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School of Agricultural Sciences dean wins dairy award

Lakeland College is pleased to share that Josie Van Lent was honoured with the John J Kennelly Western Canadian Dairy Seminar Award of Merit.

The award was presented to Van Lent, dean of the School of Agricultural Sciences, at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in Red Deer, Alta., on March 11, 2020.

The award is given annually to recognize a substantial contribution to the western Canadian dairy industry in the areas of education, training or technology transfer. The award is presented at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, a gathering of dairy producers, technology transfer specialists, researchers and dairy service representatives to discuss emerging issues and recent research.

Van Lent has been a key figure in Lakeland’s involvement in the dairy industry since she joined the college in 2007.

“I’m humbled and honoured by this award,” Van Lent says. “Our partnership with the dairy industry is so important to the work we do at Lakeland, and receiving any sort of recognition for it is just validation that we are meeting the needs of this amazing industry. None of it would be possible without the contributions of all the people I work with, and I share this honour with them. I would like to especially acknowledge our dairy team, including students, faculty, and farm staff, and our associate dean, Geoff Brown, who has provided great support to that team. I also share this award with Alberta Milk, their board of directors, their research and extension committee and people like Mike Slomp. The industry is strategic and focused and so easy to work with.”

Van Lent also acknowledges the University of Alberta dairy faculty and staff and the University of Calgary’s Veterinarian Medicine School faculty for their support and mentorship on dairy research.

Van Lent’s leadership was vital to the construction of the Dairy Learning Centre that opened at the Vermilion campus in 2017 and expanded the student-managed learning concept at the college. The facility reflects the highest industry standards and features state-of-the-art technology in robotic and conventional milking and feeding systems. With these systems, animal science technology students in the dairy major delve into what it takes to lead in the dairy industry.

With guidance from faculty and farm staff, the Dairy Student-Managed Farm - Powered by New Holland unit manages a herd of 320 dairy animals with the goal of improving the production, health and longevity of the herd through genetic advancements. They are involved with breeding cows, moving heifers, monthly herd health visits by the vet, milking, regular nutritional consultant visits and hoof trimming. At the end of the academic year, the SMF unit shares its real-world results.

Van Lent was also an important figure in establishing a partnership with Alberta Milk, who have presented Lakeland with eight Milk Quality awards to date.

Source : lakelandcollege