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  • Dairy Club stands out at the 2015 Southern ADSA-Student Affiliate Division!

        2015 ADSA-Student Affiliate Division
        2015 ADSA-Student Affiliate Division

    March 2, 2015--This year's event was hosted by the University of Kentucky in Lexington on February 26-28. Nine Virginia Tech students attended the three-day meeting to bring home:

        • Outstanding Chapter;
        • First Place Quiz Bowl Team (Coty Goodwin, Grace Ott, Hayley Potts, and Caroline Warns);
        • Second Place Scrapbook;
        • First Place Original research paper--Eleonor Cayford;
        • First Place Dairy Foods Paper--Jessica Sentelle;
        • Second Place Production Paper--Kelly Leatherman;
        • 2015-2016 Southern ADSA-SAD president--Lizzie Davis!

    The American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate Division focuses on the development leadership and promotion scholastic achievement among students interested in dairy science while learning about ADSA.  ADSA-SAD also provides the opportunity for the exchange of information and ideas among the various member chapters.

  • Fall 2014 Dean's List

        2014 Fall Dean's List: Chelsea Abbott, Angela Bladen, Brittany Bowman, AnneMarie Bresson, Samantha Capaldo, Tiffany Casteel, Eleonor Cayford, Elizabeth Davis, Elizabeth Fazio, Nicole Hardy, Lydia Harrison, Courtney Henderson, Katelyn Jones, Erin Koperna, Kelly Leatherman, Courtney O'Haro, Emma Reeves, Jessica Sentelle.
  • Adjunct faculty brings a wealth of experience to the Dairy Science Department


    Dr. Alex White Dr. Alex White

    January 2015—We are pleased to have Dr. Alex White as an adjunct professor in the Department of Dairy Science!  Dr. White has taught a wide variety of college courses at Virginia Tech, Ohio State, NC State and Ferrum College over the past 25 years including: Dairy Enterprise Management, Agribusiness Management, Ag Financial Management, Farm Business Management, Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Computer Applications in Agriculture, and several courses in Personal Financial Management.  He has worked as a computer programmer for an agricultural software firm and also served as an extension agent and an extension specialist (personal financial management) for Virginia Cooperative Extension.  Dr. White was an assistant coach for the 2004 and 2007 national championship teams in the American Express Financial Planning Invitational.

    In August 2012 Dr. White began working full-time in the fields of financial management (focusing on retirement planning) and farm/business consulting.  He works with individuals and small business owners throughout the mid-Atlantic region.  Dr. White is an adjunct professor in the Dairy Science department at Virginia Tech.  He will continue to teach at Virginia Tech and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

    Dr. White speaks to a wide variety of audiences throughout the US.  He is a public director for Shenandoah Family Farms Cooperative and he is on the Ag Advisory Board for First Bank & Trust.   

    Dr. White received his BS in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech, focusing on farm management and agricultural financial management.  His MS is in Ag Econ from Ohio State, with a concentration in farm management.  His Ph.D. is from Virginia Tech, where his research centered on retirement planning strategies for agricultural producers and small business owners.

  • Dr. Katharine Knowlton featured by the Wall Institute...


    Dr. Katharine Knowlton, Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic University. Dr. Katharine Knowlton, Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic University.

    December 17, 2014—
    Earlier this year, Dr. Katharine Knowlton was 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 with their faculty on innovative research. Now, she's been featured in The WALL Papers--The Peter Wall Institute Magazine!
    Read the full article, "Sick cows and superbugs: animal welfare meets human antibiotic resistance".

  • Dairy Science student featured in VTNews


    Chelsea Abbott Junior Chelsea Abbott presents a heifer at the Virginia Tech Dairy Showcase.

    BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 9, 2014Chelsea Abbott, a junior majoring in dairy science at Virginia Tech, arrived at the dairy barn early on the day of the Virginia Tech Dairy Showcase to prepare cows for the big show. 

    But Abbott wasn’t only there to tend to the cows — she also handed out surveys to those attending the showcase to measure their interest in agritourism.

    Abbott, from Fairfield, Vermont, is participating in this fall's Kohl Centre Experiential Learning course in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which gives students the opportunity to solve real-world challenges.

    In this new course, student-led interdisciplinary teams work on solutions to problems that have public value, covering a variety of challenges ranging from market and production issues, legal and policy hurdles, and financial issues. 

    Unlike other student projects, Kohl Centre students are the project leaders and faculty serve as facilitators who provide resources and feedback on team progress reports. more...

  • VT Dairy Science featured in international magazine

        Dr. Bob James is featured in the September 2014 issue of PLM.

    December 1, 2014—Parlez-vous français? VT Dairy Science was featured in the September 2014 issue of Production Laitière Moderne! For the full article, click here.

  • Dairy Science adds adjunct faculty


    Dr. Patrick French Dr. Patrick French

    November 18, 2014The Department of Dairy Science is pleased to have Dr. Patrick French join us as an adjunct professor.   Dr. French received his B.S. degree in Accounting and his M.S. in Dairy Nutrition from the University of Kentucky.   He completed his Ph.D. degree at Virginia Tech in dairy nutrition and management.  He coordinated teaching and research in dairy nutrition and management at Oregon State University for several years before returning to Virginia as Director of Ruminant Nutrition  and Research for Southern States.  Currently Dr. French is a Co-Owner of RP Feed Components and PF Bovidae, LLC.   His firm markets rumen protected amino acids and provides value added products for lactating dairy cattle.  In addition he provides nutritional and management consulting for dairies and conducts field research on dairy farms and at their research center in Wisconsin.

