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University of Minnesota Dairy On Farm Clinical Externship


Dairy Education Center - Nicollet, MN

Senior veterinary
students interested in dairy or mixed practice may elect to spend two-weeks at
the Dairy Education Center located in the New Sweden Dairy. They live in the
facility during those two weeks so that they are available at all hours to
participate in clinical care, follow up on cases, and respond to any
emergencies.  Students partake in the
identification and treatment of sick cows, general health prevention programs
(vaccinations, foot trimming, etc.) and day-to-day operations and monitoring.


The University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine and
Davis Family Dairies have joined forces to create a unique partnership between
a public university and a private milk production facility. The result is
an academic facility, the Dairy Education Center, that is merged into a
commercial dairy – New Sweden Dairy.

By working with Davis
Family Dairies in creating the Dairy Education Center, the college can:

  • Care for enough cows so that we can reasonably expect
    to be able to teach students about routine clinical medic
    • Common diseases of cows at and around calving
    • Routine health maintenance activities
  • Provide a site that allows applied research under
    University control in a commercial setting
    • Provide the critical mass of cows necessary for
      scientifically valid applied research
    • Ensure standard operating protocols are maintained
    • Access complete records on all animals, treatments,
      and production throughout the cow's lifetime
    • Work in facilities that make it possible to handle, sample,
      and work with individual cows and small groups

    Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

    • Dr. John Fetrow, supervisor of elective
    • University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine

    Educational Resources

    • small dairy medicine library on site


    Students participate in the identification and treatment of sick cows,
    general health prevention programs (vaccinations, foot trimming, etc.) and
    day-to-day operations and monitoring.  Students may be asked to assist dairy personnel
    in all aspects of daily activities.

    • Care of newborn calf
    • Care of calving cow
    • Care of immediate post-partum cow
    • Care of the early post-partum cow (1-14 days fresh)

    Student Supervision

    The rotation will run from Monday of the first week through the weekend of the second week. All activities will be under the direct supervision of dairy personnel. Faculty on site 8-5 (or more) each weekday.


      Yes. Students will be expected to maintain the living and learning quarters in the Dairy in clean and tidy condition and to leave it in such condition for the next rotation of students.

        Practice Information

        Dairy Education Center
        University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
        43475 County Road 15
        Nicollet, MN 56074

        Phone: 612-625-3776

        Fax: 612-625-6241


        Signature On File: John Fetrow, VMD, MBA
        Updated: 10/20/11

        St. Paul, MN
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