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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Local (Madison area USDA jobs)

    Position Vacancy Listing
    PVL# 60659

    Working title:
    Dairy Herd Manager

    Official title:

    Degree and area of specialization:
    Masters Degree (preferred) in Dairy Science with emphasis in management or nutrition. A Bachelors Degree in Dairy Science with extensive dairy herd superviison and management will be considered.

    Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:
    Minimum three to five years of dairy herd supervision and experience in employee management and supervision. Knowledgeable in areas of dairy animal nutrition, management and animal health, and research methodology. Proficient in the use of computer spreadsheets, databases and dairy records software. Ability to cooperate with faculty, graduate students and academic staff is vital. A farm background is desirable.

    Principal duties:
    Responsible for managing the daily operations of the dairy herd of the US Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC). The USDFRC research farm is an USDA-owned facility in Prairie du Sac, WI that operates with a cooperative agreement with the University of Wisconsin (UW) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and also functions under the umbrella of the UW Agricultural Research Stations. This research farm is located approximately 35 miles from Madison, WI and grows, harvests, and stores forage and feed for 320 milking cows and 350 replacement heifers. The incumbent also provides assistance primarily to federal scientists who utilize the dairy herd to conduct multidisciplinary research directed at; 1) increasing yields and quality of forage grazed and harvested; 2) reducing losses associated with harvesting, storage, and feeding; 3) developing methods to process perennial legumes for new value-added products; 4) reducing nutrients from manure that are potentially deleterious to water and air; and 5) maximizing use of forage nutrients by the dairy cow for milk production. These scientists are located at the laboratory-greenhouse-engineering complex on the UW campus in Madison, WI. Duties of the Dairy Herd Manager are performed under the general supervision of the UW Director of Agricultural Research Stations. A direct and liaison relationship exists with the Director of the USDFRC, and the USDFRC Agronomist and Farm Manager. Duties and responsibilities are performed with a high degree of independence to achieve the broad goals of the research center.

    The duties and areas of responsibility in this position include:


    Assist USDA researchers and scientists and UW faculty in planning, establishing and maintaining dairy research. Advise and assist scientists in planning research involving the research dairy herd and insure that research procedures such as feeding, handling of the animals, and data collection conform to research program requirements.

    Provide on-station leadership of dairy research projects by supervising, conducting, and performing all research activities to be sure project objectives are realized. Coordinate appropriate staffing and resources to meet research needs.

    Perform, or supervise station personnel to perform, dairy cattle research procedures such as milking, feeding, sample collection, weighing animals, administering compounds, heat detection, formulating rations, and animal surveillance.

    Facilitate collection and maintenance of accurate records and data associated with the station research and experimentation as required by researchers (animal feed consumption, weight gains, calving rations, milk production, etc).

    Arrange and conduct meetings with project leaders and critical employees prior to the initiation of research projects and at periodic intervals as needed.

    Responsible for the health and welfare of all animals in the dairy herd. Supervise or carry out the herd health program under the direction of the University, or local, veterinarians.

    Responsible for performing or supervising the breeding and culling of animals from the research herd.

    Supervise maintenance of research herd production, breeding registry and health records, and the direct recording of all operations and research data.

    Responsible for interpreting and insuring compliance with all federal and state regulations concerning management of large animal research units, research animal use and care, and the production of grade A milk.

    Provide assistance in the planning of field crop feed production. Help make decisions and recommendations regarding planting, pasturing, harvesting, storing and feeding of livestock on forages in accordance with existing and future project needs and the general maintenance needs of the herd.

    Responsible for keeping abreast of innovations and new ideas in the field of dairy science and making recommendations or initiating actions for the use of improved procedures for increasing the efficiency of the dairy herd operations of the US Dairy Forage Research Center.


    Responsible for managing the daily operations of the dairy herd of the US Dairy Forage Research Center.

    Oversee management of station employees: Interview and select new employees, and maintain up-to-date position descriptions. Conduct interim and annual performance evaluations. Interpret rules and regulations for employees, and initiate appropriate disciplinary actions when warranted.

    Communicate information to employees on a regular basis concerning progress or changes in research projects and general farming operations.

    Develop and initiate comprehensive training programs for new and established employees.

    Establish operating budgets and coordinate expenditures and income associated with the station.

    Develop long range goals for the station. Make recommendations concerning the design and development of new facilities and equipment needed to efficiently and effectively carry out the unit mission. Assist with the identification of future budget needs for facilities, capital equipment, and supplies in conjunction with research, outreach and instructional needs.

    Plan and schedule work assignments to include overtime, weekend, evening and holiday work, and coordinate and approve vacation schedules for subordinates.

    Responsible for the station safety program and insuring proper safety standards are followed. Responsible for preparation of appropriate accident reports and making recommendations for corrective actions.


    Oversee and direct the maintenance of all livestock facilities and equipment. Schedule repair or replacement of facilities and equipment.

    Coordinate changes in animal inventories according to station feed supplies, research project requirements and other researcher¿s needs.

    Supervise, coordinate and assist with all activities associated with the daily feeding, management and general care of the dairy herd.

    Ensure facilities are in presentable condition at all times and maintained to meet all Federal, State, University and AALAAC standards.


    Serve as an outreach source for individuals and groups requesting information relating to the mission of the US Dairy Forage Research Center. Respond to requests for information on agricultural subjects.

    Speak on occasions to share research findings with the public.

    Conduct tours of the station. Plan field day activities for the station.

    Cooperate and participate in community and professional activities that develop or strengthen support of the station.
    A criminal background check will be conducted prior to hiring.
    A period of evaluation will be required
    Appointment type: Academic Staff
    Department(s): AG&LSC/DAIRY FORG RES S
    Full time salary rate: Minimum $55,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
    Depending on Qualifications
    Term: This is a renewable appointment.
    Appointment percent: 100%
    Anticipated begin date: DECEMBER 20, 2008
    Number of positions: 1

    Application must be received by: DECEMBER 25, 2008

    Unless another application procedure has been specified above, please send resume and cover letter referring to Position Vacancy Listing #60659 to
    Dwight Mueller Phone: 608-262-2757
    620 Babcock Drive TTY: 608-263-2473
    Madison, WI 53706 Fax: 608-262-5088

    NOTE: Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding the names of applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

    UW-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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Last Modified: 1/8/2009