CoBank, Farm Credit of New Mexico pledge financial commitment to support endowment
CLOVIS, N.M. — The 2014 U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium (previously known as the Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium) brought together 46 students from 17 universities and three countries for six weeks of large dairy herd education and training in Clovis, N.M. from May 19 – June 27.
The 2014 consortium class included nine students from Texas A&M University: animal science majors Cara Crane, Lauren De Jong, Lauren Fontenot, Mary Lavender, Linden Rudolph, Blythe Shill, Erika Ulloa and David Trujillo; and nutrition science major Cynthia Becerra.
In addition, for the first time the consortium welcomed one student from the University of Alberta, Canada, and two students from Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Introduced in 2008, the consortium has grown into a nationally recognized center of excellence for larger dairy herd education and training, said Dr. Michael Tomaszewski, professor emeritus of dairy science in the Department of Animal Science and coordinator of the teaching consortium.
“The consortium curriculum continues to emphasize the cornerstones of large herd management with topics such as reproductive strategies, mastitis and milk quality issues, genetics and genetic program utilizing new genetic tools, dairy cattle feeding and general management,” Tomaszewski said. “Also, to keep pace with the evolving dynamics of the dairy industry, we expanded our topics this year to include leadership development, managing the workforce and the inclusion of women into the dairy workforce.”
The Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium was renamed earlier this year to the U.S. Diary Education & Training Consortium to represent the move beyond its original regional concept to a national stage. Simultaneously, the program launched a fundraising effort to establish a $6 million endowment with a $150,000 multi-year commitment from CoBank and Farm Credit of New Mexico. CoBank has committed $25,000 a year over a four-year period with an additional $12,500 per year provided by Farm Credit of New Mexico.
“CoBank and Farm Credit of NM’s contributions are the first large commitments toward our endowment goal. When completed, the Consortium will have the financial stability needed to move beyond the regional effort to a national concept,” Tomaszewski said. “Consortium students come from all regions of the country and internationally. The large herd best management practices taught at the Consortium are comparable to those used in all dairy regions.”
For more information on the program, visit http://usdetc.tamu.edu.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.