Staring out at a world of possibility is one of the great joys of graduating – from any college. Heading to work on a dairy farm outside Hershey, Pennsylvania where the cows feast on chocolate waste from the nearby confectionaries… that is something that seems particularly fitting for a Coby grad.
It is exactly what Holly Musser is doing, now that she’s wrapped up her degree. The PA native says she arrived in Cobleskill unsure if she wanted to work with people or with animals, but wholeheartedly in love with the dairy industry.
“I had worked on a dairy farm since I was 15,” says Musser, “and I grew to love the industry because of the range of different bits of work that go into making it work. All the work that happens just on the farm to create all these products is just part of the industry. It has so many parts.”
Musser says SUNY Cobleskill reaffirmed her love for animals. On her own she began to identify some of the other details of her dream job, should she someday have the chance to pursue it. To work with animals, you probably want to work on a farm. To have the chance to do a little bit of everything, you may want to target smaller farms. As an intern last summer, a little bit of everything was basically Musser’s job description. She thrived on it.
It is the same farm where cows munch on chocolate waste, and that offered her the job she has since accepted.
She is still learning, and says it is likely she always will be. “There’s a lot about equipment and reproduction I could expand upon,” says Musser. She is officially considered a general worker on her farm, where she splits her time working with calves and on computers.
The sweetest part of the job is the chocolate, of course, and it is actually more common than you might think for farms to mix chocolate waste into dairy cow food mixtures. Even back in Cobleskill the subject came up from time to time, mainly around discussions about nutrition.
“It is pretty normal around here. The chocolate (waste) blends right into the feed mixture. In other places, depending on the nearby industries, you’ll see candy, bakery, and even citrus waste make its way into feed. Our industry is really resourceful this way. We are just feeding cows.”