Home Industry News Calf Care UC Davis & Iowa State Students Earn DCHA Scholarships

UC Davis & Iowa State Students Earn DCHA Scholarships

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA) awarded $1,000 scholarships to Conor McCabe, son of Jean and John McCabe, West Linn, Ore., a University of California-Davis PhD candidate; and Irene Nielsen, daughter of Miriam Weber Nielsen, Potterville, Mich., an Iowa State University undergraduate student. The DCHA scholarship program recognizes outstanding students pursuing a degree in agriculture, with a particular interest in calf health and future productivity.

McCabe earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University, followed by a master’s degree in animal science from Purdue University. Currently, he is working in the Mitloehner Cattle Air Quality Research Lab at UC-Davis, where he orchestrated a successful grant proposal to perform an entire lactation dairy cattle 3-nitrooxypropanol study to measure impacts on methane emissions, animal health and milk production. Additionally, McCabe taught undergraduate and graduate students, from predominantly urban areas, on appropriate cattle handling procedures, emission measurement methodologies and best data collection practices. For the Clarity and Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research Center, he developed eight blog writings for a lay consumer audience to communicate awareness of cattle production’s impact on climate and food systems through both an environmental and nutrition lens. During the summer of 2018, McCabe was a clinical research intern with Zoetis; during the summer of 2017, he was a global regulatory operations intern with Elanco. To complement his research and work experiences, McCabe serves as the MooC Davis (Dairy Science Club at UC-Davis) club advisor and American Dairy Science Association president of the graduate student division.

Nielsen is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, international agriculture and agricultural communications. Currently, she works as an undergraduate communications assistant for The Center for Food Security and Public Health, and as an undergraduate research assistant in Iowa State University’s animal science department, under the guidance of Gail Carpenter. As a communications assistant, she composes science-based blog posts for producers focused on disease prevention for food production livestock, coordinates social media for “The Livestock Project” and researches and constructs educational resources for “Day 1 Competencies for Veterinarians,” which are used in veterinary schools in developing countries. In her research role, Nielsen assists in studying associations with pre-weaning health and performance with lifetime outcomes in Holstein dairy cattle. Also, she performs data entry and analysis using PCDART to evaluate the effects of changing management practices, and records calf weights and draws blood for studying the effects of starch diets on beef-on-dairy calves. Last summer, Nielsen interned with CentralStar Cooperative as a research and development laboratory intern, and did research on mastitis pathogen PCR kits, bovine leukemia virus and fatty acids.

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.

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