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Dairy Production and Management

Program Highlights

Among many other things, students in this program learn to:

Degree Option

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

The dairy industry is one of the largest and most important industries in New York State, and the Dairy Production and Management curriculum at SUNY Cobleskill is designed to provide a well-rounded education in the efficient and profitable management of dairy operations.

As the dairy business continues to grow, the need for well-trained and competent workers is consistently greater than the number of quality candidates available for placement. In other words, the odds of our graduates finding employment in this field are excellent.

SUNY Cobleskill is a leader in two-year education and is committed to meeting the future needs of the dairy industry in the Northeastern United States. Our Dairy Production Management students gain necessary skills, knowledge and experience through classroom instruction, laboratory training, on-farm experience and field visits. And they will also be prepared with more than enough knowledge and skills to enable them to continue their education in bachelor’s degree programs, or to enter certain dairy-related occupations directly after graduation.

Sample courses include:

  • Dairy Science Techniques
  • Intro to Dairy Nutrition
  • Into to Dairy Cattle Management
  • Dairy Record Management
  • Dairy Cattle Breeding
  • Animal Health
  • Bovine Hoof Care
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Dairy Policy & Milk Marketing
  • Farm Management
  • Ag Business Financial Management
  • Forage & Seed Crops
  • Intro to Soil Science
  • Artificial Insemination

A recent USDA study shows that each year there are an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental fields – yet only 35,400 new U.S. graduates in those fields. Obviously, then, SUNY Cobleskill graduates are poised to enter a world with near-boundless career opportunities.

To help ensure their success, we prepare our Dairy Production and Management students for both on-farm and off-farm career choices, including:

  • Calf management
  • Transition cow management
  • Sick cow management
  • Parlor management
  • Reproductive herd management
  • Milking systems management

And, as evidence of the extensive knowledge and skills they have acquired here, our recent graduates have filled such positions as:

  • Herd manager
  • Artificial insemination/breeding management technician
  • Dairy nutritionist
  • Dairy equipment service and sales representative
  • Dairy herd improvement field representative
  • Processing facility intake manager
  • Dairy product processing specialist
  • Dairy farm entrepreneurs 

The Dairy Production and Management department offers a Conversa language program in which students travel to Costa Rica for either a 3- or 12-week immersion course in Spanish. The ability to be conversant in the language is immensely helpful for a dairy industry in which there are many Spanish-speaking employees. You can find details at on the Study Abroad programs page.

Dairy Cattle Club - This club is open to any person from any major who is interested in dairy cattle. It is the largest club on campus with over 60 active members. Activities include trips, club-sponsored contests, and the longest-running college club-run consignment sale of registered cattle.

Dairy Judging Team – The Judging Team is comprised of four students who evaluate dairy cattle based on phenotypic characteristics and who compete in judging contests across the country. We’re proud to say that our 2017 Dairy Judging Team placed first in the International Post-Secondary Dairy Judging Contest, held annually in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dairy Challenge Team – This four-person team of students evaluate a specific dairy farm for future improvement. Students are given less than 24 hours to inspect the facility and provide recommendations to the dairy farm owners and to a panel of judges, and then compete at the Northeast Regional and National Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge competitions.