Matthew Borchers is a PhD candidate from Jackson Center, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture, with a major in Animal Science and focus in dairy in 2012. Matthew conducts research on thermotolerant bacteria in dairy housing systems. He also researches the effects of cow comfort on dairy cow behavior, immune parameters, and sleep. He is interested in dairy housing, management, and health. After graduation he plans to work in academia. 

Melissa Cantor is a phD canidate from Wildomar, California. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Science from the Univiersity of Kentucky in 2011 and a Master's Degree from the University of Wisconson-Madison in 2015. Melissa's research will focus on disease mitigation in pre-weaned dairy calves with the goal of reducing reliance on antibiotics.

Karmella Dolecheck is a PhD candidate from Twin Falls, Idaho. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences from Utah State University in 2012. Karmella is researching the economic evaluation of lameness prevention and control strategies. She is interested in production economics, decision support, precision dairy technologies, and reproductive management.

Elizabeth Eckelkamp is a 3rd year PhD candidate from DeRidder, Louisiana. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Animal Science in 2012 from Louisiana State University. Elizabeth's research is in identifying how dairy producers actually use precision dairy technologies for health monitoring on-farm, how useful producers find the technologies, and the affordability of the technology. She is interested in extension because she loves to work with farmers and learn about their operations. After graduation, she is joining the University of Tennessee as an Extension Assistant Professor. 

Lori Grinter is a 1st year Master's Degree student from Hamilton, New Zealand. She graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Lori is researching transition cow management and health. She is interested in researching to give farmers the tools to further cow wellbeing. After graduation she plans to do more research within the dairy industry. 

Jenna Guinn is a 2nd year Master’s Degree student from Lexington, Kentucky. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences in 2014. Her research includes working on a project with the Southeast Quality Milk Initiative and analyzing data related to heat stress in the Southeast and the rest of the U.S. Jenna is interested in milk quality, mastitis, and heat stress. After graduation, she plans to work in a career related to extension or consulting for a company in the dairy industry. 

 Anna Hawkins is a 1st year Master's Degree student from Frankfort, Kentucky. She graduted with a Bachelor's of Science in Animal Science from University of Kentucky in 2017. Her research is economics of heifer raising and the effect cull rates have on replacement heifers. Anna is interested in new technoliges in teh dairy industries and economics. After graduation she hopes to be avle to provide support to the agricultural community because of her studies here at University of Kentucky.

Michele Jones is a 2nd year Master’s Degree student from Indianapolis, Indiana. Michele graduated from Perdue University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences in 2008. Her research involves the effects of sodium sesquicarbonate on rumen pH, rumination and milk production. She also works with the determination of rumination and feeding times in early lactation and close-up dairy cows in commercial dairy farms. She is interested in precision dairy technology and nutrition. After completing her Master’s Degree, she plans on working in the dairy industry as a consultant to help dairy farmers improve their herds. 

Gustavo Mazon is a 1st year Master’s student from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science from Federal University of Viçosa - Brazil in 2016. He is researching the effects of feeding yeast-derived microbial protein on transition dairy cow performance and health. Gustavo is interested in dairy nutrition and animal welfare. After graduating with his Master’s Degree, he plans to work in the dairy industry, working directly with farmers helping them to improve the nutrition and welfare of their herd.



Derek Nolan is a PhD candidate from Strawberry Point, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelors in Dairy Science in 2013. Derek is researching milk quality economics, and is interested in milk quality and decision support. Upon graduation, he plans to work in academia as a milk quality or decision support specialist and teach.

Carissa Truman is a 2nd year Master’s Degree student from Lynchburg, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science in 2016. She is researching the effect of body condition score on disease and reproduction using a body condition score camera. Carissa is interested in dairy epidemiology and economics.