Curriculum & Courses

The original emphasis in dairy education was practical instruction in manufacturing the major commercial products, butter and cheese, and in controlling their composition and quality. This instruction took the form of short courses for factory employees. Its success is shown by the fact that short courses and their successor -- conferences -- have been continuous since 1901, except where interrupted by major wars. The first one, lasting five weeks, was given in 1901 on the Berkeley campus and was described as "practical instruction in making butter and cheese, testing milk for fat and adulterations and operating dairy machinery. It was supplemented by lectures and recitations treating of the principles involved in modern dairy practice." There were 38 students enrolled and nine teachers, including two commercial men who are employed under the direction of Professor Anderson. A second one of six weeks was given the second year and one of eight weeks the fourth year. In 1908 the first course was given at the new campus at Davis. This type of instruction has been continued on the Davis campus to the present time. The early Dairy Manufacturing short courses at Davis were seven weeks in length. The course was described as affording "As much practical instruction in the nature and qualities of milk and cream and the manufacture of butter and cheese as the time will permit. Lectures on the secretion, composition, and handling of milk, Babcock test for butterfat in milk, cream and other dairy products; use of the lactometer; acid test; separation, pasteurization, and ripening of cream; preparation and use of starters; churning and moisture control in butter moisture and salt tests in butter; overrun; dairy bacteriology; various phases in the making of the California and cheddar types of cheese' scoring of butter and cheese, creamery accounting, creamery management; steam engine, boilers, motors, pumps, and improvement of dairy cattle and practice in judging." The subject matter was soon expanded to include milk and ice cream manufacture. The duration of the short courses was soon reduced to 10 days. This schedule prevailed until 1931 when five days was adopted. This was later changed to three days, the present length of the Dairy Industry Conference. The shortening of the schedule and the revision of its nature was made possible by technical advancement of the industry. Trained men were available in most dairy plants to instruct new employees in the rudiments of dairy processing and the level of the University instruction was set at that needed by trained and experienced personnel. Lectures on various technical subjects given by the faculty and by invited guest lecturers from other institutions and from industry predominated. However, some practical instruction was also included until the disruption caused by World War II.

Following World War II, the first Dairy Industry Conference was held in February 1947. Conferences are still being held annually even though the Department was dissolved in 1959. Several thousand students from commercial dairy plants have enrolled during these years with an average attendance since 1947 of about 400 and the technical competence of the enrollees has increased to where the present makeup of the Conference members encompasses the top production and technological personnel in the state.

An offshoot of the short courses is the California Dairy Industries Association. In 1917 an informal meeting of those attending the short course was held. This meeting resulted in the formation of a organization under the name of "California Butter, Cheese, and Ice Cream Makers Association." The name was changed in 1924 to the present one. This organization is unique among those with similar aims in that membership is individual and open to all people associated with the dairy industry. Form a beginning of 21 charter members the association has frown to over 1300 with 11 geographical local sections throughout the state.

The California Dairy Industries Association has contributed significantly to the short courses and conferences by suggestions as to subject matter and speakers, active support in publicity and attendance, and occasionally with financial aid for out-of-state speakers.

Non-degree courses. The first complete long-term three year course in Dairy Industry was opened in January 1909. Applicants were required to be at least 15 years of age an to present a diploma from grammer school. Those not holding such a diploma were required to pass an examination in grammer school subjects. The entrance requirements were soon changed to 18 years of age and high school diploma graduation or an entrance examination in arithmetic and English. Evidence of good moral character and a satisfactory recommendation from the previous schools also was required.

The course of study was the same for all students the first year and was divided into Horticulture Group and an Animal Husbandry Group for the second and third years. Dairy Industry was part of the Animal Husbandry Group.

Some electives in fruits, history, English, dairy manufacture and poultry were available. One hundred and twenty units were required for graduation, and, in addition, four months practice in approved commercial work, and presence at the Commencement exercises.

The name of the Farm School Course was changed in 1922 to the Non-Degree Curriculum. Three years of instruction were still offered but only to those students who had only the equivalent of grammer school education. Supposedly, one year was intended to make up high school deficiencies. The regular non- degree course was intended for high school graduates and was expected to be completed in two years. However, all the major work in one subject could be taken in one year.

The format of the non-degree, or two year curricula, as it was later called, was little changed through the years except in minor details. Additional courses were added and the original courses were upgraded as science and technology progressed. However, emphasis remained on practical instruction to equip the graduate for vocational positions in commercial agriculture or food processing. This program was discontinued in 1954 with the availability of comparable instruction in State and Junior Colleges throughout the state and the necessity of using the facilities of the University for degree and graduate instruction.

The Farm School Course and its successor, the non-degree or two-year course, filled an important and valuable need in the development of California agriculture and, in particular, the dairy industry. Occurring at a time in the development of the industry when practices were based largely on rule-of-thumb and often the prejudices of a dominant supervisor, this type of instruction introduced methods based on scientific knowledge and provided trained personnel to install these methods efficiently. The result was a rapid improvement in processing practices and in product quality. The Davis graduates soon became employed in most of the dairy factories and regulatory agencies of the state. Many of them rose to major executive positions where their decisions still shape the future of the industry.

