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Charles “Chuck” Ahlem, Dairy Farmer, Charles Ahlem Ranch

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Charles Ahlem has played an important role in shaping the California dairy industry. As the owner of Charles Ahlem Ranch in Turlock, CA, he leads by example, becoming one of the first dairymen to install a rotary milking parlor and many other innovative practices over the years. Ahlem is a founding co-owner of Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. and Hilmar Ingredients, and is a founding member of Jerseyland Sires. In 2004, he was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as the California Department of Food and Agriculture Undersecretary. Ahlem currently serves the California dairy sector as the Chairman of Dairy Cares and the Secretary of the California Dairy Research Foundation.

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Secretary Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 9, 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom. In re-appointing Secretary Ross, Governor Newsom cited her unmatched leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California, in areas including environmental stewardship, climate change adaptation, and trade. Secretary Ross was initially appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2011.


Secretary Ross has strengthened partnerships across government, academia and the non- profit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change. She has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices through water conservation, energy efficiency, nutrient management, and ecosystem services; and she has worked to provide greater access to farm-fresh foods at school cafeterias through CDFA’s Farm to Fork Program


Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

Michael Boccadoro has participated in California’s environmental policy arena for more than 30 years. He specializes in public affairs consulting and has distinctive expertise in the areas of environmental, climate, natural resources, and sustainability management. As president of West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is responsible for overseeing the firm’s climate and sustainability practices. Boccadoro has served as the executive director of Dairy Cares since its inception 20 years ago and is a leading national expert on sustainable dairy production. Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition of dairy farmers, processors, and trade associations that works to help advance sustainable practices on California’s family dairy farms. Additionally, Boccadoro serves as executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association and the California Creamery Operators Association. Boccadoro received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of California, Davis. 

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Mary Ledman, Global Sector Strategist – Dairy, Rabobak

Mary Ledman joined RaboResearch as ‘Global Sector Strategist – Dairy’ based in the Chicago office in January 2018. Mary is a thought leader who has extensive knowledge of international dairy markets and policy with over thirty years of experience in the sector, including USDA, Kraft Foods, Stella Foods, and the publisher of the Daily Dairy Report. 

As Rabobank’s Dairy Strategist, Mary leads a team of seven analysts around the globe and is tasked with analysing developments in the regional and global dairy markets, developing the bank’s medium-term dairy forecasts and advising the bank on its engagement with the dairy industry.

Mary holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. In addition, she received Fulbright Scholarship to conduct comparative research on U.S. and European dairy policies at the University of Goettingen, Germany.

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Donald Moore, Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform 

Donald is the Executive Director of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP), based in Chicago USA, and serves as Chairman of the Dairy Sustainability Framework, as a leader of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative, and as a member of the UN Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) Guiding Group. He is the past Chairman of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). GDP is a not-for-profit industry association representing the global dairy sector. GDP membership which includes ~100 leading cooperatives, companies, associations, scientific bodies, and other partners, has operations in more than 150 countries and collectively produces more than one third of all the world’s milk. GDP’s work programme spans Nutritional Security, Sustainability, Dairy Development, Marketing/ Communications and engaging on behalf of the dairy sector with the United Nations agenda.  
Before joining GDP in 2010, Donald spent 10 years with Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. in a variety of roles including Managing Director, Oceania; Director, Business Development and Director, Ingredients Marketing. While with Fonterra Donald represented the cooperative on the boards of many of its joint venture businesses in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe. Prior to his involvement in the dairy sector, Donald spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand’s largest independent business and information management consulting firm where he oversaw its international expansion, opening offices across South East Asia. Born in Northern Ireland, Donald emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970’s and then moved to the United States to join Global Dairy Platform in 2010.


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Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, University of California, Davis

Dr. Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. As such, he shares his knowledge and research, both domestically and abroad, with students, scientists, farmers and ranchers, policy makers, and the public at large. Frank is also director of the CLEAR Center, which has two cores – research and communications. The CLEAR Center brings clarity to the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment, helping our global community understand the environmental and human health impacts of livestock, so we can make informed decisions about the foods we eat and while reducing environmental impacts. 


