Out of over 100 applicants, animal science major Conor McCabe ’18 — who was interested in livestock far before entering college — has been selected as one of three winners of the Lallemand Forward Scholarship, which supports the next generation of animal agriculture students.
“When I applied, I didn’t think there was anything I could lose from it,” McCabe said. “Going into it, I thought I had a chance given my experiences and accomplishments, but I was surprised by how selective it was.”
As president of the Student Affiliate Division of the American Dairy Science Association, McCabe serves as a liaison between the students and the board of directors.
“[The American Dairy Science Association] is the leader in that it publishes the Journal of Dairy Science, which is the largest collection of dairy science literature in the industry,” McCabe said. “I previously attended a conference with them called the Joint Annual Meeting, which occurred in Salt Lake City in July.”
In his application for the Lallemand Forward Scholarship, McCabe said he drew inspiration from the conference in answering the question: “What’s the biggest challenge agriculture is faced with today?”
In his essay, he chose to write about his concern that decisions about agriculture technology are made based on emotions, rather than facts.
“The topic I wrote about was consumer misconceptions preventing agriculture technology from advancing — how maybe consumers are more tied to emotional responses rather than scientific ones when it comes to agriculture and food production,” McCabe said. “That’s definitely a common trend now with different restaurants and advertisements giving claims that at the end of the day don’t really mean anything scientifically.”
In continuing his studies at Cornell, McCabe said he hopes to attend a graduate program in dairy cow nutrition and pursue research and development in animal health nutrition.
“In that career field, there is a lot of innovation,” McCabe said. “I think that innovation research is going to help produce the future of agriculture: how food will be produced with continual improvements upon the system we currently have.”