Field of brown cows

Humans have been improving the value of animals as companions, transportation, laborers and food since the first dogs, horses, donkeys and cattle were domesticated. Animal science provides an in-depth focus on whole-animal biology and contributes to advances in livestock production, animal health and human health through cutting-edge research and direct application of that new knowledge. Animal Scientists apply the latest in genetics, physiology and nutrition to any of these diverse fields. By employing a whole-animal approach to science , this degree prepares students for any number of careers, including Agribusiness, Livestock Production, Research, Veterinarians, Captive Wild Animal Management, Animal Products and Equine Industry. In Agribusiness, our graduates are in demand to fill sales and management positions with feed and pharmaceutical companies such as Land O’Lakes, MFA, Zoetis and Elanco. In Livestock Production, graduates who prefer to work directly with animals find rewarding positions as managers of various farm companies, such as Tyson Foods, Smithfield, Cargill and other private companies. In Research, graduates with a passion for research are needed as lead scientists and laboratory technicians in industry and academia. As a Veterinarian, an animal sciences degree is often the starting point for the study of veterinary medicine. Some vets specialize in care for companion animals, such as dogs and cats, while others focus on livestock, horses or wildlife. In Captive Wild Animal Management, zoological parks hire animal sciences graduates to manage the care and well-being of the park’s collection. In addition to animal care, zookeepers also can be involved with research and conservation efforts. In Animal Products, students with a specific interest in meat, dairy products and eggs are in high demand for positions with companies such as Farmland, Hormel, Hy-Vee and Sam’s Club. Opportunities abound in procurement, sales, quality assurance and food safety. In Equine Industry, the degree focuses on the science behind equine management and as such students are placed in positions at prominent equine breeding, sales or training facilities throughout the U.S. Students have multiple opportunities to gain hands-on experience by using horses in the MU Quarter Horse Program.

Photo by Logan Jackson, CAFNR Marketing and Communications