John Tauzel, Senior Director, Global Agriculture Methane, Environmental Defense Fund

John Tauzel is the senior director for Global Agriculture Methane at EDF. He facilitates EDF’s work to focus attention on the critical climate issue of agriculture methane, to spur development of innovative solutions to cut on-farm methane emissions, and to find pathways to support farmers in adopting new technologies and practices. 

Bringing experience in environmental policy, agribusiness, entrepreneurship and the commercialization of livestock health solutions to the role, John is passionate about helping farmers improve the economic and environmental sustainability of their farms to deliver global food security. He believes strongly in the power of co-created solutions to fight climate change. 

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Amy DeLisio, CEO, Dairy Council of California

Amy DeLisio, MPH, RDN, serves as CEO of Dairy Council of California, bringing a wealth of executive and professional expertise to the position. Amy previously served as the executive director for the Center for Wellness and Nutrition, Public Health Institute, where she grew the program over the last seven years leading more than 30 staff members towards a noteworthy cause. Three years prior to that, Amy served as a program director for the Public Health Institute.


Dr. Caree J. Cotwright, Director of Nutrition Security & Health Equity, United States Department of Agriculture 

Caree Jackson Cotwright, PhD, RDN, LD serves as director of nutrition security and heath equity for the Food and Nutrition Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this role, Dr. Cotwright leads a whole-of-Department approach to advancing food and nutrition security. She also serves as one of two Departmental representatives on accelerating action on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health goals to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce diet-related diseases and disparities and implementing the corresponding National Strategy. Her work includes building public awareness of USDA’s actions to advance food and nutrition security, as well as collaborating and building partnerships with key stakeholders to maximize our reach and impact. Dr. Cotwright is on leave as associate professor of nutritional sciences in the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Department of Nutritional Sciences. 

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Angela Anderson, Director, Sustainable Dairy, Starbucks

Angela Anderson is the Director of Sustainable Dairy at Starbucks, where she leads the development of a comprehensive sustainable dairy program focusing on environmental stewardship, animal care, and farmer and workforce well-being. She also serves as the lead strategist for enterprise sustainability in Starbucks' global supply chain, advising on carbon reduction and water conservation initiatives crucial for meeting the company's 2030 targets. Angela collaborates with teams globally, including in the U.S., China, and UK, to drive carbon improvements through farm partnerships. 

Prior to Starbucks, Angela served as the Vice President of Customer Outreach at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, where she built relationships with retail, foodservice, and CPG brands to advance social responsibility and regenerative agriculture initiatives. With almost two decades of experience in sustainability leadership, Angela specializes in fostering collaboration and partnerships within the agriculture value chain. She holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Public Service and Administration in Agriculture from Iowa State University. 

Angela typically starts her day at a Starbucks store, sampling drinks suggested by retail partners. Her go-to order is a grande blonde americano with cinnamon dolce and a splash of heavy cream. 

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Darrin Monteiro, Vice President, Sustainability and Member Relations, California Dairies, Inc.

Darrin Monteiro is the Vice President of Sustainability & Member Relations for California Dairies, Inc. He manages CDI’s sustainability team that develops and maintains key sustainability metrics throughout the supply chain, from the farm to the customer. Additionally, he engages with customers, identifying and securing value-add opportunities on behalf of CDI and our member-owners. Darrin also manages the CDI field team and government relations for the company.  With nearly 25 years of experience in the industry, he started his career on his family farm, Monteiro Bros. Dairy. Prior to joining CDI, Darrin worked for the USDA – Farm Service Agency.  

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Jeffery Simmons, CEO, ELanco Animal Health 

Jeff Simmons serves as President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health (NYSE: ELAN), an independent animal health leader with the ability to reach the world’s animals – specifically 19 species in nearly 100 countries. The Elanco team has established a unique innovation engine grounded in a higher purpose: Food and Companionship Enriching Life. Elanco’s Farm Animal business focuses on helping farmers and veterinarians raise healthy livestock to make food safer. Elanco is also a pioneer within livestock sustainability and is developing and delivering a portfolio of new products and solutions designed to make a tangible, positive impact on reducing climate warming. As an advocate for animal agriculture, Jeff is active with HealthforAnimals (H4A) and FFA at the national levels. His board roles reflect his passions for food security with HATCH for Hunger™; commitment to livestock sustainability creating climate neutral farms this decade with AgriNovus; enabling leaders to thrive with Edge Mentoring; and the human-animal bond with IU Health. 

