February 17, 2014 – The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Benjamin Corl, an associate professor of dairy science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who studies nutritional physiology and works to improve the health of dairy cows and dairy products.
Corl focuses on lipid metabolism.
How living things process organic molecules called lipids, which comprise fats and other materials, and convert these molecules into energy, plays an important role in animal health and production.
Mobilization of energy reserves from body fat to support early lactation in the dairy cow is an example of the metabolic process. Understanding how these processes work sheds led on animal efficiency and the quality of food products, because dairy products contain fat, and fats are deposited in beef. more...
February 18, 2014 – Perhaps a 30-year career as a banker doesn’t seem like a typical path for a Dairy Science major, but that is exactly the route chosen by 1982 graduate Debra Callison. For those that think the Dairy Science curriculum may not translate well to the financial world, think again. “Now, as I lead a unit in our bank, and am responsible for approximately 50 folks, as well as a book of business, I still find that being a Dairy Science major has stood me well,” said Callison. Callison enjoyed her Dairy Science and agriculture courses at Virginia Tech, but returning home to the family farm was not an option. Undeterred and eager to apply her knowledge, Callison interviewed with multiple companies in a variety of disciplines, eventually landing a job from Farm Credit as a Field Representative. Two years later, she accepted a position with a commercial bank, and entered a field she continues to work in today. “My degree is rather uncommon for a banker, and can be counted on for a conversation-starter when I need it! Most of my clients are either family-owned companies (or have been), and many of my clients are only one-generation removed from the farm,” said Callison, whose work-ethic mirrors that of her clients. more...
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...)
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
September 10, 2013–The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution on Monday accepting design plans to replace the existing dairy complex on Southgate Drive with new, state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Kentland Farm, a move that ensures the long-term success of the university’s award-winning dairy science program.
The plan calls for a replacement of existing buildings on a 35-acre site that can accommodate a fully functioning lactating herd of 230 and takes advantage of Kentland Farm’s proximity to feed production and grazing lands, among other things.
“This new, modern dairy complex will strategically fill our mission goals of education, research, and Extension,” said Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This is a great opportunity, not only for the students who will get a hands-on education about dairy science and the scientists conducting research at the new complex, but also for the dairy industry which relies on the applied knowledge that the university provides.”
August 1, 2013 — The Dairy Science Department is pleased to welcome Dr. B Gonzalo Ferreira as our new dairy management extension specialist. Dr. Ferreira is from Lincoln, Argentina where he has been an extension professional and dairy business consultant working with approximately 30 dairies since 2008. Prior to that he was a regional leader for ruminant species in Latin America for DSM Nutritional Products. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University and his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his B.S. from the Catholic University in Buenos Aires. His research in graduate school involved the nutrient evaluation of corn silage and the influence of biotin on metabolism of dairy cattle. He has served as an invited lecturer on dairy nutrition at the University of Buenos Aires and the Catholic University of Argentina and as a teaching assistant at both Ohio State and the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Ferreira brings a wealth of experience to our department from his excellent graduate education, industry experience with DSM and extensive consulting experience with dairy producers in Argentina. He will provide leadership in development of financial management and decision making tools for dairy producers. Dr. Ferreira will be traveling extensively through the state during the next few months to gain a better appreciation of our dairy industry and the challenges that it faces.
July 26, 2013 — Congratulations to three very talented graduate students who successfully defended their theses this past week: Stephanie Neal ("Adoptively transferred maternal colostral cells impact immune status and development in dairy calves"), Hannah Tucker ("The Effects of Tamoxifen on Mammary Development in Prepubertal Heifers"), and Brittany Willing ("Abundance and Relative Abundance of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Feces Following Prophylactic and Therapeutic Intrammamary Antibiotic Infusion in Dairy Cattle").
July 10, 2013 — Dr. Isis Kanevsky-Mullarky was presented with the ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production at the ADSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. The ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production was created to recognize a young scholar from the Production Division and their potential in research and educational leadership, and to identify critical issues affecting the future of the dairy industry. Special requirements include a ten year or less post‐final academic degree, current active membership in the American Dairy Science Association, exemplary research and/or educational programs (instruction, extension, or industry), and potential for future leadership.
June 5, 2013—The Department of Dairy Science is pleased to announce that Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure. An authority on mastitis control, Petersson-Wolfe has developed active extension and research programs since coming to Virginia Tech in 2006. The foci of her research are to understand the pathogenicity and transmission of mastitis-causing bacteria and the impact of early disease detection and intervention practices on the improvement of animal well-being. Mastitis, a serious infection of the bovine mammary gland, costs the U.S. dairy industry nearly $2 billion annually—and $10 billion worldwide.
The lab she co-developed, the Mastitis and Immunology Laboratory, allows milk culturing to identify on-farm problem areas related to milk quality, hygiene and sources of environmental contamination. This in turn allows for farm-specific recommendations and improvement. The laboratory serves as the cornerstone for her programming and is nationally recognized as a superior milk diagnostic center. A goal of her extension program, tightly integrated with her research program, is to emphasize the importance of animal well-being and provide producers with the knowledge and tools to improve the welfare of animals.
Another aspect of Petersson-Wolfe’s research program is to evaluate the ability of daily milk component and activity data to detect disease. To this end, she was instrumental in securing novel milk component recording devices and specialized pedometer tags for activity readings, making the Virginia Tech dairy herd the first in North America with these technologies.
A new project, the Southeast Quality Milk Initiative (SQMI), is a collaborative outreach, educational and applied research program on mastitis control by six Land-Grant Universities in the southeast to enhance the sustainability of the dairy industry in this region. Producing high quality milk with low bacterial numbers results in increased farm profitability, increased shelf life and improved food safety.
Petersson-Wolfe was elected to the National Mastitis Council Board of Directors in 2013 and serves on the National Mastitis Council Teat Health Committee. She was also elected Secretary (2008), Vice-chair (2009), and Chair (2010) for the NE-1028 Multi-state Mastitis Regional Project. Additionally, she is a member of the Research Committee for the National Mastitis Council, a member of the American Dairy Science Association, a reviewer for the Journal of Dairy Science and a former reviewer for BARD, The United-States – Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund.
Petersson-Wolfe earned her B.S. at Penn State, her M.S. at the University of Guelph, and her Ph.D. at Ohio State.
Dr. Rebecca Cockrum
"Residual Feed Intake: Identification of Regulatory Pathways Using Genome-Wide Association Analyses"
Tues, Mar. 4, 12:30 PM
1770 Litton-Reaves Hall
Proceeds from the Hokie Cow Classic Golf Tournament support travel costs of the Virginia 4H Teams, Virginia Tech Dairy Challenge and Judging Teams, as well as funding scholarships and student recruiting. The 12th Annual Hokie Cow Classic will be held Monday, May 19, 2014. Follow the link above to register online.
April 26, 2014
May 17, 2014
May 19, 2014
12th Annual Hokie Cow Classic
Blacksburg Country Club