Research Professor

Dr. Julie Smith received her B.S., D.V.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. Originally from the NYC suburbs, she headed off to the ag school at Cornell and never looked back. She is married to a Vermont dairyman and has a tractor-loving son.

Dr. Julie has been with UVM since 2002 and has applied her veterinary background to programs in the areas of herd health, calf and heifer management, and agricultural emergency management.

She has conducted trainings for Extension educators, livestock producers, and community members on the risks posed by a range of animal diseases, whether they already exist in the United States, exist outside of the United States, or pose a risk to both animal and human health. In all cases, she emphasizes the importance of awareness and prevention.

As a veterinarian and spouse of a dairy farmer, Dr. Julie is well aware of the animal health and well-being concerns of dairy animals. She has been guiding undergraduate students in thinking critically about animal welfare (in the required course, ASCI 122) since Fall 2014. Her role in coordinating the educational component of Vermont Breakfast on the Farm since 2015 extends these efforts to a wider audience.

Dr. Julie is currently leading a USDA-funded multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional project, which seeks to understand the human dimensions of protecting food animal health, particularly from new, emerging, or exotic pests or diseases. Her previous research efforts studied the interactions among nutrition, growth, and immune system development in young dairy calves and explored the risk of highly contagious disease spread among Vermont dairy farms.

Research and/or Creative Works

Current Grant-Funded Projects

A Systems Approach to Securing the New England Milk Supply in the Event of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak
This three-year project (2022 – 2025) funded through the tactical sciences program of USDA NIFA aims to enhance the readiness of the dairy industry within the New England milkshed to step up biosecurity to mitigate the impacts of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) if detected anywhere in the United States. Dr. Smith is the project director.

Predicting Livestock Disease Transmission Dynamics under Alternate Biosecurity Risk Management Interventions and Behavioral Responses of Livestock Producers
This five-year project (2021 – 2026) funded through the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases program of USDA NIFA seeks to better understand and predict the risk of foreign animal disease transmission among U.S. livestock herds. The goal is to identify interventions that improve the alignment of economic incentives, increase the effectiveness of risk communication, and enhance voluntary surveillance of foreign animal disease at minimal cost to taxpayers and livestock producers. Dr. Smith is a co-principal investigator.

2020 NADPRP Secure Food Supply, New England style
This two-year project (2021 – 2023) funded through the 2020 National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program continues and extends Secure Milk Supply planning, especially regarding permitting processes, in collaboration with New England state animal health officials, private veterinarians, producers, and other industry stakeholders. See the project website for more information. Dr. Smith is the project director.


Selected publications and technical reports

Higgins, L., & Smith, J. M. 2021. Documenting development of interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers by visualizing connections. Research Evaluation, 31(1):159-172.

Merrill, S. C., Trinity, L., Clark, E. M., Shrum, T. R., Koliba, C. J., Zia, A., Bucini, G., Sellnow, T. L., Sellnow, D. D., and Smith, J. M. 2021. Message delivery strategy influences willingness to comply with biosecurity. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 8:667265.

Clark, E. M., S. C. Merrill, L. Trinity, G. Bucini, N. Cheney, O. Langle-Chimal, T. Shrum, C. Koliba, A. Zia, and J. M. Smith. 2021. Emulating agricultural disease management: Comparing risk preferences between industry professionals and online participants using experimental gaming simulations and paired lottery choice surveys. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7 Article 556668

Trinity, L., S. C. Merrill, E. M. Clark, C. J. Koliba, A. Zia, G. Bucini, and J. M. Smith. 2020. Effects of social cues on biosecurity compliance in livestock facilities: evidence from experimental simulations. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7 Article 130.

Clark, E. M., S. C. Merrill, L. Trinity, G. Bucini, N. Cheney, O. Langle-Chimal, T. Shrum, C. Koliba, A. Zia, and J. M. Smith. 2020. Using experimental gaming simulations to elicit risk mitigation behavioral strategies for agricultural disease management. PLoS One 15(3): e0228983.

Ferris, T. A., J. M. Smith, M. A. Dunckel, F. Cullens, and A. Kuschel. 2020. Designing educational farm tours to improve consumer trust in modern agriculture. Journal of Extension [On-line], 58(1) Article v58-1iw3. Available at:

Bucini, G., S. C. Merrill, E. Clark, S. M. Moegenburg, A. Zia, C. J. Koliba, S. Wiltshire, L. Trinity, and J. M. Smith. 2019. Risk attitudes affect livestock biosecurity decisions with ramifications for disease control in a simulated production system. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 6 Article 196.

