Dairy Husbandry and Science Extension
Professor E. B. Fitts was the first head of Dairy Extension at Penn State. He began work in 1922 and retired in 1937. Robert H. Olmstead became chair of Dairy Extension in 1937 and retired in 1954. Upon his retirement, Joe S. Taylor became chair and held the post until his death in 1974. Both Olmstead and Taylor made significant contributions to the development of the artificial insemination (AI) industry in the state. They also led the educational effort to eradicate both TB and brucellosis from the Commonwealth's dairy herds.
Dairy extension's longest running educational effort involves programs for youth. A prime example is the dairy show competition. In the 1940s, dairy specialist Joe Nageotte organized the state into six districts and encouraged 4-Hers to exhibit their animal(s) at their district show. In the 1950s, Nageotte and other 4-H leaders moved to take all blue ribbon winners at the district level on to a statewide show at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. The effort was later joined by Vocational Agriculture (FFA) units and has grown to the point where about 800 dairy animals are shown at the Pennsylvania Junior Dairy Show each September. Nageotte retired in 1956, and W. Paul Anderson transferred in from Somerset County to succeed him. Anderson retired in 1986, and Dale Olver now leads the Pennsylvania 4-H dairy program and coordinates the regional and state Youth Dairy Shows.
Prior to 1975, Extension units operated somewhat independently of the department, as they were responsible to the Director of Extension for the College of Agriculture, rather than to the head of the department. This arrangement was true for all Extension units in the college when they were established. However, all of them were integrated into their departmental structure by 1975.
Retired Dairy Extension faculty with major years of service and their
area(s) of expertise
|Roscoe Welch||1919-1948||Management, dairy breeding|
|E. B. Fitts||1922-1937||Management, section chair|
|Robert H. Olmstead||1921-1954||Nutrition, section chair|
|Charles Gearhart||1923-1955||Dairy Herd Improvement program|
|Joseph C. Nageotte||1929-1956||Management, dairy housing|
|Ivan Parkin||1934-1964||Milk quality|
|Joe S. Taylor||1945-1974||Management, section chair|
|Herbert C. Gilmore||1946-1980||Dairy Herd Improvement program|
|Harvey E. Shaffer||1946-1979||Reproduction|
|Richard S. Adams||1954-1994||Nutrition|
|Donald L. Ace||1955-1984||Nutrition, management, section chair|
|Dexter Putnam||1956-1981||Dairy Herd Improvement program|
|W. Paul Anderson||1956-1986||4-H dairy program, coach of 4-H judging team|
|Larry W. Specht||1957-1996||Genetics, dairy records, section chair|
|Stephen B. Spencer||1960-1995||Milking management, dairy facilities|
|Sidney Barnard||1964-1997||Milk quality, (Dept. of Food Science, 1975-97)|
|C. William Heald||1981-2002||Management, section chair|
Author: Larry W. Specht, Professor of Dairy Science