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About Our Site:

This project was made possible through Smith Lever funds from the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the support provided by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. The purpose of this project was to increase the resources available for high schools students interested in exploring careers in the animal industry. The paths after graduation are broad and this site aims to help students refine their choices so they find an optimal match for their post H.S. training. The content was developed through literature reviews, focus groups with students, key informant interviews, and pilot testing.


Dana Palmer
Sr. Extension Associate
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Cornell University

Dana earned a B.S. from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree from Cornell University in Animal Science. She has served as coordinator for the youth extension outreach program of the Animal Science Department since 2001. Overall, Dana has been involved in Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development work for over twenty years. Prior to filling the state extension position, she was the county 4-H program coordinator for Tompkins County, where she provided programming leadership in animal and plant sciences, and also initiated 4-H veterinary science special interest activities in collaboration with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dana serves as project leader for the animal careers website team. The site concept was developed out of an expressed need by hundreds of pre-college students seeking advice about how to prepare for and focus their career interests and talents.

Deborah Grusenmeyer
Sr. Extension Associate
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Cornell University

Deborah has an A.S. degree from Morrisville State College, a B.S. and a Master’s degree in Animal Science from Cornell University. After finishing her degree at Morrisville State College, she spent 10 years as the herd manager for a progressive 3,000 cow dairy farm in central New York until she joined the Animal Science Department in 1998, where she provides leadership for developing, coordinating and implementing the New York State Dairy Youth programs. Debbie is also the director of the New York State Junior Dairy Leader Program, which is a year-long program designed for youth who have an interest in exploring careers in the dairy industry. The program builds their leadership skill, along with providing personal, professional and career planning.


Linda Poppleton
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Cornell University

Linda earned her B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University and has worked at Cornell since 1981. Starting out as a programmer for the Northeast Dairy Records Processing Lab, then later taking a job with the Animal Science department working with large databases of animal research data, her current responsibilities include webserver and database administration, as well as webmaster of the Animal Science website. Linda oversaw the web design on the project, created the database and wrote the applicatons that are the core of the project.

Erin Smith, PhD

Erin earned her B.S. in Human Development with a minor in Education from Cornell in 2010. She obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University at Buffalo, and later earned her PhD at the University of Louisville. She began working on this project as a Cornell undergraduate in the fall of 2009. Her interest in agriculture education and her vast experience in web design made her a perfect fit for this team. She worked to develop the design and layout of this website and assisted Katie with the content development and organization.

Katie Schoenberg, PhD

Katie earned her B.S. in Animal Science at Cornell in 2003 and her Ph.D. in 2011. In the interim, she conducted research at the Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., and was a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland Department of Animal Science, where she earned a Masters Degree. Katie has worked with a wide variety of species, including dairy cattle, tortoises and poultry. As a post-doc at Cornell, she studied the metabolism of dairy cattle. Katie’s interest in youth development began through work with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Youth Development program as a Cornell undergraduate. She was primarily involved in helping to develop the content for the website.

Julie Huzzey, PhD

Julie completed a B.S. in Agroecology in 2003 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, and later went on to work at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Center as a research technician. While at the dairy center Julie worked in the area of dairy cow behavior and welfare and in 2006 earned a M.S. in Animal Science with the UBC Animal Welfare Program. At Cornell University Julie worked in the area of dairy welfare, health and management but also looked for opportunities to engage with the pubic about topics in agriculture and animal science. Julie worked on content development and organization for this website.

Maris McCarthy, PhD

Maris earned a B.S. in Dairy Science in 2009 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California. In 2011 she completed her M.S. in Animal Science at the University of Delaware where she studied dairy cow nutrition. At Cornell University Maris worked in the area of dairy cow nutrition and metabolism. Her interest in agriculture extension began while working on her M.S. and she looks forward to continued involvement in the development of this website.

Kristen Davis, PhD

Kristen earned her B.S. in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 2009. As an undergraduate, she gained a broad exposure to science from working with nutrition studies with pigs to assisting genetic research working with fruit flies. Her passion for research led her to pursue a graduate program with the Animal Science Department at Cornell University. As a PhD candidate, she investigated how cellular processes influence milk production in transgenic mice. Her involvement with continuing the content development for the website evolved from her interests in educating youth about the possibilities of careers working with animals.