Interim Department Head: D. Gerrard
Named Professors: M. D. Hanigan - David R. and Margaret Lincicome Professor, and K. F. Knowlton - Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professor of Dairy Science
Associate Professors: B. A. Corl and C. S. Petersson-Wolfe
Assistant Professors: R. Cockrum, K. M. Daniels, and G. Ferreira
Advanced Instructor: W.A. White
Lecturer: D.R. Winston
Career Advisor: K.F. Knowlton
Professor Emeritus: R. M. Akers, M. A. Barnes, B. G. Cassell, F. C. Gwazdauskas, J. H. Herbein, R.E. James, G. M. Jones, M. L. McGilliard, R. L. Nebel, R.E. Pearson, C. E. Polan, R. G. Saacke, C. C. Stallings, and J. M. White
The purpose of the dairy science program is to offer students the opportunity to prepare themselves for a wide variety of careers by developing their technical and interpersonal skills. We offer a challenging yet flexible curriculum that can be individualized to meet the educational needs and interests of each student, counseling to assist each student in designing individual programs, and extracurricular activities to enhance development of interpersonal skills.
Students may select from three curricula: Dairy Business Management, Science/Pre-Veterinary, and Dual Emphasis. All options provide students with the opportunity to acquire a broad education in the sciences, social sciences, economics, mathematics, and communications while learning the basic principles of dairy enterprise management.
This is the most flexible curriculum, with at least 30 credits of electives. Suited to students with an interest in various fields of dairy production (herd manager, farm manager), allied agri-business industries (feed, genetics, equipment), agricultural communications, public relations, extension, breed fieldperson, and a variety of other positions. Graduates in this option have also gone on to careers in college instruction, elementary school instruction, bank investment management, feed sales, and milk marketing, to name a few.
This option is recommended for students who plan to continue into veterinary college or other graduate or professional schools, or who plan a career in quality control, laboratory work, or research and product development. It provides an excellent base in chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology and biochemistry for advanced study in many areas. Students are encouraged and mentored to apply for early admission to veterinary school.
This is recommended for students who plan to concentrate in more than one academic area as they prepare for future careers. Common minors and double majors that students may earn while completing their Dairy Science degree requirements include Agricultural Economics, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Biology, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Spanish, Communications, Professional and Technical Writing, etc.
Nearly all Dairy Science students complete a second major or minor and they are encouraged to actively participate in extracurricular clubs, judging teams and the dairy management team. Ninety five percent of students complete at least on internship prior to graduation and nearly half complete undergraduate research, an independent study, or serve as a teaching assistant.
Active participation in research projects in lactation, genetics, nutrition, nutrient management, and management provide qualified students valuable research experience with departmental scientists as well as part-time employment opportunities. These opportunities are available to students in all options and enhance their preparation for advanced study and provide a better understanding of the research process.
The dairy science honors program offers outstanding students the opportunity to enrich and broaden their academic programs. Honors students work closely with individual faculty members in choosing honors classes, colloquia, independent study, and research projects. Graduation "in honors" requires successful completion of university honors requirements, a comprehensive oral examination, and an honors thesis.
Graduate programs of study leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. also are offered (see Graduate Catalog).
The graduation requirements in effect during the academic year of admission to Virginia Tech apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year you started at Virginia Tech. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets." The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion. The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar's website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html for degree requirements.
Requirements include ALS 2304 (4 cr.), DASC 2474 (3 cr.), DASC 4374 (3 cr.), and nine additional credits in DASC electives.
University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Pathways) (see "Academics") and toward the degree.
Satisfactory progress requirements toward the specific degree can be found on the major checksheet by visiting the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.
1464: DAIRY CATTLE HANDLING Safety in dairy cattle handling; animal behavior; care, housing, and managerial practices related to dairy cattle. Experiential activities. Herding, sorting, halter training, health scoring, and milking. (3L,1C)
1574: DAIRY SCIENCE FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE The scope of the dairy science undergraduate program, preparation for careers in dairy and related industries. Hands-on experience working with dairy cattle. Inquiry, problem solving, and integration of ideas and experiences with a focus on the dairy industry. (1H,1C)
2204: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ANIMAL AGRICULTURE Impact of animal entrepreneurship on the US agricultural economy. Innovative products and services for the dairy and livestock industries. Strategic planning, human resources, production scheduling, marketing, and financial management for animal enterprises. Capital acquisition. Sensitivity analysis for key planning assumptions. Contingency planning and risk management. Identification of non-traditional career paths in the animal industry. Pre: Sophomore Standing. Pre: AAEC 1005. (3H,3C)
2474: DAIRY SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY Sustainable production, processing, and marketing of milk and milk products domestically and globally. Biology of dairy cattle with emphasis on genetics, reproduction, lactation, and nutrition. Management of dairy herds. (3H,3C)
2484: DAIRY CATTLE EVALUATION Critical appraisal of dairy cattle conformation and experience in linear trait scoring, linear trait relationships to profitability, competitive judging; written and oral justification; organization and conduct of shows and contests; showmanship. II. (6L,2C)
2664: PROFESSIONAL DISCOURSE AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT Emphasis on writing and speaking skills for livestock industry or post-baccalaureate education. Self-marketing, job acquisition, press relations, and conduct of meetings and labor management techniques. (1H,1C)
2964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course.