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Mark Van Nieuwland, Vice President of Bovaer, DSM-Firmenich  

Mark is global VP for Bovaer®, the leading technology to reduce enteric methane emissions from cattle, and thereby makes a significant contribution to fighting global warming and delivering on the Global Methane Pledge.​​ In this role he oversees the Bovaer® activities globally, covering innovation, regulatory, commercialization and manufacturing. Together with his team, he aims to further enhance sustainability of ruminant sector through innovations, such as methane inhibitors. He works closely with the dairy and beef sector as well as the retail and food services sector to support the successful introduction and commercialization of those innovations.​​ For his work, Mark was recently recognized by TIME Magazine as a Top 100 “Most Influential Climate Leader in Business”. ​​

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Charles Brooke, Program Lead, Enteric Methane, Spark Climate Solutions 

Charles Brooke is the program Lead for Enteric Methane at Spark Climate Solutions, and coordinator for the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator’s Science Oversight Committee. Charles served as the lead scientist for short lived climate pollutants within the executive office of the California Department of Food and Agriculture where he created and managed the first state program to support enteric methane research. Charles is a Microbiologist and his research has focused on the evaluation of feed additives for enteric methane mitigation, rumen microbiome responses and the discovery of novel microbial compounds. 

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John Talbot, CEO, California Milk Advisory 

John Talbot brings more than 25 years of marketing and brand management experience to his role as CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) where he focuses on building awareness and demand for California dairy products across the U.S. and around the world. Mr. Talbot began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble before joining Pepsi-Cola where he spent 12 years in a variety of brand management and product development roles. His background in consumer products also includes 2 years leading new product development for E&J Gallo Winery and 3 years running global market development for the Almond Board of California. 


Patrick Pulupa, Executive Officer, Central Valley Water Board 

Patrick Pulupa started his career as an attorney representing the Board, advising the Board as it endeavored to find equitable solutions for the diverse water quality issues facing the Central Valley. As the Board’s Executive Officer, Patrick works to ensure the Board achieves its vision of ensuring that the Valley’s aquifers and surface waters meet or exceed water quality necessary to support all beneficial uses, and that all communities have access to safe, affordable, and resilient water supplies. 

Patrick has a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and received his J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law (King Hall). 

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J.P. Cativiela, Administrator, Regulatory Director/ Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program, Dairy Cares

J.P. Cativiela has served as director of environmental regulatory affairs for the Dairy Cares coalition since 2001. Cativiela also serves as administrator of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a not-for-profit organization of more than 1,100 Central Valley dairy families assembled to conduct monitoring and develop recommendations for groundwater protection. Cativiela is a principal of Cogent Consulting and Communications, Inc., based in Sacramento.

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Virginia Jameson, Deputy Secretary for Climate & Working Lands, California Department of Food and Agriculture 

Virginia Jameson is Deputy Secretary for Climate and Working Lands at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing CDFA’s contribution to California’s strategy to address climate change. Prior to CDFA, Jameson served as Climate and Conservation Program Manager at the California Department of Conservation where she managed a variety of programs including the Sustainable Agriculture Lands Conservation Program, the California Farmland Conservancy Program, and the Transformative Climate Communities Program, among others. Prior to that, she served as Deputy State Director for American Farmland Trust’s California office, where she led the organization’s state policy advocacy efforts. Prior to that, Jameson was a Management Specialist for the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office in 2012, a Board Aide for Monterey County Office of District 4 Supervisor Jane Parker. She also served as Associate Director of the Ag Land Trust in Salinas from 2009 to 2011. Jameson holds a Dual Master of Arts in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University and the United Nations University for Peace, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. 


