Proud to Dairy

Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium offers exceptional educational, networking and social opportunities to dairy students

The holidays aren’t the only thing just around the corner—internship and summer program applications are due soon too. For more information on finding and internship, please see my last blog post.

In addition to internships, summer programs that allow you to get away from your home university can be a great addition to your college career. The Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium is one such program. It’s no secret that I have been very involved over the last four and a half years. I have had many amazing opportunities, but the SGPDC was one of the best—second only to ADSA.

I was a member of the inaugural SGPDC class in 2008 and it was a fantastic start to my summer. The program starts in mid May and ends the last week of June, giving you enough time to also do something else during the summer. Held in Clovis, New Mexico, the fast-paced, six-week program brings together the best dairy students, professors and industry professionals for a highly educational program with lots of networking opportunities. The modules change every year, but included nutrition, finance and cow comfort the year I went. In the morning, you learn from the best dairy science professors in the nation in the classroom at Clovis Community College. After breaking for lunch, the class goes to a dairy or two to see the real-life application of what they learned in the classroom. It is very hands on and you learn a lot really quickly. There are also a few field trips throughout the course; feed mills and cheese plants are some examples.

Networking is very important, as anyone that has read my other blog posts or talked to me would know. The program is completely sponsored by the allied dairy industry, so your only expense is your travel to get there and some food. One night per week, the program hosts a Sponsor Night where a representative from a sponsoring company/organization takes the class to dinner and gives a presentation about their company/organization, jobs, internships, etc. It is a great opportunity not only to expand your professional network, but also to get all of your questions answered.

In addition to learning from the best in the nation, visiting New Mexico and Texas dairies, and expanding your professional network, you also get to meet some of the ‘cream of the crop’ dairy students from across the nation. Best of all, the program is fun! If I wasn’t graduating soon, I would go back for round two! Speaking of which, they also have an advanced class now so you can go more than once.

I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in dairy science. I would be happy to talk to anyone about my experiences with the program, so if you want to know more, feel free to send me a message.

Information on the program and applications can be found at http://sgpdct.tamu.edu. Applications are due in February, so get those in soon if you are interested.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Kimmi

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