Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

I belong to... Oklahoma State Dairy Science Club: Eric Van der Laan

PD Staff Published on 11 October 2011


Hometown: Frederick, Oklahoma



My dairy background: My two younger sisters and I are third generation from both sides of the family and the second generation in the U.S. Our family currently milks 4,000 cows on two facilities.

Year in school and area of study: I am a junior at Oklahoma State University majoring in Animal Science with a business emphasis and a minor in agricultural economics.

If I wasn’t studying agriculture/dairy, I would be ... working somewhere in the dairy industry, as that is where my passion has always been in life.

I have been a member of the dairy club for ... the last three years.

I joined our club because ... of the many campus activities that the club is involved in and to meet more like-minded people in the club.

A little-known fact about our club is … we are the first Dairy Science Club in the nation that was established in 1923.


One of the hardest-working or most well-known members of the club is ... I can’t name one. Everyone has been involved in the club activities and has helped to promote what we do. We all depend on these hardworking people as they are the ones that get everything that we do as a club put together and running smoothly.

My favorite club event is ... our Christmas party because everyone just comes over to hang out, and some of the members get together and have a tacky sweater contest, which is hilarious. Another event is passing cheese out as a part of the OSU Homecoming Parade with the Southwest Dairy Museum mini-milk truck.

An influential alumni whom I’ve met through the club is ... David Jones, the manager of the research dairy at OSU. All of his contacts in the dairy industry have been very helpful for the club. He is always willing to help with activities through the year and informs us of opportunities that may be available to individual students.

I hope my legacy as president will be ... as someone that has helped to continue all the good things that our club does on campus and as someone that was willing to start new events and participate in new activities.

My advice to all dairy students is ... to pursue what you are passionate about because there is no reason to do something that you do not enjoy. Being involved in a dairy science club is a chance for students in college that have a passion for dairy to be a part of the industry.

My future involvement in the dairy industry will include … being involved with dairy and agricultural policy in general. Later in life I would like to be involved in our family’s dairy farm day-to-day operation and future plans. PD


Oklahoma State Dairy Science Club 2600 West McElroy Stillwater, Ok 74074

Number of members: About 30

Biggest fundraiser and/or club event: Our regular acution and silent auction at the Southern National Holstein Sale held every April in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Club mission: To promote the dairy industry and agriculture at Oklahoma State University and the state of Oklahoma though the activities we participate in and the events we help to host throughout the year.

We also hope to help with the professional development of members by taking them on trips to see different parts of the industry and how they work. All of these activies are supported through club fundraising such as our Southern National Holstein Sale.