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  • Welcome Dr. Kristy Daniels!


    Dr. Kristy Daniels

    July 10, 2014—We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kristy Daniels will be joining the Department of Dairy Science in August as our new Animal Systems Biologist.  She joins us from the Animal Sciences Department at Ohio State University. Dr. Daniels earned both her M.S. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and her B.S. from Michigan State University.

  • Congratulations!

        2014 Spring Dean's List
  • Congratulations Veronica Steer (VT DASC, 2003)

        Veronica Steer, Young Jersey Breeder for 2014

    June 30, 2014—Veronica Steer, Cottage Grove, Tenn., was awarded one of seven Young Jersey Breeder Awards given by the American Jersey Cattle Association in ceremonies on June 27, 2014, during the association’s Annual Meetings in Alexandria, Virginia.

    The Young Jersey Breeder Award is presented to individuals or couples who are at least 28 years old and under the age of 40 on January 1 of the year nominated, who merit recognition for their expertise in dairy farming, breeding Jersey cattle, participation in programs of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc., and leadership in Jersey and other dairy and agriculture organizations.

    Veronica’s work with the Jersey breed started at a young age as she would follow her father Charles around when she was little, opening gates, counting heifers, or watering calves. In 2001, Veronica was the winner of the National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest. Her Jersey experiences encouraged her to pursue a degree in dairy science at Virginia Tech, from which she graduated in 2003.

    Since Veronica returned to her home farm, Sunbow Jerseys, in 2005 she has taken over many of the day-to-day responsibilities and management decisions. The 2013 lactation average on the 97-cow herd was 17,783 lbs. milk, 782 lbs. fat, and 618 lbs. protein. Currently, five cows in the herd rank on the Top 1.5% traditional Jersey Performance Index™ list.

    Veronica has consistently utilized young sire programs. For 2013, 85% of matings were to genomic young sires and she sold her first bull into A.I. Veronica is the current President of Dixieland Jersey Sires Inc. James Huffard, Huffard Dairy Farms, Crockett, Va., commented on Veronica’s involvement with the program: “She is one of those young Jersey minds that you definitely want on the team.”

    The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. (from

  • Student Spotlight on Roxy Seltzer


    Roxy Seltzer "VT Dairy Science provides the foundation necessary to continue in a dairy or agricultural career. You have the opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations."

    June 17, 2014—A true ‘rock-star’ in the department during her time at Virginia Tech, Selinsgrove, PA native Roxanne Seltzer is the subject of today’s student spotlight.  Roxy chose to attend Virginia Tech because of the sense of community on campus and quality of faculty in the Dairy Science department.  During her time as an undergraduate, Roxy was exposed to coursework that created a strong foundation for a career within the dairy industry.  "You have most of the information that you need to succeed, all you need to do is apply the information", remarked Roxy, an honors student and 2nd Vice President of the Dairy Club. 

    With graduation complete, Roxy is currently working part-time as an assistant herdsman on the Dave Myers Dairy Farm, and plans to seek full-time employment opportunities within the Pennsylvania agriculture industry.  When asked about her experience as a DASC major at Virginia Tech, Roxy replied, "VT Dairy Science provides the foundation necessary to continue in a dairy or agricultural career.  You have the opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations."

    We wish Roxy the best in her future endeavors, and know she will enjoy the same level of success she is accustomed to!

  • Student Spotlight on Kelly Quesinberry


    Kelly Quesinberry "The Dairy Science program at VT is absolutely wonderful and allowed me to explore a part of agriculture that I had not yet explored."

    June 9, 2014—A native of Huntingtown, Maryland, Kelly Quesinberry recently completed a very successful undergraduate career at Virginia Tech.  Kelly chose the Department of Dairy Science to help prepare her for veterinary school.  Initially, Kelly was unsure whether she wanted to strictly pursue food animal medicine or equine medicine, so she decided to explore the Dairy Industry.  In doing so, Kelly found the answers to these questions and much more.  Between working in Dr. Mark Hanigan’s nutrition lab, working at the Virginia Tech Dairy, and learning from "top-notch professors", Kelly decided that she wants to work in food animal medicine or perhaps mixed large animal medicine. 

    When asked about her most memorable experience while a student a Virginia Tech, Kelly offered a perfect synopsis of what makes this community so special.  "During my time at Virginia Tech, the most memorable experience was my first football game. While I had terrible seats in the upper stands of the south end zone, there was nothing like jumping to Enter Sandman for the very first time with thousands of other Hokies. The football games perfectly describe what Virginia Tech is all about: a large state school with a small, closely knit community feel. There’s just nothing like it."

    With graduation behind her, Kelly is currently on the wait-list for acceptance at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.  Completing that program is certainly the primary goal, but if that doesn’t work out, Kelly plans to remain in the New River Valley and reapply to vet schools in the fall.

  • 2014 Hokie Cow Classic

        2014 Hokie Cow Classic Group Photo


    Proceeds from the Hokie Cow Classic Golf Tournament support travel costs of the Virginia 4-H Teams, Virginia Tech Dairy Challenge and Judging Teams, as well as funding scholarships and student recruiting.