Justin Gioletti, Dairy Farmer, Robert Gioletti & Sons, Inc.

Justin Gioletti is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Turlock, California.  He and his family own and operate Robert Gioletti & Sons Dairy, Inc.  He also serves as a board member of California Dairies, Inc., and is the chairman of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program. Justin resides in Turlock with his wife, Fatima, and their three children. 


Steven Rowe, President, BioFilter

Steven Rowe has long been an impactful organizational executive and sustainability leader. He successfully led teams and organizations in various business sectors, including agriculture and global manufacturing. As the founding President and CEO of Newtrient LLC, he spearheaded initiatives to enhance sustainability in the dairy industry, driving environmental and economic progress. Before Newtrient, Rowe served in key executive roles at Darigold Inc., and led the sustainability efforts for 500 family-owned dairy farms. He has also contributed to numerous industry associations and councils, advocating for environmental stewardship and economic prosperity. Rowe holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Utah. As both an executive and legal counsel Steven brings extensive expertise to his role as Chairman of the Board at BioFiltro. 

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Jason Prapas, CEO & Founder, FYTO, Inc.

Jason Prapas is the Founder and CEO of Fyto. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the development and commercialization of products, processes, and sustainable enterprises with a specialization in agriculture, waste-to-value processes, renewable power generation, and combustion science. Jason was Director of Translational Research at MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, where he oversaw the spinout of 8 technology companies across agriculture, energy, human health, and water treatment. Prior to that, Jason was the Co-Founder and CTO of Factor[e] Ventures, an emerging markets venture capital and venture development firm. He was also a Process Engineer and Program Manager at GreenFuel Technologies, the world's first algae biofuel technology company. Dr. Prapas holds his Bachelors in Physics and Masters and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. 

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Danny Martins, Dairy Farmer, Martins Farm LP 

Danny Martins graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2003 and has since managed the operations of the family business, Martins Farm LP. He is a second-generation dairy farmer from Modesto, California. Danny currently serves as a board member on the Milk Producers Council and is owner of Martins Milk Transport LLC. He resides in Modesto, with his wife, Tiffany and three daughters, Makenna, Brielle and Camille. 


Jim Ed Beach, US Commercial Lead– Sustainable Solutions, Netafim 

Jim Ed Beach, a native of Oklahoma, grew up on a purebred cow-calf operation in the northeastern part of the state. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Agriculture Economics. With more than 25 years in the agricultural industry, Jim Ed currently serves as the US Commercial Lead, Sustainable Solutions for Netafim USA and is responsible for managing all aspects of Netafim’s Sustainable Solutions products. He primarily works with our SDI-E™ products in Dairy, Swine, and Beef. SDI-E™ repurposes manure water by utilizing Netafim’s filtration and drip irrigation technology and making multiple applications to the field throughout the year.

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Pedro Pajares, CEO, H2B2 USA, LLC

Pedro has 24+ years of experience in engineering, management, and operations in the heavy industry and energy sectors, in Europe and the US markets. During his 17 years in the US, he has been involved in the development and execution of renewable energy, biofuels, and recycling projects at project management and corporate operations levels. Pedro joined H2B2 as CEO on 2022, after one year supporting #SoHyCal as operations consultant. He holds a broad knowledge in the field of operations and management, together with strong communication and negotiation skills. 

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Ashley Rosales RDN, Nutrition and Industry Affairs Officer, Dairy Council of California

Ashley Rosales is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and the Nutrition and Industry Affairs Officer for Dairy Council of California, where she oversees strategies to improve nutrition security for children, families, and communities. Ashley specializes in nutrition across the lifespan, and advancing dairy’s unique and essential contributions within healthy, sustainable eating patterns. Her expertise includes nutrition science, policy and regulatory affairs, thought leadership, and developing multisector partnerships and collaborations. Ashley serves as a member of the International Dairy Federations Standing Committee on Nutrition and Health and is the chair of the Action Team for Dairy’s Role in Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. She is an active member of the CA Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Les Dames d'Escoffier, Sacramento, and the CA Society of Association Executives. Ashley received her degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis, completed the dietetic internship program at Napa State Hospital, holds certification in conducting ethical research, and executive association leadership. She lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband and two children.

