The U.S. and the world are always in need of good animal nutritionists.
There are good paying jobs available to people who are excellent in science and can draw on that knowledge to make informed, practical decisions on the farm level. Strong people/communication skills and ethics are needed to do this job well.
Opportunities exist to work with livestock farming operations everywhere.
Dairy, hog, beef, sheep and poultry farms all need information about animal nutrition.
At the University of Minnesota, a four-year degree in Animal Science offers students the opportunity to work at animal industry companies, animal pharmaceutical companies, research labs, veterinary clinics, government agencies and farms.
Students in the Animal Science major select an emphasis in science/biotechnology/pre-veterinary medicine, industry, or production. Within that emphasis, students also specialize in a specific animal area.
For the individual who wants to offer consulting advice to producers about feeding and management, the production emphasis is recommended.
This program focuses heavily on biology, calculus, animal science, human and animal physiology, food animal production for consumers, and courses in the student’s area of emphasis.
Students who are interested in animal nutrition may go on to achieve a master’s degree, doctorate degree and also complete post-doctorate education.
An animal nutritionist can also begin their training at a two-year college. At Ridgewater College, students can complete a “2 plus 2” agreement for agricultural majors with the University of Minnesota or South Dakota State University. General education requirements can also be transferred to any Minnesota Public College through the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.
These agreements allow students to complete the first two years at Ridgewater College and then complete their next two years at St. Paul or Crookston campuses or in Brookings to earn their bachelors.
The Agriculture/Animal Science associate’s program at Ridgewater in Willmar includes courses in chemistry, finances and introduction to animal science, along with dairy, beef, swine and sheep management courses for a completion of 64 credits.
At South Dakota State University, animal nutrition students apply to the College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences. The animal science major includes instruction in animal breeding, feeding, nutrition and more for beef cattle, horses, sheep and swine.
Students select between a business and production, or science specialization. This program focuses on developing an understanding of the principles of genetics, nutrition, physiology, range and meats, and their affect on production and management of livestock.
For those who are interested in learning more about animal nutrition, the Minnesota Nutrition Conference is held each September in Owatonna.
This conference offers feed industry professionals the opportunity to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine and equine.
Presented by the University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science and Extension, the 2012 program will focus on feed efficiency challenges, ruminant and non-ruminant sessions, and new technology available within the animal nutrition industry.
For individuals who are considering a career as a feed industry professional, a livestock nutrition consultant or a researcher, this conference may provide good information on what is involved. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the characteristics and traits of an animal nutritionist.
Information for this article was obtained ansci.umn.edu; ridgewater.edu and sdstate.edu.