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
3134 (APSC 3134): ANIMAL AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT Environmental issue associated with animal agriculture. Nutrient contamination of water resources, odor emission from livestock farms, environmental regulations affecting animal agriculture, and management practices to reduce the impacts of livestock farms on air and water quality. (3H,3C)
3274: APPLIED DAIRY CATTLE NUTRITION Application of basic principles of nutrition in developing rations for dairy herds. Emphasis is placed on appropriate use of forages, ration formulation techniques, development of profitable rations, and ration delivery. Co: ALS 3204. (3H,3C)
3474: DAIRY INFORMATION SYSTEMS Development, function, and use of dairy information systems including computerized performance testing programs for dairy cattle improvement and dairy herd management. Dairy management software applications. Precision dairy farming. Whole herd evaluation. Pre: Junior standing. Pre: 2474. (2H,3L,3C)
3984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4174: APPLIED DAIRY CATTLE GENETICS Application of genetic principles to dairy cattle improvement. Setting goals for genetic improvement, characteristics of traits included in selection, current methods of estimating breeding values, the role of artificial insemination and breed associations in genetic improvement, cattle genetics. Pre: ALS 3104. (3H,3C)
4274: DAIRY RATION FORMULATION Develop entry level professional animal nutritionist skills; use customer and feed databases, use optimization algorithms to formulate least cost diets and feed mixes, simultaneous consideration of diet cost, animal product return, and environmental constraints; further develop intergrative thinking and problem solving skills. Co: 3274. (3L,1C)
4304 (APSC 4304): PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES OF BOVINE REPRODUCTION Principles and techniques in reproductive physiology and herd management related to health, record keeping, estrus detection and synchronization, and ultrasonography. Ovarian function and superovulation, semen handling, artificial insemination and pregnancy detection are also considered. Pre: ALS 2304. (1H,3L,2C)
4374: PHYSIOLOGY OF LACTATION Anatomy of the mammary gland and physiology of lactation in domestic and laboratory mammals with emphasis on dairy cattle. Mammary gland health and factors affecting lactation. Principles and techniques in dairy herd milking management. Pre: ALS 2304. (2H,3L,3C)
4384: MAMMARY IMMUNOLOGY This course is designed to provide students with basic knowledge of immunology as related to diseases of the mammary gland. Concepts of mammary gland immunity, disease etiology, immunopathology, diagnosis and therapy will be covered with a focus on ungulate species. Host pathogen interactions, solving problems, writing intensive, literature search. Pre: ALS 2304, ENGL 1106. (3H,3C)
4474: ADVANCED DAIRY MANAGEMENT EVALUATION Students will learn to critically evaluate all aspects of dairy farm management on working farms. The assessment and recommendations will be developed using information gathered from herd production records and financial statements, visual observations at the farm, and an interview of the farm owner and workers. Data assessed will include milk, growth, health, reproduction, and culling records; cash flow and profit loss statements; nutrition and nutrient management records; and labor management structure. The assessments and reports will further develop integrative thinking, oral communication, and written communication skills. Pre: 3474, ALS 3104, ALS 3204, ALS 3304. Co: 4475. (6H,2C)
4475-4476: DAIRY ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT Decision strategies for modern dairy businesses. 4475: Emphasis on relationships of enterprises and techniques for evaluation of business alternatives, efficiency of production, and profit. Use of microcomputer software to support management decisions. 4476: Concentration on herd replacements, personnel, facilities and issues of management associated with rapidly changing national and international markets, environmental regulations, and computer applications. Group projects and hands-on management of university dairy herd. Pre: 2474 for 4475; (4475 or AAEC 3454), DASC 3474 for 4476. 4475: (3H,3C) 4476: (2H,3L,3C)
4664: TRANSLATING DAIRY SCIENCE Analysis and interpretation of peer-reviewed literature in dairy science. Focus on dairy industry issues discussed in social media. Critical reasoning, information synthesis, and oral and written discourse. Paper presentations and discussion. Pre: Senior Standing Pre: 2664. (1H,1C)
4964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.