Excellence in Education & Discovery

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  • Mooving Cows video game teaches proper cow handling skills

    A new educational video game called “Mooving Cows,” which gives dairy workers and anyone interested the opportunity to practice cow handling skills, is now publicly available to download and play.  Read Story

We Believe in Advancement

$262k

offered in departmental scholarships

$6.6 M

offered in external research grants

187

students within the department

We inspire innovation & discovery

We inspire original thinking in collaborative research, innovative instruction and outreach to foster scientific discoveries, produce skilled leaders and advance animal agriculture and sustainable food systems to enrich the lives of students, scientists, stakeholders and society.

Putting the land-grant mission into practice…

UW–Madison is one of the 10 largest research institutions in the country, allocating more than $1 billion annually to groundbreaking inquiry. The Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences focuses research on sustainability, food security, innovation, health, and ingenuity.

Our Grand Challenges

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Animal Health & Welfare

Animal welfare is a complex and multi-faceted issue that reflects the integration of traditional animal science disciplines and their interactions with the environment. It is critical to the social license of animal production and the economic viability of livestock farming, and it is the lens through which both scientists and consumers will view new tools and strategies in nutrition, physiology, genetics, and management.

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Biomedical Advancements

Traditional processes for development, testing, and approval of new pharmaceuticals are extremely costly, and success rates in human subjects are low. Livestock are effective models for many human diseases and disorders, especially when coupled with gene editing and other biotechnologies. Furthermore, various co-products of meat, milk, or egg production, which were historically discarded as waste, may have bioactive properties that can provide novel therapies or nutritional supplements to improve human or animal health.

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Precision Livestock Farming

Technologies for monitoring the behavior, physiology, and health of domestic animals, as well as machine learning algorithms for interpreting big data, have progressed at an astonishing rate. These tools provide unprecedented opportunities to advance animal welfare, enhance labor efficiency, improve economic returns, and minimize the environmental impact of livestock operations, if they are implemented in a strategic and cost-effective manner.

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Food Safety

A steady supply of safe and nutritious animal-based proteins is the foundation of global food security. It is our responsibility to protect consumers from harmful agents that can endanger public health, from the farm to the table. In addition, we must deliver food products that meet the nutritional requirements of the generic consumer, reduce the prevalence of obesity-related health disorders, and accommodate the specific dietary needs of individuals with unique nutritional demands.

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Land & Water Stewardship

The demand for animal-based proteins continues to grow as our population expands, but livestock farming must compete with commercial, residential, and recreational users of land and water resources. Animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions but also suffers from the effects of global warming and climate variability. Fluency in integrating nutritional management and feed production at the system level will become as important as knowledge of basic nutrition and physiology concepts at the animal level.

We value and support all identities

We recognize that we have a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students, and we embrace and value the diversity of all our members. It is our goal to be inclusive and mindful of this diversity in our departmental policies, programs, classrooms, and interactions. We strive to create an inclusive environment that supports a diversity of perspectives and experiences, honors our identities, and views the diversity that we bring to this department as a strength and a resource.