Dairy Spotlight: Victor Malacco

MSU Extension allows me to give back to the dairy community by providing high-quality information while empowering and supporting farmers to identify and pursue their goals.

man standing in front of wall
Victor Malacco is a Michigan State University Extension dairy educator.

I was born into a family of dairy farmers and veterinarians. Growing up on my family’s farm, I had firsthand experience assisting with livestock farming which undeniably influenced me to attend the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. As a veterinarian student in Brazil, I directly benefited from leading an extension program with the objective to improve milk quality and reduce mastitis in dairy herds in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil’s largest milk-producing state. Working on this project sparked my interest in practical research questions raised by the farmers and community members, which led me to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in animal science.

In my research career, my goals have always been better understanding protein metabolism in dairy cows and how to improve the efficiency of nitrogen use on farms, aiming for both economic and sustainability benefits for the dairy industry. In 2018, I moved to the U.S. to do part of my Ph.D. at Purdue University under the guidance of Shawn Donkin. During my three years at Purdue University, as a Ph.D. student and later as a postdoctoral scholar, I developed several experiments to evaluate the productive and physiological responses of cows supplemented with rumen-protected amino acids.

I joined the Michigan State University Extension Dairy Team in December of 2021. One of my current goals is to get to know farmers, stakeholders, and community members. I am excited to learn more about the progressive dairy industry in Michigan and how I can help producers thrive in their businesses. I hope to be a resource on nutrition and feeding management, milk quality, dairy herd health, and work with dairy farmers to improve their dairies’ overall efficiency, profitability, and environmental sustainability.

Working as a dairy educator with MSU Extension is an opportunity for me to give back to the dairy farm community by providing high-quality information, advising in the decision-making process, while empowering and supporting farmers to identify and pursue their goals.

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