Dairy Science is an application of the sciences, engineering and technology, and business for the study of milk production and processing. Dairy Science students may choose a major in Dairy Production, Dairy Manufacturing or both. Dairy Production is the study of production of milk, management of the farm, feeding, breeding and herd health. Dairy Manufacturing is the study of processing and merchandising of milk and milk products. In addition, specialization in Science and Business is available with both majors. A Microbiology Specialization is available for Manufacturing majors. This Specialization is designed to prepare students with a strong interest in pursuing Microbiology related careers within the dairy industry. Food Science is the study of the science behind and involved with the production, preservation, packaging, and distribution of safe, wholesome, and nutritious foods. Students will develop a knowledge base related to the basic physical, microbiological, chemical and engineering sciences as they are applied to foods. These sciences are utilized to study the nature of foods, the causes of food deterioration and spoilage, and principles of food preservation.
The Dairy Research and Training Facility (DRTF) of the Dairy and Food Science Department houses 300 Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle and is a research center in feeding, breeding, and managing a dairy herd. Equally important, it is the site for basic student training in dairy cattle evaluation and other aspects of dairy farming. Milk produced at the DRTF is delivered to the state of the art Davis Dairy Plant where it is processed into fluid milk, ice cream, butter or cheese. These products are sold through the Dairy Sales Bar and used in campus dining facilities. Most students work part-time at the Davis Dairy Plant and/or at the DRTF. Both are opportunities for students to work part-time and gain practical experience while earning money. Many of the Dairy Science classes include lab components that are conducted at the farm and plant. Food Science students have access to the Davis Dairy Plant as well as a food product development lab and other food research labs. Students are encouraged to supplement their class instruction with summer internships and extracurricular activities.
Leadership opportunities are available through participation in the Dairy Science Club, Dairy Cattle Judging, Dairy Challenge, Dairy Products Evaluation Teams and Food Science Club. The department has strong research programs in all three areas, in part through the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center. Research opportunities for undergraduate students are also available. Dairy Science and Food Science degrees are designed to prepare students for a wide range of outstanding, challenging and rewarding career opportunities in both majors ranging from industry to private enterprise, government, research and others.