Dr. Eric Schwab Director of Dairy Research and Product Management Vita PlusMadison, Wisconsin
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I earned my master’s degree and Ph.D. in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I earned my bachelor’s degrees in dairy management and resource economics from the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
Please describe your agricultural background.
As a child growing up in New Hampshire, my family visited relatives’ farms here in Wisconsin. Mom and Dad grew up on small Wisconsin farms, and several were in operation until the 1980s. Dad held a faculty position with UNH for more than 30 years and conducted research in dairy nutrition.
What territory will you cover?
I will be based at our office in Madison, Wisconsin, but work with Vita Plus staff, customers and industry partners throughout our entire market area in the Upper Midwest.
What are your new responsibilities?
I will oversee and facilitate any dairy research or field trials that pertain to mature dairy cows. I will also stay current with and evaluate university research and implement this information in company-wide educational opportunities.
In addition, I will serve as the primary liaison with our vendors. I will evaluate and reevaluate the science behind both internal and external product offerings to determine their potential application in our business.
Finally, I will continue to work directly with dairy herds. Having responsibility where the rubber meets the road keeps you grounded!
What previous positions have you held?
I spent eight years as a Vita Plus field consultant, working directly with dairy producers and providing technical support.
Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
Thanks to my father, I developed a deep interest in ruminant nutrition at a young age. One of my first jobs was weighing orts at the UNH research farm. I have joked that while Mom read “Dick and Jane” books to me as a baby, Dad read Max Kleiber’s Fire of Life.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I will help Vita Plus provide consultants and dealer partners with the best skills, knowledge and technology to serve dairy producers.
Why did you choose this company?
I chose Vita Plus because its values are aligned with my own.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
We are in a service-focused business. It’s all about doing what is right for our customers. The needs of the consultants and customers that we serve continue to evolve at a rapid rate as new technologies and strategies emerge. My goal is to help make sure we have the best research, information and products we can to help our customers succeed. PD