Using Undergraduate Applied Research

With the changing landscape of agriculture comes a changing demographic of students. Integrating UGA undergraduate students into applied and Extension research is necessary to fully prepare students and continue promoting the importance of Extension to the agricultural community. One goal as a UGA Extension specialist in mastitis, mammary health, and milk quality is to recruit and train undergraduates in the field of dairy science with a focus on dairy Extension and applied research to benefit dairy producers. Undergraduate students were trained in on-farm mastitis identification, microbiology/bacteriology, mastitis prevention and control programs, data analysis, and oral presentation delivery. Additionally, students were trained in the principles in Extension and the importance of performing unbiased research, followed by presentation of findings to the public. This approach has the potential to “convert” non-agricultural students into well-trained passionate animal and dairy Extension scientists.