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.
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".
BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 9, 2014 – Chelsea 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...
November 18, 2014—The 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.
November 6, 2014
October 30, 2014—President 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.
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.
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 http://sequalitymilk.com.
September 20, 2014—This year’s team ‘A’ members are Caitlyn Abbot from Fairfield VT, Lucas DeBlois from Colebrook NH, Jenna Hardy from Perkasie PA and Ryan Zimmerman from Littlestown PA. Team ‘B’ members are Cole Davis from Pleasant Garden NC, Kelly Leatherman from Perkasie PA and Joy Nystrom from Culpeper VA. The judging teams are coached by Drs. Michael Barnes and Katharine Knowlton.
The season started off with both teams competing in the Eastern States contest in Massachusetts. Cole Davis was 1st in Guernseys, 3rd in Holsteins, 4th in Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns, 6th in reasons and 1st overall and was High Individual Overall. Jenna placed 3rd in Brown Swiss, 7th in reasons and 4th overall, Ryan was 5th in Guernseys and 11th overall, Caitlyn 14th overall and Lucas was 1st in Milking Shorthorns. Team A was 2nd overall and 4th in reasons and Team B finished 5th in reasons.
The Pennsylvania All American contest in Harrisburg PA was another successful day. Only the A team competed; they placed 3rd in reasons and 3rd overall. Ryan placed 3rd in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Guernseys, 10th in reasons and 7th overall, Lucas was 8th in Brown Swiss, Caitlyn finished 5th in Guernsey, 8th in Jerseys and 8th overall and Jenna placed 1st in Guernseys, 1st in Holsteins, 3rd in reasons and 3rd overall. In addition to their 3rd place finish in team reasons and overall, the team finished 1st in Guernseys and 2nd in Holsteins, 3rd in reasons.
Team members and coaches greatly appreciate the support of the Virginia State Dairyman’s Association, the Virginia Dairy Foundation, the Virginia Tech Dairy Club, and the many AI organization and alumni donors who provide financial support for this activity. We also thank VANC Select Sire Power for their generous donation of team-member recognition plaques each year. The team is also indebted to the many farms throughout the northeast, mid-Atlantic, southeast and Wisconsin who host judging practices throughout the year.
Dr. Patrick French
Unique career opportunities that exist for dairy science graduate students
Thursday, Feb. 26, 4:00 PM
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...
Feb. 18-20, 2015
69th Annual Virginia State Feed Association & Virginia Tech Nutritional Management "Cow College"
Mar. 9-13, 2015
Area Dairy Conferences
--March 9 - Amelia
--March 10 - Harrisonburg
--March 11 - Culpeper
--March 12 - Rocky Mount
--March 13 - Marion
May 2, 2015
May 18, 2015
Hokie Cow Class Golf Tournament