It is difficult to estimate the number of students who enrolled in these courses during their existence. However, the "depression" days of the 1930's were the times of largest enrollment. In the author's own experience, he personally had enrolled in his classes in 1937-38 about 200 first-year Dairy Industry majors. It is safe to day that over half the students were the major factors in this situation. There were a large number of relatively small dairy plants in California, requiring personnel with some technical training in order to operate efficiently and to turn out a marketable product. And, because of the depressed condition of industry and agriculturally generally, a graduate in dairy industry had a fair chance of getting a job that had some opportunity for advancement and paid steady wages. Thus, the competition was keen and the students were generally serious about their work. These curricula served a very useful purpose in their day and their importance to California cannot be overestimated. The Degree Curriculum Courses in dairying relating to the care and handling of milk have been offered continuously by the University of California since 1902 for "University Students," as they were called to distinguish them from "Farm School Students." A major curriculum in Dairy Industry was established on the new Davis campus in 1908 and the number of courses was increased. Courses continued to be given on the Berkeley Campus in Dairy Bacteriology, Milk Inspection and Sanitary Milk, Principles of Dairy, and Dairy Plant Management until 1919.

The Dairy Industry major had the following requirements: 130 units were required for graduation, including 36 units of Upper Division courses distributed as follows: Major subject, 10 units; thesis in major subject, 4 units; courses related to major subject, 10 units; Agriculture, 12 units. In addition, each student was required to take summer practice in connection with his major subject before beginning his junior year.

It should be noted that this curriculum depended heavily on science and technology courses, thus offering little opportunity for broadening the student's outlook in liberal arts and humanities. This strong emphasis on science and technology continued throughout the existence of the Dairy Industry Department in spite of efforts on the part of several faculty members, including the author, to liberalize the curriculum. The inertia of the status quo and the indoctrination of the majority -- or at least the most vociferous -- of the staff members in the science/technology ethic has proven formidable.

In 1922, group majors were installed on the Davis Campus and Dairy Industry became part of the Animal Industries group, together with Agricultural Engineering, Animal Husbandry, Poultry Husbandry and Veterinary Science. The group was modified in 1928 to include only Animal Husbandry, Dairy Industry, and Poultry Husbandry and the name was changed to Animal Science. The requirements of the Animal Science Curriculum, while providing an excellent core of subjects for specialists in animal production, illustrate again the narrowness of the subject matter.

While there was a minimum of 12 upper division unites in the major, most students, either by choice or by pressure from the advisor, took considerably more resulting in little time justify for courses of broadening nature. Courses offered on the Davis Campus other than science and technology were few at this time. They consisted of three courses in English, apart from practical use of grammer and composition, and one course in American Institutions which was required.

Following World War II, the burgeoning of Food Technology and the increasing divergence between Dairy Industry and animal production made regrouping of departments into common fields of study desirable. Consequently, in 1949 a curriculum in Food Science was established encompassing Dairy Industry, Enology, and Food Technology.

It should be noted that there has been an apparent broadening of the course requirements to include liberal arts and humanities, but the overall effect was still rather small. It was now possible for the student to take a considerable variety of courses on the Davis Campus with the growth of the College of Letters and Science, but with a requirement of 6 units of electives in such courses was a mere "drop in the bucket" and the exigencies of fulfilling the science and technology requirements because of scheduling prerequisites, etc., precluded little more than the bare minimum. Specific Courses in Dairy Industry Apart from a series of lectures by Wickson and an abbreviated course by Jaffa, the first degree course given by Professor Jaffa on the Berkeley campus in 1904-1905 was "Chemistry of Dairying" accompanies by a laboratory course in analysis of milk and dairy products and the detection of adulteration. With the development of degree work at Davis a full complement of courses had evolved by 1912.

Even though the same pattern of courses persisted for 35 years there was major modification in subject matter in all areas. The body of knowledge in the field became systematized and a set of principles based on science was established. Whereas initially it was necessary to emphasize even minor detail because the scientific interrelations were not clear, later, only major principles needed to be dealt with, and the application to details followed as a natural sequence.

A change in general philosophy of organizing the subject matter was introduced in the early 1950's. Until that time emphasis had been on the major commodities -- butter, cheese, ice cream and market milk -- but with the growing importance of many other products it became impractical to institute courses in each one. Thus, in the "Products" courses, a modified chemical engineering approach was adopted whereby the emphasis was placed on processing techniques and their application to all products. This change from the traditional commodity approach was the subject of much discussion throughout the dairy science community, but has now come to be adopted in essence by most universities. Graduate Study Advanced studying leading to the degree of Master of Science was begun in 1925. The official designation of the work in Dairy Industry under this program was Agricultural Technology II. A similar type of program was undertaken by the Department of Fruit Products (later Food Technology) on the Berkeley campus as Agricultural Technology I. The difference between them was that Ag. Tech. I required a research thesis, which Ag. Tech. II required 24 units of upper division and graduate courses and a comprehensive final examination. With the adoption of the Food Science curriculum in 1949 the name of the graduate field for the M.S. degree was also changed to Food Science. Likewise, under Food Science the student could follow either Plan I or Plan II.

Approximately 30 persons completed the requirements for the M.S. degree in the Dept. of Dairy Industry, and several continued on for the Ph.D.