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By Daniella Garcia-Loos Almeida ’25
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  • Animal Science
  • Dairy

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program offered by Cornell CALS is a one-year Master's degree program that offers a variety of disciplines, including animal science. Daniela Gonzalez Carranza, MPS ‘23, graduated from the MPS program in Animal Science with a concentration in dairy business management, having discovered the program after working in the dairy industry in Mexico for several years. Daniela now heads to the North Country Regional Ag Team of Cornell Cooperative Extension to serve as their new Dairy Management Specialist, enhancing relationships between the University and New York State dairy farmers. We spoke with Daniela to learn about her experiences in the Cornell CALS Department of Animal Science. 

Why did you choose to pursue the CALS MPS degree? 

I was first introduced to Cornell through the Summer Dairy Institute, a six-week intensive program for veterinarians housed in the Teaching Dairy Barn. As I continued to advance in my career, I began to explore master’s programs and discovered the MPS program at Cornell. I knew an MPS was the perfect fit for me due to its time commitment, affordability, and flexibility to explore other courses at Cornell. 

What were you doing prior to starting the MPS program? 

Before coming to Cornell, I was already working in the dairy industry in Mexico. My first job was in the army as a veterinarian soldier on a dairy farm. Afterwards, I worked at a small, private dairy farm. At the same time, I had a part-time job in the community helping small rural farms apply basic technology like artificial insemination and diagnostics of diseases. This got me interested in extension work and forming relationships in the community. I really enjoyed extension work because I could see the tangible benefits in the community. 

What are your career goals in the dairy field? 

I would like to further my knowledge on extension work and gain more experience within the US dairy industry. Dairy farms are all different and unique in their size, technology, and more. I would love to get more experience in all the different types of dairy farms. Eventually, I hope to work in private consulting for dairy business management back in Mexico.

How do you want to change the dairy industry? 

I’m always thinking about how I can help my country. I would like to help make the dairy industry in Mexico more sustainable by looking at sustainability from the farm management level to help farmers get the most from what they are producing. I would also love to someday create an organization that collaborates with experts in the field, looking at sustainability from crops to milk. 

What was your capstone project focused on? 

The capstone project allows you to focus on an area of interest within the one-year time frame of the program, while still involving research. My project was a simple partial budget focusing on the economic feasibility for a small farm in NY to acquire automated health monitoring systems. I’m wanted to see if it made sense for small farms to invest in specific technologies. I ultimately found that it does make sense because in New York State, current policies are limiting labor force bandwidth and technology can help farms be less reliant on labor.

What has been the most memorable or impactful part of being in the Animal Science MPS program? 

Every lecture was memorable, with each providing me with valuable insights for my career. The professors are highly qualified, and all the courses integrate and build on each other. Because of the structure of my program, I had flexibility to take a course from applied economics and management (AEM) about Food Policy for Developing Countries with professor Dr. Prabhu Pingali. I still remember the first lectures about the Green Revolution, a movement focused on improving genetics to increase crop yields and production, that I was not familiarized with and that interestingly enough, started with research in Mexico. 

 

Daniella Garcia-Loos Almeida ’25 is a student writer for the Cornell CALS Department of Animal Science. 

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