Dairy Science

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a degree in dairy science choose from a wide variety of career paths. Upon graduation, about half of our dairy science majors become dairy farm owners or managers. Others go on to work in areas such as nutrition, genetics and animal health, or they enroll in veterinary and graduate school programs.

Potential careers for dairy science majors can include the following:

  • Agricultural extension agent
  • Agricultural journalist
  • Agricultural loan officer or financial consultant
  • Breed association representative
  • Dairy cattle classifier
  • Dairy herd manager/owner
  • Dairy records association manager
  • Extension youth specialist
  • Milk inspector
  • Milk plant field representative
  • Milking equipment representative
  • Nutrition consultant/representative
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Public relations specialist
  • Research assistant
  • Sire analyst and mating specialist

Most of these positions offer significant and early opportunity for advancement. The demand for personnel is consistently high in all the mentioned areas. In addition, attainment of advanced degrees offers numerous opportunities for rewarding careers in university teaching, private veterinary practice and federal or state veterinary practice.

Dairy Science Alumni Spotlight

Jeannie (2002)

Jeannie Winkelman, Dairy Science Alumnus
Jeannie (Winkelman) Bishop

Graduation Year: 2002
Major/Minor: Dairy Science major, Agronomy minor
Position Title: Senior Territory Sales Representative
Employer: Merck Animal Health

I currently am employed by Merck Animal Health as a Senior Territory Sales Representative. I’ve worked in the Dairy Division at Merck for the past six years, covering southeastern Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. My responsibilities include answering questions on our products, increasing market share for our company and fielding concerns from both veterinarians and dairy producers in my area.

As a field sales representative, working out of my home in Watertown, WI, I consider myself the local ‘face’ of the company. I work hard to ensure our products perform on dairy operations and follow up with customers on any questions that may come up. I spend about 80% of my time with customers and the remaining time with office responsibilities.

I am also actively involved with my family’s dairy farm. We milk 125 cows, raise our own heifers and crop 500 acres. I primarily work with the cows: breeding, vaccination, and calf care. It’s a great asset to have daily ‘hands on’ knowledge of how my company’s products perform (as well as my competitors) in the ‘real world.’   

I previously worked for a national breed organization in California, and an AI organization in the Midwest.  

I feel the core dairy classes and my internship opportunities were key in preparing me for the agriculture work force. I was able to develop sales skills during my internships that are directly applicable to my work today.  In addition, the students I attended UWRF with are now the people I work with every day, as veterinarians, dairy producers, and other allied industry representatives. It’s great working with people who have the same passion for agriculture as I do!

Londa (2010)

Londa Johnson, Dairy Science Alumnus
Londa Johnson

Graduation Year: 2010
Major/Minor: Dairy Science major, Professional and Organizational Communication minor
Position Title: Central Plains Area Rep/US Linear Type Appraiser
Employer: American Jersey Cattle Association

As an employee for the Jersey Association I work with dairy producers across the country to improve, promote and grow the Jersey breed. My responsibilities include; assisting with registrations, animal identification, sale selection, national shows, and milk marketing. I cover the central plains region, which includes the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

In my position I also work as a US Linear Type Appraiser, traveling across the United States evaluating animals on functional type traits. I love working with the people involved in the dairy industry on a daily basis and visiting different dairy operations. My position requires extensive travel as I am on the road about 75% of the time and also requires excellent communication and organizational skills.

Choosing to attend UWRF was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The chance to network and build relationships with professors, fellow students and industry professionals was one of the best parts of attending UWRF. These relationships and connections have proven to be very valuable in my career. I would encourage students to take every opportunity they have while at UWRF. Become active in a campus organization, complete an internship or serve on a committee. Gaining as much experience as possible and networking with industry leaders will help new graduates be successful in their chosen careers.

Greg (2002)

Greg Golombeski, Dairy Science Alumna
Greg Golombeski, Ph.D.

Graduation Year: 2002
Major/Minor: Animal Science major, Dairy emphasis
Other Degree(s): Master's in Dairy Science (2005) South Dakota State University, Ph.D. in Animal Science (2011) University of Minnesota
Position Title: Dairy Specialist
Employer: Hubbard Feeds Inc.

I am currently employed by Hubbard Feeds Inc. as a Dairy Specialist. I’ve worked in my current position for a little more than a year, covering eastern Iowa, northeast Missouri and parts of eastern Illinois. My responsibilities include on farm nutrition consulting, ration balancing, answering questions on our products and assisting dairy producers in many phases of their operation, which may range from managing feed inventories to expansion planning or barn layout and design.

As a dairy specialist, I visit many different dairy operations working with dairy cows, dairy goats and a herd of milking camels. I work to build great working relationships with my customers and help them achieve their goals for the operation. I work out of my home in Cedar Rapids, IA and spend about 90% of my time travelling and meeting with customers on farms, and 10% performing office responsibilities. 

My time at UWRF was very beneficial and helped prepare me for graduate education and an eventual career in the dairy industry. The hands on learning and one-on-one interaction with the faculty in my dairy classes were instrumental in preparing me for my future endeavors. I also believe those things are something that sets UWRF apart from other universities. The relationships that I built with industry professionals and fellow students were one of the most rewarding parts of my time at UWRF. Lastly, these relationships have turned into life-long friendships and these are now the people that I work with every day in the dairy industry, as veterinarians, dairy producers, and other allied industry professionals.  

Contact Us

Animal and Food Science
242 Food Science Addition
590 S. Spruce Street
Facebook IconInstaGram Icon Twitter Icon Linked In Icon