Dairy science students from five universities recently attended the inaugural Western regional meeting of the American Dairy Science Association-Student Affiliate Division in Fresno, Calif. The meeting was held March 5-6 and attracted 44 students and advisors, in addition to several industry professionals.

The newly-established Western Region focuses on providing educational, leadership and networking opportunities to students in the West. "In this economy, it is tough to find a job," said Western Region Coordinator Kimmi Devaney. "We want to better prepare students for the real world by giving them more of the tools they need to succeed."

During the meeting, students interacted with industry professionals during the career symposium to learn more about careers in communication, dairy foods, veterinary medicine, records, and engineering within the dairy industry. Additionally, speaker Bruce Golden discussed the transition between college and professional life at the awards brunch. Seven students presented research paper presentations in production, dairy foods and original research categories. Other activities included an officer candidate mixer, officer elections, activities symposium and awards brunch.

Award winners included: Cal Poly, Outstanding Chapter; Jennifer Spencer, Outstanding Student, University of Idaho; and Dr. Amin Ahmadzadeh, Outstanding Advisor, University of Idaho. Paper presentation winners in the original research category included 1st place Jennifer Spencer, University of Idaho; and 2nd place Jacob Zonneveld, Cal Poly. Placing in the production division were 1st place Lucas Krueger, Fresno State; and 2nd place Emily Brown, University of Idaho. Samantha Balzer from Fresno State placed first in the dairy foods division.

Members of the first Western Regional Officer/Advisor Team include: President Lucas Krueger, Fresno State; 1st Vice President Tyler Kamper, Cal Poly; 2nd Vice President Jennifer Spencer, University of Idaho; Secretary/Treasurer Cathy Houlihan, Fresno State; Officer at Large Cynthia Scholte, University of Idaho; 1st Year Advisor Dr. Amin Ahmadzadeh, University of Idaho; 2nd Year Advisor Dr. Jude Capper, Washington State University; 3rd Year Advisor Dr. Kas Ingawa, North Carolina State University; and Western Region Coordinator Kimmi Devaney.

The 2012 meeting will be held in conjunction with the Western Regional Dairy Challenge, and will be co-hosted by California State University-Fresno and Cal Poly.

Participating chapters included: California State University-Fresno, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, University of Idaho, Texas A&M University and Washington State University.

The Western Region was established in 2010 to better serve students in the West. The students attended the meetings as members of the American Dairy Science Association-Student Affiliate Division (ADSA-SAD). The ADSA-SAD is a division of the parent organization that works to develop leadership and promote scholarship among students interested in the dairy industry, and to encourage students toward careers in dairy science. ADSA was established in 1906 as a scientific and educational association to serve the dairy and dairy-related industries. It facilitates the discovery, application and dissemination of dairy science knowledge and information.

Source: American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate Division