Virginia Tech™home

Emily Yeiser Stepp named 2020 Dairy Science Outstanding Young Alumna in Industry

Headshot of Emily Yeiser Stepp
Emily Yeiser Stepp

The Department of Dairy Science is pleased to recognize Emily Yeiser Stepp as its 2020 Outstanding Young Alumna in Industry. Emily completed her Masters Degree in Dairy Science at Virginia Tech in 2011 under the direction of Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe. Previously, she received her B.S. in Animal Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University.

Emily’s career to date has ranged from on-farm consulting to being a liaison for key industry stakeholders. Emily is currently the Senior Director for the National Dairy FARM Program at the National Milk Producers Federation in Arlington, Virginia, a position she has held since 2016. The National Dairy FARM Program is a social responsibility program that addresses animal care, antibiotic stewardship, environmental stewardship and workforce development. Emily is responsible for managing the program, implementing and overseeing work plans, and identifying and developing resources for industry stakeholders.

Emily’s previous work experience includes coordinating the dairy and beef
extension programs at the University of Maryland, managing dairy initiatives for the Center for Dairy Excellence in Harrisburg, PA, and serving as the Mid-Atlantic young sire genetic program specialist for ABS Global, Inc.

Emily received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award from the Penn State Dairy Science Club. She was also recognized by the Dairy Club at Virginia Tech as the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant. Emily is a 2012 graduate of the Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized three-phase leader and communication skills development program for young adults (ages 22-45) working in the dairy industry.

Emily is deeply committed to her work and appreciates its importance to the dairy industry. Her activities outside of her work demonstrate her passion for the industry as well. She is a professional dairy cattle judge, serves on the Maryland Dairy Shrine Board, is on the membership committee for the National Dairy Shrine, and is a member of the World Dairy Expo Youth Enhancement Committee. She is editor of the Maryland Holstein Association Annual Magazine and secretary-treasurer of the Penn State Alumni Dairymen’s Club Board.

During her time at Virginia Tech, Emily assisted with numerous dairy extension programs, particularly those that were youth-related. She assisted with dairy judging workshops and contests, dairy quiz bowls, and junior dairymen’s contests.

Emily remains connected with the department. In November 2018 she made a presentation in Dairy Science Graduate Seminar entitled, “The National Dairy FARM Program: Assuring the Social Responsibility of the US Dairy Industry.” We have also utilized her in extension programming. She continues to volunteer to lead workshops and serves as an official for youth contests as time permits. Most recently she presented a workshop at the Southeast Dairy Youth Retreat at Cows-n-Corn in Fauquier County in July.

The Department of Dairy Science is proud to recognize Emily as an outstanding young alumna because of her impact on the dairy industry’s social responsibility during a time when consumers are demanding more accountability from their food sources. Her understanding of research, passion for the industry, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills have greatly contributed to her success.