Chatham, VA - Isaac Hammock is a humble man who loves working with his cows. He says being selected as the Outstanding Senior in his major came as a bit of a shock."Didn't really expect it all that much. There was an excellent group of seniors that graduated this year and I was lucky to be part of it," he said.
Isaac has been around farming all his life. His father owns a dairy farm in Chatham with 700 cows. The proud parents say their son had his sights set on Virginia Tech from a young age.
"That was the only place he wanted to go, the only place he applied to after high school to go to college," said his father, Nathan Hammock.
At first, he considered veterinary school. Then, Hammock learned about the Dairy Sciences Program and says he knew it was the perfect fit.
"It just made sense. It was the obvious choice. With one of the best dairy departments in the nation there, it was easy to do a lot of good work, " Isaac said.
"He learned why we did some of the things at the dairy that we were doing and would start explaining to me how maybe we could improve upon what we were doing there, " his father said.
Now that he's back home, Isaac performs ultrasounds on pregnant cows and uses electronic databases to keep track of everything from milking to births.
For him, anything he can do to increase productivity in the family business is the greatest reward.
"We're always expanding. As long as you continue to do that, you'll stay ahead, " said Isaac.
Isaac and his Dad are currently in the process of building a new barn to house 400 more cows, and they're working on designing a new milking parlor that should be ready within the next few years.