University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Centennial Staff Profiles

 Name Alex Souza
Enjoying the outdoors with family near Tulare
 Title Dairy Advisor
 Location UCCE Tulare County
 Time with ANR 4 months
 Typical Day The interesting part of being a dairy advisor is that today you might be in the office writing a research proposal and on the next day you can be out in a dairy farm talking to farmers and their consultants or giving a talk in a workshop or a congress. Thus, my days can vary a lot—I never get bored because of a set routine, that's for sure! I'll give you an example: today I'm working on a large database with dairy farm records and about 40 million records to be crunched in the attempt to set the benchmarking performance for California dairies. This will set the base for my goals as a dairy advisor. Later today I'll be attending an important meeting with industry allies. Now, tomorrow I'll be having lunch with a dairy producer who wants to implement a new technology in his dairy. It is very dynamic. Besides, whenever I come across something I have no clue about, there is always someone who can help. So, I get to interact and learn from many knowledgeable colleagues here at UC system and elsewhere. I'm having a good time!

 Most Memorable Moment I started only 4 months ago, but I already have some good stories to tell. Now, I really enjoy listening to more experienced dairy advisors and farmers telling me about how things were run in the old times—somehow and despite all the challenges, they manage to get things accomplished, mostly through creativity and hard work. Along those lines, recently I was visiting an older advisor in Southern California and learning about how things are changing in the dairy industry; it was a simple car ride while talking and looking at dairies, but definitely a great learning experience.

 What I love Most About Working for ANR I like having opportunities to interact, learn and work with professionals in the dairy industry in California. I have been visiting dairy herds in over 50 countries worldwide while doing research and working in private industry, and I'm convinced that producers in California are amongst the best producers I had the chance to interact with—so I think what I love the most is to spend time visiting/working with these great herds I see here in California! We can't find this anywhere else in the world!!!

 My Story The dairy industry in California has always played an important role in my career. I had several professors at the vet school and even later during my MS and PhD programs who used the dairy industry in California as a reference for technical knowledge and efficiency. In addition to that, I have been visiting herds here in California since 2007, and I knew then how strong the dairy industry in California actually was. Once I saw the dairy advisor job posting, I made a few phone calls to find out more about the position and realized that I should definitely try. The profile for the position was right, I knew the Central Valley fairly well, had several friends in the area, and wanted to come back to academia! I'm glad it worked out—this is my story.

Here's to another 100 years of science and service!

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