College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Emmett Brew

Austin Weinreich

Emmett Brew - Future Dairy Cattle Farmer

Emmett Brew, a true lover of dairy farming and a gentleman with a bright future, spent his summer experiencing a one-of-a-kind opportunity that many would love to have. As a current, full-time student at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), Mr. Brew interned at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dairy Cattle Research Facility, located in Beltsville, MD.

The USDA’s Beltsville Dairy facility is designed for dairy cattle research to progress and promote dairy management and milk production. Mr. Brew was assigned the tasks of moving lactating cattle from the barn to the milking parlor, as well as feeding Total Mixed Rations (mixes of hay, grain, cotton seed, molasses, and citrus) to different groups of cattle using a mixing wagon.

Mr. Brew held a very important job at the USDA Dairy this summer. His responsibilities included making sure that the cattle were ready to be milked at the proper times, in addition to making sure feed was properly mixed, and that all cattle were fed the correct proportions to maintain proper health. While at the internship, he learned new skills including equipment operation, along with dairy cattle care and handling. Both of these helped contribute to the success of Brew’s internship throughout the summer.

According to Brew, the most enjoyable parts of the summer were tending to the animals’ needs (such as feeding), and being instrumental in the calving process. However, he ran into some unexpected events at the farm; a situation some farmers know all too well. One of the cows had to be euthanized after sustaining a serious leg injury. At the farm, Mr. Brew was involved in ongoing surgeries performed on the dairy cattle.

“Working at a research dairy farm was a great internship. I gained a lot of hands-on experience, and it helped me realize how much research goes into improving milk production in the most efficient ways.” This internship has helped Mr. Brew realize his dream and the career he would like to pursue.

The internship with the USDA offered Mr. Brew a necessary insight into his career choice. Through the highs and the lows, working on a cattle farm is where Brew wants to be.

Brew’s advisor, Meredith Epstein, stated, “It was clear during my internship visit with Emmett that he has great respect for the animals and an intimate understanding of how the research operation works. He has certainly opened doors for himself with this internship, and I look forward to seeing how the experience influences his career decisions.”

Epstein was pleased to learn that Brew has fallen in love with the prospect of a future working with dairy cattle, and Brew states that his internship has provided a more positive and insightful experience than ever imagined.

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