FITCHBURG, Wis. — The National Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) Scholarship Committee selected two veterinary medicine students – Monika Dziuba, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Fredrick Mansfield, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine – as recipients of $1,500 scholarships.
Selection committee members evaluated applicants on overall interest as a veterinarian planning to work in dairy, involvement in dairy medicine and extra-curricular activities, and interest in using dairy software and dairy records to aid in dairy management and in improving animal health. To be eligible for a National DHIA veterinary student scholarship, applicants must be third- or fourth-year veterinary medicine students and enrolled at a college that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education.
Dziuba’s interest in dairy cattle veterinary medicine started at age 12 when she visited her family’s small dairy farm in Poland. Despite growing up in a suburban area, she gained significant production agriculture experience by participating in the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC), conducting research and working on farms and in a meat harvesting plant. One research laboratory focused on immunology and nutrition’s role in bovine mastitis, and the second focused on bovine leukemia virus’s effect on dairy cattle.
In South Dakota, Dziuba worked on a 20,000-cow dairy where she managed implementation of a selective dry cow therapy trial. She also participated in a dairy training program in New Mexico and Texas for six weeks. Plus, Dziuba worked on smaller Michigan dairies. Last summer, she interned with Michigan Milk Producers Association. During this internship, she focused on herd health protocol development, on-farm milk quality troubleshooting and compliance for the National FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program.
Mansfield grew up in Kerkhoven, Minn., and started showing beef cattle as a third grader. For him, 4-H played a key role in developing his production animal management and handling skills. Additionally, Mansfield’s high school animal science class inspired him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. As an undergraduate, he participated in Gopher Dairy Club, Block and Bridle, livestock judging and NAIDC, and belonged to Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.
This spring, Mansfield will earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He credits much of his success to understanding and using DHI data. For example, as a “Dairy Challenge” contestant, he (along with his teammates) used DHI data and cow flow observations to evaluate a dairy farm. They noticed that one group was experiencing subpar reproductive performance. The team recommended swapping the breeding pen from an outdoor dry lot with the late-lactation pregnant cow pen, which included fans and sprinklers. This recommendation helped Mansfield’s Dairy Challenge team become the champions of their division.
Money generated from the annual National DHIA Scholarship Auction primarily funds the organization’s scholarship program. Investments and donations also help build the fund. Support the National DHIA Scholarship Program by donating $15 or more and receive a copy of The Big Book of Moo by Leigh Rubin. The Big Book of Moo features nearly 300 cow-centric cartoons. To order, e-mail BookOfMoo@dhia.org. To donate to the National DHIA Scholarship Fund, contact Leslie Thoman at 608-848-6455 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National DHIA, a trade association for the dairy records industry, serves the best interests of its members and the dairy industry by maintaining the integrity of dairy records and advancing dairy information systems.
— National Dairy Herd Information Association