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Program Overview

The CALS Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program specialization in Dairy Business Management is designed for individuals interested in gaining exposure to dairy business management in order to enhance their career potential in agribusiness. This specialization focuses on the methods and tools necessary to manage a dairy farm as a successful business.

Additional coursework in strategic thinking, communications and leadership, combined with a capstone project, provide students with practical problem-solving skills. The skills developed can be applied to numerous emerging applications and careers in dairy business management, such as:

  • Dairy Financial Consultant
  • Dairy Manager
  • Extension Educator
  • Environmental Steward
  • Facilities Manager
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Technical Services Provider
  • Training Consultant

Faculty and students at dairy, feeding dairy cow

    Dairy Management in today’s market requires a whole-farm approach, with farm management skills needed in a wide range of areas including: nutrition and feeding, reproduction performance, health assessments, data collection, incorporation of the latest technologies, and financial management.

    Students in the MPS program will learn the necessary skills, both through courses and applied, hands-on experience to successfully manage a dairy business.

    The MPS is a NY state accredited, one-year, course-based master’s degree program that prepares individuals for the 21st century workplace through knowledge development and career skillset refinement. The specialized, course-based instruction led by world-class faculty broadens expertise and expands versatility.

    The CALS MPS degree program has two main components:

    1. Coursework: Students work with a faculty advisor to customize their course of study based on their area(s) of interest.  While the majority of the courses (20 of the required 30 credits) will be in CALS, students have the flexibility to take electives across Cornell.
    2. MPS team project: With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students work on solving a real-world problem, building project management and team leadership skills sought by employers.

    MPS students are part of a cohort of CALS professional master’s students specializing in diverse fields of study. The program is fast-paced and rigorous. Professional master’s students have a dedicated support organization, offering career guidance and professional skill development.

    Sample Curriculum

    Working with a faculty advisor, students design a curriculum based on interests and career goals. Sample curriculum outlined below, both for production and leadership focus. In addition to the curricula below, students have the flexibility to design their own. 

    Production-focused curriculum

    Fall semester:

    Course Title
    ANSC 4880 The Global Food, Energy, and Water Nexus
    ANSC 4110 Integrated Cattle Nutrition 
    ANSC 4510 Dairy Cattle Business Management
    VETPMD 6640  Introduction to Epidemiology
    ANSC 5000 MPS Project

    Spring semester:

    Course Title
    ANSC 4120 Whole-Farm Nutrient Management
    ANSC 4560 Dairy Management Fellowship

    Choice of one or more of: 

    • Dairy Cattle Nutrition
    • Dairy Cattle Herd Health
    • Dairy Herd Management
    • Reproductive Physiology and Management of Dairy Cattle
    ANSC 5000 MPS Project
    AEM 3040 Dairy Markets and Policy Seminar
    VTPMD 7081 Cornell Dairy Center of Excellence Seminar

    Dairy Business and leadership-focused curriculum

    Fall semester:

    Course Title
    ANSC 4880 The Global Food, Energy, and Water Nexus
    ANSC 4510 Dairy Cattle Business Management
    NCC 5540 Managing and Leading in Organizations
    NCC 5560 Managerial Finance
    ANSC 5000 MPS Project

    Spring semester:

    Course Title
    AEM 3430 Principles of Supply Chain Management
    AEM 3040 Dairy Markets and Policy Seminar
    AEM 4190 Strategic Thinking
    ILRHR 5600  Human Resource Management
    VTPMD 7081 Cornell Dairy Center of Excellence Seminar
    ANSC 4560 Dairy Management Fellowship
    ANSC 5000 MPS Project

    Admission Requirements

    The ideal candidate will demonstrate a passion for dairy management, competency in undergraduate science coursework, and interest in applying knowledge gained in a professional career. Admission requirements include:

    • Complete an application through Cornell graduate school by February 15, 2019
    • Undergraduate degree in agriculture related field 
    • Current résumé
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • TOEFL/IELTS for international applicants, per graduate school guidelines

    Connect with us to discuss the admissions process