Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Special Seminar Announcements

April 18, 2014
Dr. Kristy Daniels, Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University

Research seminar:
Animal Systems Biology: Current Research and Future Opportunities
Fri., Apr. 18, 2014, 11:00 AM, 108 HABB1

Short Teaching seminar, followed by general Q&A:
Overview of the hypothalamic/pituitary/mammary axis
Fri., Apr. 18, 2014, 4:15 PM, 1770 Litton-Reaves Hall


    2014 Hokie Cow Classic. "I have a tipe that can take five strokes off anyone's game: It's called an eraser." -Arnold Palmer
       Register online    |    Letter & Mail-in Registration   |   Brochure

  • 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.

  • Welcome Dr. Rebecca Cockrum

        Dr. Rebecca Cockrum

    January 1, 2014 – Dr. Cockrum comes to us from Colorado State University, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship. She will teach as well as work as a geneticist in the department. Her research will focus on the identification of markers and pathways associated with economically relevant traits in dairy cattle for marker-assisted selection. Dr. Cockrum earned her B.S in Animal Science at Arkansas State University and both her M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming.

  • Virginia Tech dairy science professor receives prestigious White House award

        Photo of Dr. Isis Mullarky

    January 8, 2014 – Isis Kanevsky-Mullarky, an associate professor of dairy science in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been honored by the White House as one of the 2013 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

    Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

    “The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead,” President Barack Obama said in a press release. “We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come.” (more...)

  • Jeremy Daubert

    VCE and the VT Dairy Science Department welcome Jeremy Daubert and his family to Virginia


    Jeremy Daubert

    December 9, 2013
    —Jeremy Daubert began his duties as the area dairy extension agent based in Rockingham County on November 10. Jeremy was raised on a registered Brown Swiss dairy in Pennsylvania, earned a B. S. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech in 2000, and has an extensive background in dairy operations. Upon graduation he spent two years as a herdsman on a large dairy located on the eastern shore of Maryland. In 2004 he and his wife started their own dairy on a rented facility in Lancaster County, PA. In 2006 they moved their herd to NY where they operated their dairy on two different purchased facilities. In 2011 they sold the farm and the majority of the cows and moved to Myerstown, PA where they managed a 250 cow robotically milked dairy. Jeremy’s wife, Becky, is also a 2000 Virginia Tech Dairy Science graduate. They are proud parents of two children, Hayley (9) and Trey (3). We are so pleased to welcome Jeremy (and his family) back to Virginia as valuable member of our dairy extension team!

  • Jason Zimmerman


    Jason Zimmerman, Class of 2013 "Dairy Science at Virginia Tech can be the greatest opportunity you take if you want it to be. The faculty, industry support, students and the list goes on are all available for you to make the most of your talents and open new doors for the rest of your life. You just have to be willing to take it." --Jason Zimmerman


    December 3, 2013—Today's 'DASC Student Spotlight' features Jason Zimmerman, a senior from Littlestown, PA.  Jason chose Virginia Tech because of the outstanding faculty, beautiful campus, and the variety of opportunities available in the dairy industry.  Just months away from graduation, the experience has exceeded his expectations. 

    As President of the Dairy Club, Jason has been instrumental in furthering the success of one of the university's best student organizations; an opportunity that has fostered many lasting friendships.  When asked to recall his most memorable moment, Jason quickly noted the importance of this camaraderie. 

    After graduation, Jason will likely pursue a master's degree or doctorate in Dairy Genetics.  We know he will do fantastic regardless of the path he chooses.

    Congratulations, Jason, on all of your many accomplishments!

  • 2013 World Dairy Expo

    Hokies bring home another National Championship from the 2013 World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI!

        2013 Judging Team - (left to right) Makenzie Moore (NY), Elizabeth Davis (MD), Mandi Ramsberg (MD), Lyndsey Royek (PA), Dr. Katharine Knowlton (coach), Dr. Mike Barnes, Professor Emeritus (coach).
        Mandi Ramsburg (MD), Overall High Individual and 3rd i reasons.








    Oct. 2, 2013—The Virginia Tech Dairy Judging Team took top honors at the Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest on Monday, September 30. When the dust settled, the VT team held the overall team title, was first in team reasons, and held numerous individual placings.   

    The team's outstanding performance was underscored by the three VT All-American individuals: senior Mandi Ramsburg who placed 1st overall individually, followed by sophomore Lizzie Davis and senior Mackenzie Moore who placed 2nd and 5th, respectively.

        Freshman, Cassidy Schirmer and her Maryland 4-H Team -- winners of teh National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest.
        2013 World Dairy Expo - Cara Woloohijan and Wee Acres Spider Clara Bell, Best Guernsey cow in the US.








    Additional highlights include Virginia Tech freshman Cassidy Schirmer, who is a member of the Maryland 4-H team. Maryland won  the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest - with a one point margin of victory! 

    And, freshman Cara Woloohjian (RI) showed her cow Wee Acres Spider Clara Bell to first place in her class, then Senior and Grand Champion of the junior show (best Guernsey cow in the US owned by a youth) and THEN Senior and Grand Champion of the OPEN show. Best Guernsey cow in the US! 

