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Department of Animal Sciences


Summer Experience in Agricultural Research

OVERVIEW: The work experience for Agricultural Research students will include learning research techniques and processes in a variety of areas including nutrient management, dairy cattle nutrition, agronomy, reproductive physiology of dairy cattle and horses, and dairy cattle behavior. Forage quality assessment procedures will be taught in Miner Institute’s Forage Laboratory. Students may also gain work experience in the dairy research facility: feeding cows for individual feed intakes, measuring in situ digestibilities in ruminally cannulated cows, milk sampling, urine/fecal sampling, blood sampling, and assessing dairy cattle behavior. Research techniques for evaluating crop performance and ensiling practices will also be learned.

All students will be asked to work long hours on occasion, but no more so than would normally be expected in an agricultural research facility as a graduate student or technician. Students work approximately every other weekend.

Weekly meetings update the students about research and farm activities including dairy, crops, and equine. Extended sessions on relevant topics such as nutrition, reproduction, mastitis management, animal health and field crops will be held throughout the summer. Instructors include Miner Institute faculty members Katie Ballard, Kurt Cotanch, Heather Dann, Wanda Emerich, Eric Young, Rick Grant, Steve Kramer, Karen Lassell, and graduate students. The small class size makes it possible to at least partially tailor the program to meet the needs of each student. Students will also participate in a weekly seminar series.

Each student will become involved in an independent study project in one of the areas which is the focus of Miner Institute’s research program: dairy nutrition, dairy behavior, equine behavior, dairy reproduction, equine reproduction, crops, nutrient management, and calf management. Each student will work with a faculty member to plan, conduct, and summarize the project. At the end of the summer, oral and written reports will be presented.

This program is available to agriculture and life science students in their junior or senior years of study. Students are encouraged to register for college credit at their home institution. Students are responsible for making arrangements for credits. This program is designed as a 4-credit course, although other arrangements may be made through the student’s home institution. Each student’s wage for the 13-week semester is $3,000. The students live at Miner Institute where student housing, and breakfast and lunch each weekday are provided for a cost of $300 for the summer.

The 2017 program begins May 22 and ends August 18.

Applicants are required to provide the following:
Completed Summer Experience application
• A copy of college transcript
• Two letters of recommendation, one from college advisor and one from a previous employer
• Letter outlining career goals and reasons for application, include any research experience and skills in field crop or livestock production
Printable Agricultural Research Internship Brochure
Miner Institute provides equal employment opportunities.


Katie Ballard
Director of Research
Miner Institute
P.O. Box 90
Chazy, New York 12921
518-846-7121, ext. 112
518-846-8445 (fax)