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New Dairy Specialist At Cornell Aims To Help Farmers

Cornell Cooperative Extension has welcomed Camila Lage as its new dairy management specialist. “I really want to work with farmers to help them improve the viability of their farms along with the overall efficiency and profit,” Lage said. Submitted photo

Cooperative Extension has welcomed Camila Lage as its new dairy management specialist.

Camila Lage was hired for her experience in research regarding farms and with the dairy industry in other parts of the world, specifically Brazil, where Lage grew up.

“I went to med school in Brazil, where I also got my master’s and Ph. D.,” Lage said. “I then went into an exchange program for my Ph. D. at Penn State as a visiting scholar to improve my English and to see what the dairy industry was like in the United States. I enjoyed the U.S. and its dairy so much that I decided I wanted to stay and that’s when I applied for a job with Cornell Cooperative Extension and found my way to Chautauqua County.”

As a dairy management specialist, Lage will be working with local farmers across five counties — Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie and Steuben — for research and to help farmers figure out how to improve on each individual farm’s heard health, calving efficiency and overall productivity.

While Lage does not have a deep understanding of the region just yet — having only recently arrived at Cornell — she has found the region and the people very welcoming.

Camila Lage

“People here are just so welcoming,” Lage said. “I can see that there is a very strong dairy industry in this region, and that Cornell is here to offer their assistance when needed, but I am still working on visiting some local farms for myself.”

As she steps into her new role, Lage said her main goal is to help local dairy farmers wherever she can.

“I really want to work with farmers to help them improve the viability of their farms along with the overall efficiency and profit,” Lage said.

Accordingly, Lage said she predicts that her experience with the dairy industry in Brazil will help her to do just that.

“Coming from and being at other places helps me to know other ways that things can be done,” Lage said. “It helps me to be more creative in finding solutions and I can bring these other ways that I know of and help improve the local dairy industry in general.”

The example that Lage gave was of the strong grazing system that the industry in Brazil has, saying that this is something that she might be able to help put into effect locally as well.

Overall, Lage said she was ready to get to work to help as many local dairy farmers as possible.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Lage said. “I’m excited to get to work and to be able to reach as many people as possible. I hope people will be open for me to come out to their farms and look and interact with them, in whatever ways that it is needed.”

Lage encouraged anyone who might be willing to have her look around their farms or who might want to work with her to improve their overall efficiency to reach out. She can be contacted at cd546@cornell.edu or by calling 607-422-6788.

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