Agenda & Bios

Thank you, Sponsors!



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Industry Supporter:

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About the Hosts:

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Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition supporting economic and environmental sustainability and responsible animal care. Our members include Bar 20 Dairy Farms, California Dairies Inc., California Dairy Campaign, California Dairy Research Foundation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Clover Sonoma, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Institute of California, F & R Ag Services, Hilmar Cheese Company, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O’Lakes, Inc, Milk Producers Council, Valley Milk, LLC, Yosemite Farm Credit, Zenith Insurance Company, and others. For information or to subscribe to the newsletter, visit

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The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, represents the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world. For more information and to connect, visit, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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The California Dairy Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit public benefit foundation with a mission to lead and deliver the best research and science-based educational and outreach programs to support an innovative and sustainable California dairy industry. For more information about CDRF and the research it supports, visit

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The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) is a voluntary and collaborative partnership between the dairy industry, academia, and others to promote the health of consumers, the health of the environment, and the health and welfare of dairy animals in the state of California. CDQAP provides educational workshops, timely information, and assistance to dairy producers focusing on the components of public health (farm security and food safety), animal care, and environmental stewardship. To learn more, visit

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Dairy Council of California is a nutrition organization working together with champions to elevate the health of children and communities through lifelong healthy eating patterns. Focusing on education, advocacy, dairy agricultural literacy and collaboration, Dairy Council of California advances the health benefits of milk and dairy foods as part of the solution to achieving nutrition security and sustainable food systems. Learn more at

Official Event Partners:

We are proud to have the support of the industry’s leading organizations, including the California Dairy Campaign, California Dairies, Inc., California Farm Bureau Federation, Clover Sonoma, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Institute of California, Hilmar Cheese Company, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Milk Producers Council, Producer’s Dairy, Joseph Gallo Farms, Valley Milk, LLC, and Western United Dairies Foundation.

Event Partners

Research Poster Presenters:

We greatly appreciate all of research poster presenters for taking the time to share their work:

  • Conor McCabe, PhD Student, UC Davis

      A Short-Term Feeding of a Blend of Quebracho and Chestnut Extracts did Not Impact Lactating Dairy Cow Methane Emissions

  • Daniela Barile, Professor, UC Davis

      Enhancing Gut and Cognitive Health with Dairy Streams

  • Jennifer Heguy, Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension

      Byproduct Usage in California Dairy Rations

  • Afroza Akter, Postdoc, UC  Davis

      Effect of Grape Pomace Supplementation on Methane Emissions and Milk Quality in Dairy Cows

  • Adolfo Coyotl, Ph.D. Student, UC Davis

      Attenuation of Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Fertigated California Perennial System under Dairy Manure Compost Application

  • Alyssa Valdez, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Riverside

      Deciphering Methane Emission Source Dynamics in Central Valley Dairy: A Comprehensive Isotopic Analysis Approach

  • Michael Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Davis

      Anaerobic Digestion Reduces Manure Management CH4 Emissions from a California Dairy Farm

  • Ian Nielsen, PhD Student, Researcher, UC Davis

      Production of Pelletized and Granulized Products from Dairy Manure Solids

  • Abdolhossein Edalati, PhD Student, UC Davis; Dept Bio & Ag Engineering

      Production & Application of Loose & Pelletized Compost from Dairy Manure & Almond Waste as Soil Amendment on CA Almond Orchards

  • Stephen Kaffka, Emeritus Professor of Cooperative Extension, UC Davis

      Safflower as a winter forage for water-stressed dairies in the San Joaquin Valley

  • Jonathan Hollist, Research and Development Engineer, Western Cooling Efficiency Center, UC Davis

      Optimizing Cooling Controller of Dairy Cows to Conserve Water and Energy


  • Pandey Pramod, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Davis

      Microwave based methods and apparatus for reducing pathogens, and controlling GHG emissions from manure

Research Posters
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