Dairy Management

The Dairy Management program is designed to give students a foundation of knowledge and skills about dairy cows, the dairy industry and dairy farming as a business that they can continue to build upon after graduation from the program.

Courses are practical in nature and focus on the basic knowledge and skills needed to be successful on all types of dairy operations as an owner, herdsman or dairy farm employee.

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Areas of study include:

  • Dairy farm management
  • Dairy cattle lactation
  • Dairy herd management and reproduction
  • Ag business
  • Dairy feed management

Students can also get involved in a variety of clubs and organizations including the Dairy Club, Dairy Judging Team and MSU Dairy Challenge teams and contests.

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Career Opportunities

Following graduation, students earn a certificate preparing them for the job market. If interested, students can also transfer into Michigan State University to earn a bachelor degree in animal science or another related major.

Graduates find careers in a variety of dairy management, farming and nutrition industries based on their interests.

Some career paths include:

  • Dairy farm management
  • Dairy feed management
  • Dairy herd reproduction
  • Dairy health management
  • Dairy genetics


The Dairy Management certificate program is based in East Lansing on the campus of Michigan State University.

Program requirements:

  • 48 credits
  • 3-4 semesters of classroom instruction
  • 1 semester off-campus internship (primarily during the summer from May to August)

Learn more about the MSU requirements and courses in the Dairy Management certificate program.

Class sizes are small and students receive individualized instruction in addition to access to Big Ten facilities and experiences.

Some learning facilities include:

  • Dairy Cattle Teaching & Research Center
  • Pavilion for Agriculture & Livestock Education
  • Dairy Foods Complex and Processing Plant
  • Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, Michigan
  • Green Meadow Farms, Elsie, Michigan


IAT coordinators help students find and secure organizations to mentor them as part of their required certificate program internship. Not only does this provide immediate on-the-job experience, but internships also help with networking and industry connections.

Some internship locations include:

  • Gasper Dairy, Michigan
  • Maddox Dairy, California
  • Miner Dairy Research Center, New York

Request information about the Dairy Management program