    At Virginia Tech, Dr. French provides valuable nutritional and management advice to our dairy.  He serves on graduate committees and assists in teaching our dairy nutrition and management courses.    His wealth of experiences gained from research, work in Oregon and with dairies throughout the U.S. have made him a valuable asset to our faculty, students and dairy herd at Virginia Tech.   

  • Aerial view of the new Virginia Tech dairy construction at Kentland Farm

        Aerial view of the new Virginia Tech dairy construction at Kentland Farm.

    November 6, 2014

  • CALS Reception

        President Sands with the Dairy Club

    October 30, 2014President Sands and Provost McNamee visits with Dairy Club students at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences reception.
    More photos from President Sands' visit to CALS.   Letter from Dean Grant on President Sands' installation and visit.

  • Dairy Science Open House October 17-18, 2014

        Hokie students with Holstein and textbooks with fall foliage background

    Our Open House allows prospective students to experience a day in the life of a Dairy Science student!

    The Friday afternoon session will cover university admission information, the Dairy Science program, curriculum, and activities. On Friday evening you will have the opportunity to experience the Hokie community as you are invited to participate in the installation programs of the new university president.

    The Saturday morning session offers mock classes for students while parents learn about financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Farm and campus tours will be available.

    Register online or call 540-231-4769.  Print schedule.


  • Southeast Quality Milk Initiative meets at Virginia Tech


    2014 Southeast Quality Milk Initiative - 2nd Annual Meeting Front row (L-R): Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe (VT); Dr. Susan Schexnayder, (UT); Dr. Steve Oliver (UT); Dr. Gina Pighetti (UT). Middle row (L-R): Dr. Anne Saeman (National Mastitis Council); Dr. Bradley Mills (Zoetis); Dr. Mark Fly (UT); Chandler Blakely (UT); Dr. Steve Nickerson (UGA); Dr. Jeffrey Bewley (UK); Amanda Stone (UK); Abby Griffith (VT); Kristy Campbell (DeLaval). Back row (L-R) Jimmy Hopper (Tennessee Department of Agriculture); Kevne Hull (UT); Dr. Stephanie Ward (MSU); Dr. Liz Adams, (Merck Animal Health); Dr. Peter Krawczel (UT).

    September 26, 2014— The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Southeast Quality Milk Initiative (SQMI) was held in Blacksburg, September 22-24, 2014.  SQMI is the collaborative effort of six southeastern universities to improve milk quality, increase profitability and sustainability of the dairy industry in the southeast.

    The quality of milk produced in the Southeast (SE), based on somatic cell count (SCC) and standard plate count (SPC), is consistently lower than the rest of the US. Reduced milk quality increases costs while decreasing revenues and efficiency. The combined effect of these factors contributes to the declining dairy industry in the southeast. Understanding factors that have the greatest impact on milk quality will provide a background for programs aimed at helping producers improve their operations and was the underlying basis for the establishment of the SQMI.

    In the southeast the heat and humidity present particular challenges to dairying and is a major factor contributing lower quality. Typically, dairy herds in the southeast expect to see increases in SCC especially during the summer months, but preliminary work associated with this project indicates the increase can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced.

    The University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, The University of Georgia, Mississippi State University, University of Florida and Virginia Tech have joined together on this outreach, research and educational project to formulate solutions for dairy producers and those who advise them.  The 2014 SQMI meeting brought together researchers, dairy producers, advisory board members, vets, and industry leaders and representatives. Hands-on demonstrations, short courses and breakout sessions were offered for the first portion of the meeting; the advisory board and SQMI group met later for project updates and planning purposes.

    The SQMI group is lead by Dr. Steve Oliver, Professor of Animal Science & Assistant Dean of Research, at the University of Tennessee. University collaborators include: Dr. Raul Almeida (UT); Dr. Mark Fly (UT); Dr. Gina Pighetti  (UT); Dr. Peter Krawczel (UT); Dr. Michelle Arnold (UK); Dr. Jeffrey Bewley (UK); Dr. Lori Garkovich, (UK); Dr. Stephen Nickerson (UGA); Dr. Stephanie Ward (MSU); Dr. James Brett (MSU); Dr. Albert DeVries (UF); and Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe (VT).

    This project is funded by USDANIFA-AFRI sponsored grant #2013-68004-20424.

    For more information, visit the SQMI website at

Upcoming Seminar

Laura Harthan

VFA absorption and transport in the rumen

Thursday, Mar. 26, 4:00 PM

1860 Litton-Reaves

2015 Spring Seminar Schedule

Graduate Student Opportunity

The Department of Dairy Science is seeking a candidate to pursue a PhD program in the area of dairy cattle nutrition and feeding management to begin fall semester 2015. This graduate research assistant will conduct applied research to evaluate the effect of hulless barley on lactation performance and nutrient utilization by lactating dairy cows. Details...

Upcoming Events


May 2, 2015
Little All-American

May 18, 2015
Hokie Cow Class Golf Tournament
Details TBA