The graduate program in dairy cattle farm management gives students the foundation, the knowledge and the skills to manage a dairy farm as a successful business enterprise. It involves understanding and mastering the integrated impact of critical farm management areas such as young stock rearing, nutrition and feeding, reproduction performance, production control, replacement decisions, genetic evaluations, health assessment and control, well-being and welfare advancement, economic and financial strength and environmental stewardship with the main purpose to promote world-class dairy farm milk production with a competitive advantage. Core courses are practical in nature focusing on developing “troubleshooting” abilities to analyze, detect and improve the overall performance of dairy farm operations. Students are expected to become data oriented systematic decision-makers with the use and development of computer applications and highly acquainted with diverse dairy farm production systems such as those highly technical, those with very low resource input and everything in between. Therefore, the program combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience, which is completed at the state-of-the-art UW dairy herd facilities and many other commercial dairy farms across Wisconsin – the state with the largest and most diverse dairy farm industry in the US.
Typically, MS level graduates find employment as educators with cooperative extension or technical colleges as well as representatives in research and sales at dairy farm provider companies in the areas of nutrition, breeding, pharmaceutical, machinery and construction. Students at the PhD level normally build their careers in academia (research, extension, and/or extension faculty at universities) in the allied industry (research and/or outreach) and private or public consulting.