August 8, 2013 in Washington Voices

Cougars cream of crop at Dairy Quiz Bowl

WSU overcomes loss to claim tourney victory
By The Spokesman-Review

WSU Dairy Club team took first place at the Dairy Quiz Bowl competition in Indianapolis on July 8. Pictured from left are Brooke Vander Veen, Danielle Meyers, Kevin Gavin, Megan Cihak, Jessica Levy, and Dr. Larry Fox, club adviser and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal Sciences.
(Full-size photo)

A Washington State University team scored big and came home with a bowl win recently.

While the Cougars are just gearing up for football season, the WSU Dairy Club traveled to Indianapolis for the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting. Competing against 11 other universities at the Dairy Quiz Bowl, the WSU team won first place July 8.

It’s the first time WSU has won, said team member Danielle Meyers, a 2010 Riverside High School graduate.

Meyers, who entered veterinary school after her junior year, joined Dairy Club her freshman year. “I’m a horse girl, but I figured I could learn something new.”

And learn she did. “It’s all about dairy,” Meyers said. Students learn about dairy science, production, foods and processing.

To sweeten all that knowledge, Meyers said, “We have cookies and milk at every meeting.”

Members prepare for the Dairy Bowl throughout the year and vie for a spot on the four-person team. Megan Cihak, Kevin Gavin and Brooke Vander Veen earned spots alongside Meyers this year. Mt. Spokane graduate Jessica Levy served as alternate.

Like Meyers, Levy joined the club her freshman year.

“My family raises goats,” she said. “I’ve always loved dealing with the dairy aspect of goats – milk, yogurt and cheese.”

Prepping for the yearly bowl game can be both grueling and fun.

“We’re part of a competitive group,” Levy said.

Meyers added, “We’re quizzing each other constantly.”

That practice paid off. Meyers said Penn State almost always takes home the cow – the wooden cow and calf that serves as the Dairy Bowl Quiz trophy. This year the team was dismayed to discover the first team they would face would be Penn State.

“We were like, oh, great!” recalled Meyers. But the WSU team prevailed and faced California Polytechnic State University next.

“They kicked our butts,” Meyers admitted. The loss tossed the team into the loser bracket, meaning one more loss would eliminate them.

“It was a very tense competition,” Levy said.

Questions can run the gamut from “How many calories in a glass of 2 percent milk?” to “When a calf is born, its weight is what percent water?”

Being quick on the buzzer is a must at the Dairy Bowl, but speed only helps if the team member gets the answer correct.

“It’s like Jeopardy for cows,” Levy said.

This year’s team was both fast and accurate. During the final round they once again faced Cal Poly. The result? A 68-20 win.

Whooping and hollering ensued. The team hopes to hold on to the trophy at next year’s Dairy Bowl in Kansas City.

“It’s a great thing for WSU,” Levy said.

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