The Department of Dairy Science offers the chance to study in a small, internationally recognized department that specializes in offering research, travel and competitive opportunities to our students. We invite you to bring your interest in animals and let us prepare you for an exciting career in a dynamic industry with a major that has a 100% placement of graduating seniors.
Check out the latest Dairy Judging 101 videos by Dr. Katharine Knowlton and members of the Virginia Tech Judging Team! Visit YouTube Channel: Virginia Tech Dairy Cattle Judging for more judging videos!
Dairy Judging 101: Judging heifers, Part 3 (size)
Dairy Judging 101 Practice Class A1
Dairy Judging 101 Practice Classes: Brown Swiss 4 year olds
Dairy Judging 101: Placings and notes for J2
Nicki Hardy named 2018 Dairy Science Outstanding Graduating Senior!
Nicole Hardy (Perkasie, Pennsylvania) is obtaining a degree in Dairy Science with a minor in Animal and Poultry Sciences. Nicole, who has been on the dean's list each semester at Virginia Tech, is the recipient of a variety of scholarships, including an RP-Animal and Poultry Science STEM Scholarship and the Paul M. Reaves Outstanding Senior Scholarship. In addition to her impressive academic achievements, Nicole has held leadership roles as Sigma Alpha sorority president, Virginia Tech Dairy Club showcase sale chair, and Southern American Dairy Science Association student affiliate division officer at large. Through her experiences with Virginia Tech's Dairy Club, Nicole became involved in Micah's Backpack, which increased her awareness of food insecurity and reinforced her commitment to agriculture. Nicole's experiences both inside and outside the classroom also strengthened her passion for dairy cows and nutrition, including her time at the John Lee Pratt Summer Research Institute, her assistant herdsman internship at Janney Holsteins, and her work with the American Dairy Science Association. During her internship at Janney Holsteins, Nicole had the opportunity to diagnose and treat sick calves, administer vaccinations to newborn calves, and halter-break cows. After graduation, Nicole will begin interning with Cargill as a calf research intern. (via CALS website)
Catherine Parsons, Dairy Science Laboratory Specialist, named Employee of the Month!
Catherine’s nominators praised her work ethic and dedication.
“…Cathy upholds the university motto of Ut prosim… Cathy is known for her encouragement, caring, and helpfulness. Cathy ensures that the lab group’s research is at its highest caliber. Even when people stumble and make mistakes, she views it as a learning opportunity for everyone involved. Cathy is consistently one of the first to volunteer to help in the “off” hours to ensure graduate students have the help they need to perform and finish tasks. Even during 15°F weather, Cathy is out at the dairy farm with a smile on her face, spreading contagious enthusiasm about the work that is being done and why it is so important.”
As the October Employee of the Month, Catherine received a plaque, gifts from the college, has her photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible to be considered for the 2017-18 Employee of the Year award.
The Virginia Tech Dairy Judging Team scores at the Big E and Pennsylvania All American Dairy Show!
Eastern States Exposition:
B team - (Katelyn Allen, Emma Currie, Sandra Krone, Nikki Long) 1st team overall, 4th team reasons. Emma 3rd high individual, Sandra 7th high individual)
A team - (Cortney Hostetter, Blake Smith, Kayla Umbel, Hannah Van Dyk) 2nd team overall, 1st team reasons. Cortney 4th high individual and 4th in reasons, Kayla 5th high individual and 2nd in reasons, Hannah 3rd in reasons)
Pennsylvania All American Dairy Show:
A team- 5th overall, 2nd team reasons. Hannah Van Dyk 1st in reasons, 2nd overall. Cortney Hostetter 2nd in reasons, 9th overall. (B team doesn’t compete at Harrisburg.)
Super Senior Student Spotlight
Mikayla Bailey, a Spring 2017 graduate has been very active in the department and worked at the VT Dairy Farm during her time here.
The spotlights are written by Annemarie Bresson as part of a DASC Public Relations course.
Whitney Bowman of Mount Jackson, Virginia, named Department of Dairy Science Outstanding Senior
Whitney Bowman is obtaining dual degrees in Dairy Science and Animal and Poultry Sciences. Throughout her career at Virginia Tech, Bowman has remained committed to sharing her passion for agriculture. During her internship at the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C., Bowman developed education programs for AFBF members across the country. As a state officer for the Virginia FFA Association, she presented education workshops and attended Farmers’, Women’s, and other state-wide conferences. These experiences beyond Virginia Tech strengthened Bowman’s leadership skills and enabled her to excel as a Resident Advisor, Dairy Science Student Ambassador, and Missions Team Leader in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries. After graduation, Bowman plans to continue her passion for teaching by working in agricultural education.
Kari Estes nominated for Outstanding Graduate Student - MS
Kari Estes, a fall 2016 graduate of the Department of Dairy Science, started her research studies as an undergraduate student volunteer. Her contributions to the laboratory resulted in several publications including one from her undergraduate work, another from her work between degrees, and two that she prepared from graduate work. She also has a popular press article drafted which will be submitted to a major trade publication after the scientific work is published. In 2016, Estes also presented her research at the International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition in Poland. She has also been active in Phi Sigma and served as a teaching assistant.
Dr. Adam Geiger selected as CALS Outstanding Doctoral Student
Adam Geiger, the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Award winner, began his graduate career in the Department of Dairy Science as a Pratt Fellow in 2013.
In addition to his course work and dissertation research, Geiger served in the Graduate Teaching Scholars program and assisted with course development, published articles in two peer-reviewed journals, co-authored articles for two more journals, presented his research domestically and internationally and even got married and had a son.
Through publications in the Dairy Pipeline and Virginia Dairyman as well as a presentation on basic cow nutrition to fourth graders, he contributed to the Extension mission of the department.
Geiger’s publication and scholarship record includes five refereed journal articles published or accepted, five journal articles in review or in preparation, 21 peer reviewed, published abstracts of presentation at professional meetings (most meetings of the American Dairy Science Association), and 19 extension, newsletter, or popular press articles. Interestingly, one of his articles, published in Hoard’s Dairyman was translated into Spanish for wider distribution.
Spotlight on ISC Alumna Carrie Ceh...
ISC alumna Carrie Ceh is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Dairy Science studying rumen development in calves with Dr. Kristy Daniels. Read the interview here.
VT Challenge Team wins 1st Place for Farm B at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge & Academy in Visalia, CA! Pictured left to right: Co-Coach, Dr. Alex White, Linda Beckett, Whitney Bowman, MK Jones, Daniel Comyn. Not pictured: Dr. Gonzalo Ferreira, co-coach.
Dr. Ben Corl
Interim Department Head
The Hokie Cow Classic Golf Tournament was held on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Photos and placings will be available shortly.
Paulnisha Granger, MS
Adelyn Myers, MS
Kaley Tate, MS
Turner Swartz, PhD
Turner Yohe, PhD