With a commitment to bringing the latest research and practical expertise to the farm, Vita Plus recently welcomed four new members to the dairy technical services team. These individuals will work closely with consultants throughout the upper Midwest to help troubleshoot on-farm challenges and provide customized solutions to meet producers' goals.
Pat Hoffman joins Vita Plus as a dairy technical support specialist. His responsibilities will include training and mentoring of new consultants, authoring articles for trade publications, and coordinating dairy field trials or sponsored research. Hoffman recently received professor emeritus status after completing a 35-year career with the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science. Based at the Marshfield Ag Research Station, Hoffman's UW-Extension services included application of dairy research and the development of dairy outreach education programs. His research focused on development of dairy replacement heifers. Hoffman earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Platteville and his master's in dairy science from UW-Madison. He is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and previously served as president of the Midwest Branch.
Dr. Nicole Barkley joins Vita Plus as a dairy nutritionist, serving customers in central and western Wisconsin. She will provide technical leadership to Vita Plus and dealer consultants in the area and assist with on-farm troubleshooting. She will also share her expertise with other technical staff members and assist in companywide projects. Barkley earned her bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Idaho and her master's in animal science from the University of Missouri. She continued her education at the University of Missouri and earned her Ph.D. in animal science in 2013. Her research focused on the effects of feed additive supplementation on transition cow energy balance, production variables and health.
Augusta Hagen will work as a dairy specialist in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. She will provide technical leadership and training to consultants in the area and share nutrition and management expertise through companywide projects. Hagen recently earned her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through the Vita Plus Dairy Nutrition and Management Fellowship. She earned her bachelor's degree in animal science with an agribusiness emphasis at UW-Platteville. While there, she gained consulting experience through the Vita Plus Dairy Technical Extended Internship. Hagen is an alumna of the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority and currently serves on the planning committee for Cows on the Concourse in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dr. Noah Litherland was named dairy youngstock technical specialist. Based in Madison, he will consult with calf and heifer raisers to troubleshoot on-farm challenges, provide recommendations based on farm records analysis, assist in product development, and lead training for Vita Plus staff, dealers, and customers. Litherland grew up on his family's dairy farm in Illinois. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from the University of Illinois. He also earned his Ph.D. in dairy cattle nutrition from the University of Illinois in 2006. Litherland worked as an assistant professor and dairy extension specialist at Oklahoma State University. Most recently, he was an assistant professor and dairy cattle nutritionist for the University of Minnesota, where he also served as a faculty supervisor of the 130-cow herd at the St. Paul Dairy Teaching and Research Unit.