Senior, California Polytechnic State University
Intern with the California Milk Advisory Board
Based in Modesto, California
Q. In what area are you pursuing a degree?
I am a double major in dairy science and agri-business management.
Q. What is your agricultural background?
I was born and raised in the California dairy industry and have even experienced dairying in a different country. From the day I came home from the hospital to where I stand today, I have been a dairy boy 100 percent of the way. From being the worker's son to the partner in the family business, my roots are deep in dairy.
I started off as son of the relief worker at Costa View Dairy in Chino, California. My dad worked his way up to herdsman, and then finally started a dairy of his own in Hanford, California, when I was five. I was fortunate to be able to follow him the whole way through.
When I was two, he took a stab at returning to the home country for a year and half to dairy back in Azores, Portugal. After realizing that California dairying was the way for him, we returned to California where he resumed working for Costa View Dairy a couple years before we started our own operation.
It has been 16 and a half years since we milked our first 64 cows in the eight-machine flat barn on Medeiros Dairy. Now on Medeiros & Son Dairy we are milking 2,350 cows in a double-35 parallel barn. We have come along way and so has my love and devotion for the dairy industry. I know that I want to stay where I was raised and continue to make a wholesome nutritious product that feeds the world.
Q. What were your responsibilities this summer?
To learn. To learn about the dairy industry in that state and take that knowledge to make better decisions for the industry as a whole and to become the leaders in our industry that helps it to excel into the future.
Q. Now that your internship is complete, what have you learned?
I have learned how to communicate better with different individuals and be able to take direction from another person better. I have been privileged with the opportunities to always be the decision maker but rarely have I been the follower. I hope that from the internship I can gain an appreciation to letting others have the lead.
Also I hope that the very mission of the internship is fulfilled. I have been able to understand the entire scope of our dairy industry and see where all 433,000 jobs, that the California dairy industry supports, work and how they impact California dairies. I am excited for the opportunity to become more involved in my industry.
Q. What has intrigued you most about the California Milk Advisory Board?
I would say that the most intriguing part of the California Milk Advisory Board is the amount of work that the staff does and all the behind the scenes work that goes into making the commercials and all the advertising material that we use. I used to think that is was all fun and games and an easy job to do. I now understand that it takes a lot of people and a lot of work to get all that the board does done.
Q. What have you done to make a meaningful impact during your internship?
Well I think that I have been an approachable individual and have shown others my enthusiasm and devotion to our industry. I hope that I can continue to show them that I am excited about an industry that they might not always be and give them the encouragement to push on through the tough times.
Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of your intern duties?
Most challenging for me, I believe, was to remain an intern and not let my producer hat take the best of me. I know that I am a strong person and once I get a taste the other side, I have a hard time leaving it behind. So staying in intern mode and not transferring over into producer mode was be one of my toughest challenges.
Q. What's your best story from the first day or week of your internship?
The best story that I have from the first day of the internship was getting to go on a scavenger hunt all across the greater Modesto area and try to find single serving milk containers, full of milk of course, that had the Real California Milk seal.
It was impossible to find them on the phone because not all of the grocery stores had what we were asking for. Then we went into the mini-marts. The attendants had no clue what we were talking about. So through the mini dairy cases we looked. We finally found a mini mart that had exactly what we were looking for and barely had enough quantity. It was a fun experience and showed me that we still have a lot of work to do to get milk into everyone’s hand.
Q. What do you hope to do after graduation?
I am fortunate enough to only have three classes, or one quarter/semester. It will allow me to take full advantage of the contact I have made during the internship and use them, as I become an integral part of my industry.
My immediate plan is to return home and give Mom and Dad some of that much-needed time off. I want to continue dairying and farming right were home is.
However, I also want to become more involved in the local boards in my county and community. I also want to one day sit as a board member on CMAB and my co-op creamery. So time will tell how far and long I go. I hope that I will be around to see cows being milked on the moon. Well, maybe. :o)
Why do you want to remain a part of the dairy industry?
Dairy is in my blood. I have always enjoyed being involved in it and don’t know of many other industries were you can still make money from an honest day’s work. Dairy is home to me and want to stay home for as long as I can. PD