Beef cattle production is a core strength of our department, offering you hands-on access to beef cattle while providing strong, science-based information to prepare you for a career in food production systems. Through courses, internships, research, and part-time student employment, you will gain practical experience and learn about:
- Life-cycle production and management
- Live animal, carcass, and genetic assessment
- Anatomy and physiology as the basis for reproduction, nutrition, and health management
- Critical factors influencing animal care and welfare
- Grazing and pasture management
- Production of high-value, high-quality, fresh and processed food
- Relationships between on-farm, packing, and retail segments of food animal production
- Exploring marketing options to enhance value
- Development of a systems approach to problem solving and enhanced decision making
Today’s food animal production systems, regardless of size or scale, are faced with many challenges to meet the demands of an ever growing human population. Today’s consumers expect high-quality, safe, affordable and nutritious food. At the same time, the consumer demand for quality animal care standards and environmental compliance are constantly evolving and increasing. As the future generation of food animal industry professionals, you will learn how to meet these challenges through a comprehensive, science-based education.
Be a part of something BIG and Do Something Great! No matter where your interests lie, or the skills you have, you can go on to:
- Create your own beef cattle nutrition consulting business.
- Promote the beef industry as a communications and marketing representative.
- Manage a major beef cattle operation.
- Serve as in artificial insemination technologist.
- Design breeding programs as a beef cattle quantitative geneticist.
Degree Sheets and 4-year Plans
Courses in genetics, physiology, nutrition, and meat science provide the basis for learning more about animal production, management, evaluation & selection, meat products, and animal health & welfare. Many of the classes are taught at our animal facilities and in teaching laboratories that provide hands-on opportunities for you to gain practical animal experience. Additional courses provide the basis for understanding the underlying biological and physiological mechanisms that provide the foundation for effective animal production systems. See 4-year plan above for specific description of courses.
Livestock Judging Team
Livestock evaluation and selection processes are fundamental to understanding form and function and incorporating these concepts into identification of future breeding animals. Through livestock judging, students learn to assess conformation, structural integrity, and general functionality as these characteristics relate to value differences among animals within market channels. Livestock judging aids decision making skills and improves oral communication skills through a structured approach using beef, sheep, and swine species. Participants in livestock judging travel across the U.S. to practice and compete in intercollegiate contests and are exposed to industry leading breeders and judges of livestock. Read more about the Livestock Judging Team.
Internships and Research
Major industry employers want employees who have the ability to think critically, communicate well, and work effectively in teams. Conducting a research project as an undergraduate or completing an internship will help you learn those skills while gaining real-world experience. Many research and internship opportunities exist locally in Columbus, Ohio; however, our students have completed internship and research opportunities across the country and around the globe. The benefit of gaining this hands-on experience allows you to further shape your career goals while making you more competitive for employment after graduation. It’s not uncommon for students to find full-time employment at places where they completed internships. Participating in undergraduate research also allows you opportunities to present research at industry meetings and through College and University research forums. Read more on Internships or Read more on Research.
Whether you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, production specialist, animal trainer, or researcher, you will interact with international clients, vendors, colleagues, and technology. Studying abroad will help prepare you. Thirty-five percent of our animal science majors will graduate with at least one study abroad experience, adding to their marketability in a competitive market. Read more about Study Abroad.
Student Organizations & Co-curricular Activities
Getting involved in at least one student organization on campus is arguably the most important thing you can do once you step foot on campus. Joining a club is like joining the perfect family. Everyone involved has the same interests, and in some cases, the same career goals. Most students find their closest circle of friends through student organizations. Read more about departmental organizations you might want to check out.
Meet Our Students
BRETT KNEESKERN, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Agribusiness
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? Most of the classes have a hands-on approach. You do not just sit in the classroom and listen to a lecture, but you actually get to apply what you learn to real animals.
What is your favorite collegiate club? Why? Saddle and Sirloin. S&S is a great way to get involved through all of their shows and different activities it puts on.
What is your favorite animal science class? Why? Animal Science 200 because you get to learn about every species and also have the opportunity to interact with those species.
How has the animal sciences department and your animal sciences classes helped you during your time here at Ohio State? They have helped me not only succeed in the classroom, but also helped me be better prepared for the real world and the rest of my life.
RYAN STUMP, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Farm Management
What is your favorite animal science class? Why? Capstone Course, We were able to meet many industry representatives and were encouraged to explore options in the animal science field.
What is your favorite collegiate club? Why? Saddle and Sirloin. Longest tradition and most well known club on campus.
What was your best internship/job experience while in college? Working at the OSU Beef Facility.
Do you know what you want to do after college? Do you have a job lined up? How would you like to use your degree? I plan to work at a local bank near my home town as an agricultural lender while building a small Artificial Insemination company that will exclusively serve beef producers in my area.
The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences maintains facilities in Columbus and Wooster. These facilities and animals are used for endeavors involving teaching, research, and outreach. Read more about the department’s facilities.