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Students to compete in $7,500 dairy data management challenge

dairy cow

Students have been invited to participate in a global challenge aimed at coming up with an innovative solution to improve data collection and management in the dairy sector. Scientists Without Borders and The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are offering $7,500 to the winning student.


Scientists Without Borders recently outlined the challenges associated with smallholder dairy production in low-resource settings at the G-8 International Conference Open Data for Agriculture.


While the milk from these farms provides an important source of essential nutrients, only limited and fragmented data is available to the milk producers, researchers, and policymakers about the inputs farmers use, the breed and health of the animals, the quantity and quality of the milk produced, and the details, methods, and conditions under which the milk is consumed, transported, and sold.


The sponsoring partners are addressing this critical gap in data collection and sharing by holding this challenge to harness the creative insights of student solvers from around the world to help bridge the disciplinary silos between the fields of human nutrition science, animal science, and veterinary science.

Specifically, this challenge seeks bold, innovative, feasible, and scalable ideas to leapfrog existing approaches and significantly improve the collection, reporting, aggregation, and sharing of data associated with dairy production and consumption all along the smallholder dairy production value chain in, but not limited to, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The challenge will run for 60 days, concluding on July 11, 2013.  Student solvers (from the middle school to post-doctoral level) are invited to submit their ideas via the Scientists Without Borders website ( An independent panel of leading experts will be convened by Scientists Without Borders to select the challenge winners.


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