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Dairy Club on the Moove

A photo of a child watching two cows during Purdue's Spring Fest

Agriculture impacts every student at Purdue, every person in Greater Lafayette and every citizen of the world. Bridging the gap between consumers and the agricultural industry is one of Purdue’s largest clubs: Dairy Club. Dairy Club is an organization dedicated to students interested in the dairy industry and provides educational activities for the community. 

Students from all different backgrounds and majors get involved to express their love of the dairy industry. The pathways to Dairy Club are as unique as each member who joins. 

“When I was growing up, my papaw had a small hobby dairy farm and I’d go there help him work with the dairy cows,” says Breanna Wiley, vice president of membership and junior in kinesiology, “I was drawn to working on the farm and loved it. That started the interest in cows in general. That selfless mentality farmers have is so inspiring to me. I have so much respect for farmers which I gained from my papaw and his friends.” 

Many members grew up showing cows through 4-H or the National FFA Organization (FFA), cultivating their passion for the dairy industry. For students who grew up participating in 4-H, Dairy Club is an excellent opportunity to find their fit at Purdue and continue their journey. 

A family watching cows during Purdue's spring fest

“First and foremost, I love cows,” emphasizes Jackie Mudd, president and a junior studying animal sciences. “I love dairy farm genetics. I grew up showing cows through 4-H and loved breeding for the next best cow and the genetics. I got involved through FFA and am also very passionate about sharing the story of dairy.” 

Farm tours are provided to members to get a behind-the-scenes look into the farming industry and the club hosts guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds to share their industry expertise. For students interested in dairy showmanship, the club hosts a showmanship contest and a judging invitational. Many Purdue students are also familiar with the Dairy Club through events such as Fall Freeze, where the club hands out ice cream, and Milk Monday, where the club shares grilled cheese sandwiches on Memorial Lawn during Ag Week. A child milking a cow during Purdue's Spring Fest

Dairy Club connects with the community by hosting clinics for 4-H and FFA kids to improve their judging, showing and clipping of cows, and partakes in philanthropy. Dairy Club regularly purchases at least 10 gallons of milk to donate to food pantries, creates gift bags with different snacks for those in need and hosts pop-up educational events for children interested in cows and the dairy industry. 

Dairy Club works with Purdue Agriculture and creates ties with the local community to care for the cows that are often featured in showmanship clinics and judging invitational's. 

“I like the community,” says Sydney Haag, a sophomore studying animal sciences and the club’s fundraising chair.

“We have people from similar and diverse backgrounds alike. We all share in this thing we all care about that isn’t necessarily oriented to your major or your career path. Everyone cares about taking care of animals.” 

The opportunity for both activities on and off-campus, and the collaboration necessary for educating the community draws members together, creating friendships that transcend the organization and even Purdue. 

“Life’s about the people, and Dairy Club has brought me some of the best people here at Purdue,” Wiley says. 

Reflecting on her favorite memory made through Dairy Club, Haag says “Preparing for the judging invitational was my favorite. We prepare these cows and they aren’t always the friendliest initially. We work with them and train them. They don’t always cooperate and things can get slippery. It’s always so much fun.” Purdue students petting a cow during Milk Monday

Dairy Club is for anyone from any background. It is a rewarding experience that will break down misconceptions about the food industry and educate on one of the most nutritious segments of the food pyramid. Learning about where food comes from can only deepen our appreciation.  

For those interested in joining, follow their Facebook and Instagram for updates on events.