Tuesday, July 22, 2014: 2:35 PM
2102A (Kansas City Convention Center)
William C. Weldon , Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, IN
Abstract Text:

A population growing to 9 billion people and 3 billion people moving to the middle class is projected by 2050. These global trends are increasing milk demand globally. Milk demand is projected to exceed supply, as people drink milk and eat dairy products to improve their nutrition as their economic status improves.

The increased need for milk will drive a significant demand for individuals with a PhD in Dairy Science. Industry roles for PhD’s span a significant spectrum, from leading research, providing nutrition, reproductive, health, and management consulting services. There is also significant advancement in the underlying technology being used to produce milk and dairy products, requiring a continual investigation and learning over the course of an entire career. The demand for milk globally, is significantly increasing the demand for qualified PhD’s across the globe, in an effort to develop products, practices and genetics that can rapidly improve productivity.

In our experience, the most successful PhD scientists have a broad view of the industry, coupled with deep technical training. Including real life experiences through industry cooperation can help students develop key industry knowledge that will be critical for their futures. These experiences will enhance their career. Our industry is becoming more complex with multiple partnerships. This requires students that are not only good in the lab, but are very effective at collaboration and transferring knowledge.

Finding PhD scientist with these qualities is difficult. In many cases it can take a year or more to fill a position with a qualified candidate. The long searches can negatively impact the hiring companies.

Significant opportunities exist to increase global milk production by increasing the population of PhD dairy science graduates to help meet the global demand for the nutrition from milk and dairy products. These scientists will be most effective if PhD programs focus on sound scientific training, but also expose and train students in interpersonal skills, economics, and dairy industry fundamentals.

Keywords: PhD, Dairy