Our Mission & Vision
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.
We lead by maximizing our positive global impact on animal biology and human health through strong collaboration and seamless integration of our research, teaching and outreach missions.
The key to our vision is teaching the next generation of undergraduate and graduate scholars in animal agriculture and veterinary medicine, undertaking cutting-edge basic and translational research in animal biology and providing impactful outreach in animal systems management and food production.
OUR GRAND CHALLENGES
Students, researchers and outreach will work to achieve the grand challenges defined by the Animal and Dairy Science Department.
Animal Health and 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.
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.
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 or underlying medical conditions.
Land and 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.
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.