  • Thomas Galligan


    Thomas Galligan “Thanks to the caliber of education I received through DASC and my research experiences, I was a competitive applicant for research internships.”


    July 7, 2013--When recent graduate Thomas Galligan first arrived on campus, he was uncertain about his interest in Dairy Science.  Intrigued by the department size and the opportunity to work closely with dedicated faculty and advisors, Thomas quickly embraced the major and never looked back.  Said Galligan, “In hindsight, I see just how truly serendipitous my decision to try dairy science was; it was through DASC and my interaction with the DASC faculty that I truly discovered and explored my passions.  They encouraged me to try new things and take advantage of every opportunity I had to expand my experience and grow. And obviously, I now have tremendous newfound respect for agriculture, animals, farmers, and especially everyone and everything involved in the dairy industry.­   To say that I will remember it fondly would be a major understatement.”

    Thomas, too, will be remembered fondly for his contributions to the department and to Virginia Tech.  After graduating with the “Honors Scholar Diploma” and being distinguished as Summa Cum Laude, Thomas was inducted into both the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

    Beginning in August, Thomas will begin working on his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science at the Medical University of South Carolina.  With an interest in biochemistry, molecular biology, and general physiology, Thomas hopes to pursue each from an applied science perspective. 

    Thomas credits his interest in research to Dr. Katharine Knowlton, a professor in the department who allowed him to work in her lab during the spring and fall semesters of 2011.  It was this experience that changed his career aspirations from veterinary/clinical science to research science.  “Thanks to the caliber of education I received through DASC and my research experiences, I was a competitive applicant for research internships”, said Galligan.  This claim was substantiated by his selection for a number of NSF REU programs in a variety of fields, and other opportunities to showcase his research.

    When asked about his time at Virginia Tech, Thomas said, The best way for me to describe my experience with Dairy Science at VT is ‘serendipitous’.  I ended up in Dairy Science on a whim and a hunch back in 2009.  I stayed in Dairy Science because it was immediately and abundantly clear that no other program could offer me the experiences, opportunities, and personal attention that the unique curriculum and dedicated faculty in the Department of Dairy Science could.  The Dairy Science program at VT helped me to discover my true passion and enabled me to pursue it!”

    It appears Thomas is well on his way, and we wish him the very best!

  • Sean Jones, Class of 1987


    Sean Jones, Class of 1987 “To keep the program strong, good students need to be involved. Education costs are high and if we can help offset just a little of that it could help keep and attract those students.”

    June 7, 2013--More and more, what sustains our momentum as a world-class Dairy Science Program are donations from Hokies like you -- gifts that help promising students become leaders and innovative thinkers; the future of the Virginia Dairy Industry.  Dairy Science grad Sean Jones is a loyal Hokie who helps keep our traditions strong as the department continues to thrive each year.  Jones has made a significant impact on continuing education through his annual giving contributions.  Since graduating from Virginia Tech in 1987, Jones has been a consistent supporter of the department, serving as a sponsor in the Hokie Cow Classic Golf Tournament.  The annual fundraiser, now in its 11th year, directly supports student programs, scholarships, and enrichment opportunities to collegiate and 4-H students.  When asked why he continues to donate year after year, Jones remarked, “to keep the program strong, good students need to be involved”.  Jones added that, “education costs are high and if we can help offset just a little of that it could help keep and attract those students”.  Jones’ commitment to the Dairy Science Department also stems from the pride he has in the quality education provided to Dairy Science students.  When asked to elaborate about his time as a student in the department, Jones noted the knowledge and skills he acquired through classes such as Dairy Cattle Nutrition, Farm Business Management, and Farm Finance.  He was also quick to mention the sound communication and decision-making skills he acquired through participation on the Dairy Judging Team. Truly a well-rounded individual, Jones also hit the mats for a season with the Virginia Tech wrestling team, an experience that also enhanced his mental and physical toughness.

    With the support of alumni like Sean Jones, students past and present are able to enjoy many of the successes he has been afforded; and there have been many.  After graduating from Virginia Tech, Jones returned home to his family farm where he began work as a herdsman.  Demonstrating the same mental toughness and perseverance he exhibited as a grappler and a student, it didn’t take Jones long to work his way into a management position.  With his leadership, the dairy has relocated and expanded from a 400 milking cow operation with 1000 acres, to a 1350 cow milking operation farming 1500 acres. 

    Despite the challenges and rigors of running a large dairy, Jones has taken the time to give back, and for that we are very grateful.  The annual Hokie Cow Classic golf tournament is the primary scholarship fundraiser for the department, and we certainly appreciate having the representation and support of the Jones Family Farm during this showcase event!

Upcoming Seminar

When: Tuesday, Apr. 22
12:30 PM

Who: Laura Harthan

What: Effect of Volatile Fatty Acids on Methane Production in Dairy Cattle: Implications for Climate Change

Where: 1770 Litton-Reaves

2014 Spring Seminar Schedule

Upcoming Events

April 26, 2014
Little All-American

May 17, 2014

May 19, 2014
12th Annual Hokie Cow Classic
Blacksburg Country Club
Register online