Penn State Extension
Extension Educator – Dairy Herd Health
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated from Ohio State University in 2010 with a degree in animal science and a minor in agriculture education. I was an active member of Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority, Towers Agriculture Honorary and Saddle and Sirloin.
Following graduation at Ohio State, I attended Virginia Tech to pursue a master’s degree in dairy science. My research was focused on naturally occurring mastitis and using daily milk component and activity data for the early detection of disease. I served on the Graduate Student Assembly as the dairy science delegate.
Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up on the outskirts of Hilliard, Ohio, which is about fifteen minutes from Select Sires and 25 minutes outside of Columbus.
I did not grow up on a dairy farm, however I was very involved in 4-H and raised dairy goats, which is how I ended up majoring in animal science. As I learned more about the dairy industry in college and worked on a dairy farm, I knew I wanted a career in this industry.
What territory will you cover?
I cover northwest Pennsylvania from Erie County to Westmoreland County.
What are your new responsibilities?
My responsibilities include consulting with dairy producers across northwest Pennsylvania to troubleshoot SCC problems and improve milk quality. I also assist with several statewide programs that are put on by the dairy team, including the best milking practices program in Spanish and English, as well as the on-farm culture program.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
To help troubleshoot different milk-quality-related issues dairy producers may be facing. This position brings something new to the table each day and allows me to interact with producers across western Pennsylvania.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
My area of expertise is milk quality, mastitis and on-farm culture. I can consult with farms that are struggling with high SCC or having other milk-related problems. I can help determine why they may be experiencing a particular problem and how can they fix it.
Additionally, I can help set up on-farm culture systems and teach producers how to properly culture and identify mastitis-causing bacteria. This can cut down on the amount of antibiotics administered – as well as costs associated with treatment – and improve milk quality.
Why did you choose this organization?
I find the Penn State Extension Dairy Team to be a well-known and respected group of individuals in the dairy industry. The dairy extension program in the state of Pennsylvania is one of the best in the country and has some of the top professionals in our industry. Accepting this position was an honor and I knew I would gain an incredible amount of knowledge and experience working with this team.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I would like to help as many producers as I can improve their milk quality and in return receive premiums for their milk to increase profit. I would also like to continue to broaden my knowledge in every aspect of the dairy industry and continue to help educate producers through the various programming offered by the dairy team. PD