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0907 PD: Youth with confidence and optimism

Published on 31 August 2007

One can’t help but feel swells of alma mater pride looking at this issue. No matter your loyalties – whether they lie in Madison, Wisconsin, or State College, Pennsylvania, or elsewhere – this issue will recall college days gone by. It has for me.

There have even been a few late nights involved in the production of this issue. That wasn’t unlike my college days, yet I readily admit that I was a nerd and spent those late-night hours writing a term paper or finishing a last-minute project. If some of my old college friends knew how excited I was about a magazine issue that reviewed dairy and animal agriculture programs from around the U.S., they would still say I’m just as nerdy. But I don’t care. In 10 more years, they’ll be nearly bald and old, too.

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We’ve crammed reviews and commentary from more than 50 universities into this issue. We made attempts to contact all universities with animal agriculture programs that may have classes or emphases that relate to the dairy industry. Most responded; some didn’t. No attempts to rank the universities have been made and preferences should not be implied. If your alma mater wasn’t included in our special section, please let me know and we’ll put them on the list of schools to contact in the future.

This issue is intended to help high school juniors and seniors who are interested in studying animal agriculture or a dairy-related program prepare for and choose the school that’s right for them. We’ve asked professors to tell us what they think their students could do to prepare.

But I also asked a few current and recent graduates their opinions about how to prepare for college. These responses from Joe Sparrow and Luke Vander are found on pages (64-66,68). They were mostly optimistic about their future careers in dairying. They both, as could be expected, thought their university was the school for an aspiring dairy student. I enjoyed the emotional recharge from hearing their enthusiasm about hopes and dreams.

I love the cover photo this month. I think it captures the same confidence and optimism that emanated from Joe and Luke. Thank you, Shannon, for your example to all of us.

This issue also contains a preview of World Dairy Expo (see pages 32-38). This annual event features more than just future show champions on parade, but the future leaders within our industry. Most of these young people will be leading more than just their best show animal in a few years. Best of luck to them all! PD

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