Animal Science majors in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture (RHSA) receive both theoretical and hands-on education in the management of livestock, dairy cattle, poultry and horses. Students interested in dairy or livestock production concentrate on the influence of genetics, physiology, nutrition, and health on the economic production of animals. Courses are designed to maintain a balance between theoretical and practical aspects of animal production. Species studied include dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and horses. The Associate of Applied Science degree program allows students to select from a variety of animal science and related courses. Formal and informal learning settings offer students the opportunity to design a unique educational experience, with exposure to all aspects of the industry. Students work directly with animals on campus, and may also choose to pursue off-campus work experience or internship opportunities in production or related enterprises. The Dairy/Livestock program in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture is offered by the Department of Animal Science
. The department undertakes comprehensive teaching, research and outreach activities.
The Dairy/Livestock option in Animal Science is designed to prepare students for a successful career in the dairy or livestock industry. Graduates should be able to:
- Integrate the knowledge and skills required to efficiently manage dairy, beef, sheep, poultry, and swine operations
- Demonstrate the ability to think clearly and critically about farm management issues and problems, and make appropriate decisions in a variety of situations
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and integrate appropriate management techniques, such as milking, feeding, young animal care, and disease control into production operations
- Recognize the importance of genetics, physiology, nutrition, health, and other factors that contribute to the efficiency and quality of animal production
- Use appropriate computer applications to increase the efficiency of production enterprises
The Dairy/Livestock program provides students with a challenging and well-rounded education and combines the latest scientific knowledge with practical skills and hands-on experience. Descriptions of all of the courses in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog
. Highly qualified, experienced and dedicated faculty members provide an excellent educational environment. Students are encouraged to participate in student organizations
offered within the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as other student activities offered by the University (visit: getinvolved.uconn.edu
). Students often become involved with clubs that complement their academic endeavors in animal science. These include the Block and Bridle Club, the Poultry Club and the Dairy Club. Additional activities include equestrian, polo and judging teams, as well as several Greek academic and service organizations.
Students who complete the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture Animal Science program earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Animal Science. In order to earn the AAS degree, students must fulfill all requirements as outlined on the current RHSA Plan of Study and also in the RHSA section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
In order to complete 64 credits in four semesters, students need to average 16 credits per semester. Students meet with advisors regularly to discuss appropriate registration, academic concerns, and their individual interests and goals. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they complete graduation requirements. View a suggested four-semester sequence for students in the Dairy/Livestock program.
The Department of Animal Science has excellent teaching facilities, all within walking distance of campus. Recent renovations include additions to the horse barn, high-tech classrooms and laboratories, and expanded meat science and food science facilities. The new and spacious dairy bar provides a pleasant environment for students, employees, and visitors to enjoy our famous UConn ice cream. The new Agricultural Biotechnology building offers opportunities for faculty and students to be involved with, and contribute to, the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.
Dairy cattle are housed at the Kellogg Dairy Center: a modern free-stall facility. Cows are milked three times daily in a herringbone parlor, which utilizes computerized cow identification and milk production recording equipment. Computerized feeders are also used to ensure that each cow receives sufficient nutrients to maintain optimum milk production. Course work and employment opportunities in the Kellogg Dairy Center allow students to improve their knowledge and skills by working with our dairy herd. The Kellogg Dairy Center includes a housing unit where a few selected students live and work approximately ten hours per week. This is an excellent opportunity for students to be exposed to all aspects of dairy management.
The Department of Animal Science also maintains 60 beef cows, 80 sheep, 100 swine, and a variety of poultry species for use in classroom instruction. Replacement beef heifers, sheep, swine and poultry are raised and maintained on campus. Students manage and exhibit animals as part of course requirements and extracurricular activities.
Many career opportunities are available to graduates of the dairy/livestock program. These include:
• Farm Manager
• Veterinary Assistant
• Herd Manager
• Breed Association Representative
• Livestock Breeder
• Artificial Insemination Technician
• Technical Representative
• Laboratory Animal Technician
• Animal Welfare Technician
• Feed and Animal Product Sales Representative
• Animal Sales and Marketing Specialist
• Meat and Food Processing Technician
• Breed Association Representative