Lindsay (Collings) Ferlito Alumni Profile

What brought you to the Animal Welfare Program?

I was originally doing my BSc in Science at UBC, but I knew pretty quickly that was not my passion. Thankfully, in my 3rd year, a friend suggested I take one of Dr. Fraser’s classes and I was hooked. From then on, I started networking with the AWP and expressing my interest in becoming involved. After finishing my BSc, I accepted an internship with Agriculture Canada to work at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Center, and when that internship ended I started working for Dr. Weary and Dr. von Keyserlingk as a Research Tech at the dairy. After a year or so, I applied and started my MSc with the AWP as I recognized the international reputation the program has and knew that was where I wanted to further my education in dairy cattle welfare.

What have you been doing since graduating from the AWP?

After finishing my Masters in 2011, I moved to NY to work for Novus International where I was the C.O.W.S. Program Manager for about 5 years. In this role, I conducted on-farm cow comfort assessments for dairy farms across the US, and provided producers with feedback on their farm relative to regional benchmarks. I also provided training for farm personnel and industry members on cow comfort and lameness topics. I started with Cornell University in January 2016.

It was important to me to get my MSc in dairy cattle welfare and behavior to get a strong foundation in this area and experience conducting research. My goals now are to continue working in the industry directly with producers to help them optimize cow comfort on their farm.

In my current role with Cornell University, I am a resource for dairy producers in Northern NY. I help troubleshoot dairy management issues on their farms, organize and carryout educational programs and seminars for producers and industry members, and conduct on-farm research that will directly benefit local farmers. Given my background in animal welfare, I focus a lot on cow comfort and behavior, lameness, and barn facility design.

What advice do you have for students?

My advice for current, recent, or prospective students is to make sure to tell people what you want. When I was doing my MSc, Nina asked me what I wanted to do when I was done, and I was honest and said I wanted to keep working hands-on with cows to improve cow comfort on farms, but wasn’t sure what that could look like. When the opportunity at Novus came up, Nina knew I would be interested. A similar thing happened with my current job at Cornell University. Don’t be afraid to tell people what you are interested in and what you want!

I can be found on Linkedin here