Q. What is CREAM?
A. CREAM is a two semester, eight credit class offered by UNH in which 15-20 students work together to manage a dairy herd. CREAMers are responsible for the health, breeding, milk production, feeding and costs of running a working dairy herd.
Q. How is CREAM run?
A. An elected President mediates committee meetings which all students and professors attend twice a week. Decisions affecting the whole group are decided upon democratically at these meetings. In addition, each student will spend 1/3 of the year in one of three groups responsible for the details of breeding, milk production and herd health, and finance.
Q. What is the time commitment involved with CREAM?
A. The committee meetings take up two hours, twice a week. Chores take up 2-4 hours during the weekdays, and students must also complete 8-10 weekend shifts a semester. Each student also takes on the role of herdsperson for 3-4 weeks of the academic year. During this time students spend more time in the barn, where they are monitoring herd health and administering treatments as necessary.
Q. What are chores?
A. Every student takes on two chore shifts every week, as well as 8-10 weekend shifts which can be covered at any time during the semester. Every shift lasts as long as it takes to feed and milk the cows, usually about an hour and a half. Shifts are currently twice a day from starting at 3:30 am and 2:40 pm. If enough students are registered for the class shifts may be three times a day. Two to three students work together on most shifts. Students have proven it is possible to do the 3:30 am shift and get A's on exams that same morning!
Q. How is CREAM graded?
A. CREAMers are not graded upon how well they can retain information; they are graded on how well they can apply information. There are no required readings and no exams. Every student grades their peers, but the professors have the final say. Cream students recieve one final grade on their transcipt for the class in the spring and no grade is recorded during the fall.
Q. What will I learn in CREAM?
A. In addition to learning how to manage a functional business and work as a team, you will get hands-on experience in genetics, milking, feeding, recognizing diseases, administering some medications, and developing alternatives for anything that needs improvement. CREAMers have considerable latitude in choosing the topics that they learn about, and the guest speakers to teach them.
Q. For what majors is CREAM recommended?
A. Previous CREAMers have been Pre-Vet, Dairy Management, Equine Management, Pre-Med, Civil Engineering, Molecular- and Micro- Biology majors. The topics addressed in CREAM are pertinent in a diverse spectrum of academic fields.
Q. Are there any prerequisites? Do I need to know anything about cows?
A. No previous animal experience is needed for the class. Prospective CREAMers also have to fill out an application and meet with the advisor the semester before they intend to begin CREAM. You could visit the Fairchild UNH Dairy Research Center near the Child Development Center and ask the staff questions to gain a better understanding of the program. The Mast Road Shuttle will take you there and be sure to request to be dropped off at the Child Care Center.
Q. Why is CREAM right for me?
A. You might want to learn about agriculture or business in a practical and professional setting. You might want the chance to have a say in what you learn about. You might want to have some real hands-on learning experience. You might just want a class that looks very good on a resume. If CREAM sounds right for you, contact Drew Conroy or call (603) 862-2625.