Dairy Scientists conduct wide range of research on dairy animals to improve milk processing and dairy products as well as develop animal quality and efficiency of livestock. They explore animal genetics, nutrition, breeding, prospective diseases, management practices, environmental conditions and clinical experiments on dairy cattle and dairy products. They may crossbreed animals to make them more productive or improve other characteristics. They may also carry out experiments to determine effects of different kinds of feed on quality, quantity and nutritive value of dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese etc. They advise farmers on how to upgrade housing for dairy animals, lower death rates, enhance growth rates, manage waste matter, improve techniques, maintain good health of dairy animals and increase dairy products.
Dairy Scientists work in varieties of settings such as federal government, laboratories, dairies, farms, equipment manufacturers, consultancy firms, private industries, research facilities, educational institutions etc. They spend a good deal of time in a laboratory or an office. Sometimes, they need to go for field work that includes visits to dairies, milk processing unit etc.
The position of a Dairy Scientist requires at least a bachelor’s degree with the major of dairy science, biology, biochemistry, or physiology from an accredited institution. However, some Dairy Scientists hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) while others hold Ph.D. in the area of dairy science, genetics, animal reproduction, biotechnology or any related field.
Dairy Scientists are required to be licensed in many states of the US. Hence, these professionals need to pass the licensing examination. The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) offer exam based certification to the prospective Dairy Scientists.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for the Dairy Scientists may rise 7 % from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of a Dairy Scientist was $ $71,830 in May 2015.