Two dairy science seniors, Nisa Gallichio and Kate Tscharner, were recently chosen to learn about multiple aspects of the dairy industry as a part of the Career Internship Program sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB).
The program will help the students learn about the production, processing, marketing, advertising and direct sale of dairy products, or how a product “moves from the farm to the table,” according to a CMAB press release.
Out of 15 applicants from Fresno State University, Stanislaus State University, University of California, Davis and Cal Poly, Gallichio and Tscharner were chosen because of their commitment to the field of dairy science, said Kris Costa, the director of producer relations for CMAB.
“These two came to interviews with a passion and drive to work in the dairy industry, and they had extensive leadership experience,” she said.
In order to obtain the internship, Gallichio said they first submitted an online application with transcripts, résumés, cover letters and references. Then, they had a round of interviews, and five people were chosen from those interviews to continue on to the next round with board members in San Francisco.
In their interviews in San Francisco during spring quarter, Costa said the board members who interviewed them noted their enthusiasm for the industry was “infectious.”
Good news for both young women came soon after — they were hired.
“It’s a really prestigious internship, so I feel really honored to have the opportunity to represent CMAB and be an advocate for the dairy industry,” Gallichio said.
The two interns spent their first few weeks with CMAB in Modesto, Calif., getting to know staff, training dairy princesses to be effective leaders and traveling around Humboldt County to learn about the dairy industry in Northern California.
Tscharner said different regions of California produce different dairy industries, so it was interesting for them to tour creameries and factories such as Humboldt Creamery and Loleta Cheese.
The rest of their internship will consist of running a booth at the California Midstate Fair, traveling around California to visit creameries and cheese plants and meetings with various figures in the California dairy industry, Gallichio said.
Both Gallichio and Tscharner were active in multiple extracurricular activities as part of Cal Poly’s dairy science program.
Gallichio served as an officer for Los Lecheros Dairy Club and was a member of the 2009 National Collegiate Dairy Judging Team and the 2011 National Collegiate Dairy Challenge Team.
Gallichio was involved with the California Holstein Association both in and out of the show ring.
“I have great appreciation for a registered (Holstein) cow,” Gallichio said.
Similarly, Tscharner has been involved with many dairy science-related activities.
Tscharner served as the Scribe of the Alpha Zeta Honorary Agricultural Fraternity, as a co-committee chairperson of Western Bonanza and is involved with Los Lecheros Dairy Club and Agriculture Ambassadors. Tscharner will serve as the Agriculture Council president this upcoming school year.
Both Tscharner and Gallichio were “essential” in starting the Care 4A Calf Committee, which is a student-based organization that helps raise awareness and raise funds for Cal Poly Dairy, Tscharner said.
Tscharner said that after college, she wants to work in the communications and marketing aspect of the dairy industry.
She is “very passionate about bridging the gap between the consumer and the industry,” Tscharner said.
“I would like to raise consumer awareness of the benefits of dairy on an economical and personal level,” she said.
Gallichio said she also sees herself becoming involved with the public relations, advertising and marketing side of the industry.
“I’m very much a people person, so I can see myself pursuing a mix of my passions for cows and people,” Gallichio said.
Both interns said they hope the internship will serve as a stepping stone to future success.
So far they’ve have done a great job, Costa said.
“I’m just happy to have them here,” Costa said. “They’ve been a viable asset and I know they’ll do well in the industry.”