How UGA’s Jersey program took off
July 2, 2021 by Manure Manager
Over the last seven years, Jillian Fain Bohlen, an associate professor with the University of Georgia and a state dairy specialist for UGA Cooperative Extension has been able to develop an educational program with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) that gives students hands-on learning experience – and one where there are few setbacks to getting attached to the cows.
In 2014, alumnus and Jersey cow breeder C.A. Russell gifted six young jersey cows to the program. Today, there are 71 Jerseys in the herd, which was formerly all Holsteins. Bohlen says culling is rare due to the genetics of the cows, and adds that her students tend to get attached to the cows.
“Each semester I have them choose their top three priorities — for example, milk production, fat percentage, type, reproductive traits or productive life — then pick the best bulls to represent those priorities. It has actually resulted in a well-rounded herd,” she said in a release by CAES News Service.
The Jersey Active Management by Students (JAMS) program has grown along with the herd. It allows students to observe the physical and psychological differences between Jerseys and Holsteins, said Bohlen, who was recently presented with the 2021 American Dairy Science Association Hoard’s Dairyman Youth Development Award. | READ MORE