    Our 12th Annual Hokie Cow Classic was held Monday, May 19th, 2014—and thanks to our generous supporters was a huge success!

  • Congratulations 2014 Dairy Science Graduates!


    2014 Dairy Science grads tossing caps at the Dairy Complex.

  • Virginia Tech Students Excel at the 2014 National Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge


    2014 Virginia Tech Dairy Challenge Team L to R (front): Roxanne Seltzer, Erin Klingensmith (back): Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira, Lauren Woloohojian, Jason Zimmerman, Dr. Bob James

    April 17, 2014—Seven Dairy Science students from Virginia Tech traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana to participate in the 13th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge on April 4 – 6, 2014. The mission of this event is to facilitate education, communication and an exchange of ideas between students, agribusinesses, dairy producers and universities in order to enhance the development of the dairy industry and its leaders.   Students from more than 32 colleges and universities participated.    This event has two components.   The challenge contest is a competition among university teams which tests their knowledge of dairy herd management through the analysis of some of the Midwest’s most progressive dairies.  Each team receives nutritional information and performance and financial records prior to a two hour visit to one of four host dairy farms.   After the visit the team is allotted 5 hours to summarize their findings in identifying herd strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for improvements to herd management.  The following day they present and defend their findings to a panel of 5 industry experts.

    The team from Virginia Tech garnered a third place finish this year.   Dairy Science seniors participating in the challenge contest were:  Erin Klingensmith from New London, PA;  Roxanne Selzter from Selingsgrove, PA; Lauren Woloohojian from West Greenwich, RI; and Jason Zimmerman from Littlestown, PA.

    Teams from Virginia Tech have consistently performed well at this event placing in the top three places for each of the past 13 years. more...

  • Katharine Knowlton named Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professor in Dairy Science

        photo of Dr. Katharine Knowlton

    BLACKSBURG, Va., April 2, 2014 – Katharine Knowlton, professor of dairy science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently named the Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professor in Dairy Science by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

    The Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professorship in Dairy Science was established in 2013 through a gift from Alphin, a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1934, to support outstanding teaching and research faculty in the Department of Dairy Science. The recipient holds the professorship for a five-year term.

    A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1998, Knowlton has been widely recognized for excellence in teaching, advising, and scholarship. more...

  • Dairy Science Professor Honored

    April 1, 2014—Dr. Katharine Knowlton has been awarded $10,000 from the prestigious Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies as a visiting research scholar. This award was offered “to bring some of the world’s best scholars to the University of British Columbia” to work collaboratively 
        photo of Dr. Katharine Knowlton

    with their faculty on innovative research. Caliber of the scholar and merits of the intended collaborative research are deciding factors in this award, which is only made to those with a record of outstanding scholarship in their area of research.

    Feeding the burgeoning worldwide population is one such area requiring innovative problem solving. Global demand for animal protein is expected to double by 2050 relative to 2005 consumption, but animal production practices that are out of step with societal values may never gain acceptance. Sustainability will require improved alignment between industry practices and societal values, based on leadership from within the industry and sustained engagement with other interested participants including researchers, consumers, and the general public.

    The UBC Animal Welfare Program has developed a unique approach to provide insights into the views of diverse stakeholders on controversial issues in agriculture, contributing to decisions about management on farms and policy for the industry. Their ‘deliberative democracy’ approach is based on the concept that authentic deliberation among lay citizens distills public opinion to support legitimate public policy.

    Dr. Knowton will work with Dr. von Kaeserlingk and her colleagues at UBC to apply deliberative democracy methodology and an internet platform to organize forums for diverse stakeholders to discuss contentious issues related to environmental sustainability of animal agriculture, with a focus on the therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock, addressing the balance between societal interests in animal welfare and environmental and economic sustainability of food production.

  • 2014 Little All-American Show and Banquet

    We welcome Seth Johnson back to campus!
        Seth Johnson

    The Little All-American Show will be held April 26th at the Etgen. Pavilion.  This year’s judge will be Mr. Seth Johnson.  Mr. Johnson is a 1995 Virginia Tech graduate. He is a past member of the dairy judging team and has judged on local, state, and regional levels.  He was the announcer at World Dairy Expo for the Supreme Champion Show and was the former executive secretary of the American Guernsey Association.  Questions about the show can be directed to Roxanne Seltzer  (

    Kickoff LAA Weekend with "Flashback Friday"

    The 2014 Milky Way and Little All-American staffs are pleased to announce "Flashback Friday", a Dairy Science Professor (current and past) and alumni storytelling event that will be held April 25th at 5:00 p.m. at the Etgen Pavilion at the Dairy Complex.  We encourage all to attend to hear about the department’s history, funny stories, how we came to be where we are today, and the next chapter of our story.  Light refreshments will be provided.  We hope to see you all there! Any questions may be directed to Jessica Sentelle (


    Deadline for show sponsorships and LAA banquet tickets is April 1. Contact Amy Schmitz ( with questions.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 17, 2014
Dairy Science Open House

Oct. 18, 2014
Showcase Sale
details TBA