From the Dairy Farm to the Quad

Guest post by Erin Will, an Indiana Dairy Ambassador. Erin is a sophomore at Purdue University studying Animal Science with plans to attend vet school after graduation. Erin grew up on a dairy farm in southwest Indiana.

I am truly so happy in my decision to attend Purdue University and am so blessed to be at a college with so many opportunities available to me. However, like all college goers I have my own set of student struggles that have made me truly appreciate working at home on my family dairy farm. Here are just a few.

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Exercise Programs

Student Problem: The “Freshman Fifteen” was inevitable.

Dairy Farm Perk: I get plenty of exercise carrying bales and buckets, plus the occasional cardio workout of running through a field ahead of the cows when a gate is left open.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Student Problem: A 7:30 a.m. organic chemistry lab is not the best motivator for climbing out of bed.

Dairy Farm Perk: Half a dozen hungry baby calves will never forgive me if I sleep in.

Winter Fashion

Student Problem: With windchill, the temperatures sometimes reach subzero here at Purdue, and sadly it is not considered socially acceptable to wear coveralls to class.

Dairy Farm Perk: Cows do not judge your fashion choices as long as you feed them.

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Elbow Room

Student Problem: Parking spots? They don’t exist.

Dairy Farm Perk: Our white barn can house two cab tractors, a grain truck, three silage wagons, the baler, a hay rake, and the corn harvesting head for the combine. As an added bonus, I don’t need to buy a parking permit.

After-hours Work

Student Problem: A good rule of thumb is to expect to spend three hours of outside work per credit hour. That amounts to about 51 hours of homework and studying per week for me, best case scenario.

Dairy Farm Perk: Cows do not assign homework. (Although they do tend to time their problems for midnight, Christmas Day, etc.)

Dorm Rules

Student Problem: Dorm cows are unfortunately not allowed yet.

Dairy Farm Perk: Working outside with my favorite animals is most definitely a stress relief for me when I am at home.

Are you interested in the Dairy Ambassador Program? Applications are now being accepted, through April 1, for next year’s program. Visit the Dairy Ambassador page for more information.