Merrill, S. C., S. Moegenburg, C. J. Koliba, A. Zia, L. Trinity, E. Clark, G. Bucini, S. Wiltshire, T. Sellnow, D. Sellnow, and J. M. Smith. 2019. Willingness to comply with biosecurity in livestock facilities: evidence from experimental simulations. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 6 Article 156.

Merrill, S. C., C. J. Koliba, S. M. Moegenburg, A. Zia, J. Parker, T. Sellnow, S. Wiltshire, G. Bucini, C. Danehy, and J. M. Smith. 2019. Decision-making in livestock biosecurity practices amidst environmental and social uncertainty: evidence from an experimental game, PLoS One 14(4): e0214500.

Wiltshire, S., A. Zia, C. Koliba, G. Bucini, E. Clark, S. Merrill, J. Smith, and S. Moegenburg. 2019. Network meta-metrics: Using evolutionary computation to identify effective indicators of epidemiological vulnerability in a livestock production system model. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22(2):8.

Cosentino, M. and J. M. Smith. 2019. Exploration of dairy calf management practices and educational needs in Vermont. Journal of Extension [On-line], 57(5) Article 5RIB9. Available at:

Sellnow, T. L., J. S. Parker, D. D. Sellnow, R. S. Littlefield, E. M. Helsel, M. C. Getchell, J. M. Smith, and S. C. Merrill. 2017. Improving biosecurity through instructional crisis communication: lessons learned from the PEDv outbreak. Journal of Applied Communications 101(4). (Article of the Year.)

Wu, Q., L.L. Schulz, G. T. Tonsor, and J. M. Smith. 2017. Expert views on effectiveness, feasibility, and implementation of biosecurity measures for mitigating Tier 1 disease risks in the U.S. swine, beef cattle, and dairy industries. Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology 8(2):435.

Smith, R. L., Y. T. Grohn, A .K. Padhan, R. H. Whitlock, J. S. Van Kessel, J. M. Smith, D. R. Wolfgang, Y. H. Schukken. 2016. The effects of progressing and non-progressing Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis infection on milk production in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. 99:1383-1390.

Lambertini E, J. Karns, J. S. Van Kessel, H. Cao, Y. Schukken, D. Wolfgang, J. Smith, and A. Pradhan.Accepted, posted online 24 April 2015. Dynamics of Escherichia coli virulence factors in dairy herds and farm environments from a longitudinal study in the United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1128/AEM.00465.15.

Kung, Jr., L. J. M. Lim, D. J. Hudson, J. M. Smith and R. D. Joerger. 2015. Chemical composition and nutritive value of corn silage harvested in the northeastern US affected by Hurricane Irene. Journal of Dairy Science 98:2055-2062.

Smith, J. M. 2014. Controlling survey response error in a mail survey of dairy farmers: a case report. Journal of Extension [On-line], 52(5) Article 5TOT6. Available at:

Smith, J. M. and R. H. Whitlock. 2012. CaseReport: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection in three generations of beef cattle, Bovine Practitioner 46:32-35.

Smith, J., L. Black, and L. Williams. 2012. Emergency exercise participation and evaluation, Journal of Extension [On-line], 50(3). Available at:

Smith, R. L., Y. H. Schukken, A. K. Pradhan, J. M. Smith, R. H. Whitlock, J. S. Van Kessel, D. R. Wolfgang and Y. T. Grohn. 2011. Environmental contamination with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in endemically infected dairy herds, Preventive Veterinary Medicine 102:1-9.

Calder, R. and J. Smith. 2010. Series of fact sheets on Johne’s disease. Available at:

Smith, J. M., R. L. Parsons, K. Van Dis, and G. N. Matiru. 2008. Love thy neighbor—but does that include a six hundred eighty-four-cow dairy operation? A survey of community perceptions. Journal of Dairy Science 91:1673-1685.

Bovine Alliance on Management and Nutrition (BAMN). 2007. Heifer growth and economics:  Target growth. 6 pp. Available at:

Smith, Julia M. 2007. Steps to bolster your dairy farm's biosecurity: an introductory video. Journal of Extension 45, Article 4TOT6,

Awards and Recognition

  • 2015 John C. Finley Award
  • 2013 National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award
  • The National Association of County Agricultural Agents Achievement Award 
  • Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Animal Health and Well-being, Biosecurity, Agrosecurity


  • D.V.M., Cornell University
  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • B.S., Cornell University


  • 802-656-4496
Office Location:

305B Terrill Buuilding

Office Hours:

Upon Request