Did you know that pork is the world’s most widely eaten meat? Pork production is a core strength of our department, offering you hands-on access to pigs 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:
- Swine 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
- Production of high-value, high-quality, fresh and processed food
- Relationships between on-farm, packing, and retail segments of food animal production
- 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! Very few students actually go into the pork industry, so the opportunities are endless! No matter where your interests lie, or the skills you have, you can go on to:
- Create a marketing campaign that positively impacts the industry.
- Develop and improve nutritional formulas and make an economical difference in the lives of producers.
- Design and implement flawless animal welfare standards.
- Create positive developments on environmental issues through management and research.
- Maximize genetic potential through research.
Degree Sheets and 4-Year Plans
Courses in genetics, physiology, nutrition, and meat science provide the basis for learning more about swine production, management, evaluation & selection, meat products, and animal health & welfare. Many of the classes are taught in our animal facilities and 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 swine production systems.
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
DEREK SCHMITT, Junior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Ag. Communication
What is your favorite Animal? Swine
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? I love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State because its diverse. The students, the classes, the teachers; its all diverse. Also, everyone is so helpful, really the staff, they’re very willing to help the students.
Favorite animal science class? Why? Anatomy and physiology is probably my favorite class, along with genetics. I love knowing the anatomy and how it works. Its very interesting to me how everything works together. I also enjoy genetics because its also interesting to me how you can change so much or so little by just breeding.
Best internship/job experience while in college? The best internship I’ve had thus far was last summer when I went to Colorado. I worked on a 50,000 acre ranch with 3,500 head of cattle. It was different than Ohio and a good learning experience.
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.