenging, but for a group of students visiting Friday, it was the best part. “We’re sampling feeds to see if there’s anything we can change,” said Ryleigh Rowclif, a student from New York.She was just one of more than a hundred who came to Maine from schools throughout the northeast for a regional competition called the Dairy Challenge, a contest aimed at bringing together students with an interest in agriculture. “They’re here evaluating the barns, evaluating cows, cow configuration,” said Shane Keady, a representative from Alltech, which helped sponsor the event.The students were broken into teams and directed to come up with a presentation based on their visits to three farms, which included Stonyvale, The Wright Place and Piper Hill Farm.”We have to go through and look at its strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan for the farmers to see how they can improve,” explained student, Kendra Lyman.Saturday, they will address the owners of the farms, who will in turn judge them on their proposals. It’s an experience the competitors viewed as a win-win for everyone. Student Nick Randle said, “By seeing these different farms we definitely expand upon, you know, our future, as well as you know being able to help these guys hopefully.”