Students gain real-world dairy experience in New Mexico

CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO — Fifteen Texas A&M University students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences spent six weeks in Clovis, New Mexico, this summer participating in the 5th annual Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium Teaching Program.

The SGPDCT program was held May 14 – June 23 and brought together a total of 42 students from Texas A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas Tech University, New Mexico State University, Eastern New Mexico University, University of Arizona, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Missouri, Colorado State University, Washington State University, Delaware Valley College and Stevens Institute of Technology for an intensive hands-on dairy training program.

Participating from Texas A&M were animal science students Courtney Hemphill, Sarah Manning, Bethany Weinheimer, Byman Ballard, Anna Haines, Ika Dmestra, Carina Cedillo, Brittany Dean and Jonathan Holub; biomedical science students Edward Vasquez and Chantel Reinertsen; agribusiness students Adam TeVelde and Blake Wolf; agribusiness and ag economics student David Volleman; and first year vet student Sara Genzer.

Topics covered include herd evaluation, reproduction, nutrition, genetics, facilities and mastitis as it related to larger herd management. Nationally-known faculty members from top-rated universities and industry experts were brought in to teach the different courses which include classroom lectures followed by hands-on work at area dairies, laboratories and other field trips.

“This program is unique in that it ties classroom lectures with practical real world experience by using the numerous local dairy herds,” said Dr. Michael Tomaszewski, visiting professor and professor emeritus in the Department of Animal Science and chair of the SGPDCT steering committee.

The SGPDCT was created to specifically address the need to improve the availability of dairy science education at universities in the Southwest and to ensure the growing dairy industry a well-qualified pool of prospective employees for future employment, according to a program brochure.

For more information about this program, go to


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at or call (979) 845-1542.

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