Junior, Virginia Tech
Intern with Van Exel Dairy
Based in Lodi, California
Q. In what area are you pursuing a degree?
I'm majoring in dairy science and professional writing.
Q. What is your agricultural background?
I grew up in Woodbine, Maryland, on a 160-cow Ayrshire and Holstein farm
Q. What previous internship positions have you held?
Internship during the Summer of 2009 at Rosedale Genetics in Oxford, Wisconsin
Q. What will your responsibilities be this summer?
Helping with the show heifer and cow care and learning and partaking in all of the different jobs around the farm, which are countless.
Q. What do you hope to have learned by the end of your internship?
I hope to learn as many new things as I can about the industry that I love.
Q. What intrigues you most about Van Exel Dairy?
It is the perfect example of managing a very large herd of cows while still keeping a beautiful string of cows and heifers to show on the tanbark trail and market within the industry.
Q. What can you do to make a meaningful impact during your internship?
Just work hard and make the most out of each experience and challenge that I am presented with.
Q. What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of your intern duties?
Transitioning from living on a smaller dairy and working on a small dairy last summer to a very large dairy has been challenging.
Q. What's your best story from the first day or week of your internship?
My first time milking in the hospital barn I fell in a hole of water, skinned my knees and was soaking wet!
Q. What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to get my masters in education following graduation from Virginia Tech. I hope to become a teacher while also housing my own and others' top-notch show cattle and care for them. I enjoy showing and merchandising cattle and hope I get the opportunity to do that for the rest of my life, wherever that may be.
Q. Why do you want to remain a part of the dairy industry?
Being an active part of the dairy industry is how I grew up and I would love to continue that and have my family raised in that environment. There are so many great cows, people and opportunities in this wonderful industry and I would never want to leave it! PD