The two-year Livestock Industries Agricultural Technology Certificate program is designed to allow women and men the opportunity to specialize in the livestock production career field of their choice. Students also study at the MSU Teaching & Research Centers where new and innovative research and extension programs are conducted.
Students have the opportunity to specialize in beef cattle, swine, poultry, and sheep through course work, directed studies and undergraduate research projects.
Students interested in poultry may also participate in the Midwest Poultry Consortium.
Opportunities exist for graduate education in livestock sciences, though openings are limited. Besides taking graduate level courses, graduate students conduct their own research and are encouraged to become involved with teaching and extension activities.
Students pursuing academics in livestock and poultry production may also be interested in the student clubs and teams available to Animal Science students. Of particular interest to many are the Block & Bridle Club and the MSU Rodeo Club, as well as the Avian Science Club. Block & Bridle provides social activities, as well as coordination of several livestock events throughout the year. The MSU Rodeo Club annually hosts the Spartan Stampede Rodeo and has a competing rodeo team. The Avian Science Club holds a turkey sale at Thanksgiving, as well as other annual events.
Many students involved in livestock production take advantage of the opportunities to become members of the livestock and(or) meats judging teams. Not only do students refine their skills in selection and marketing, they develop communication and reasoning skills that are sought after by employers.
The beef cattle, swine, poultry, and sheep research programs are focused on many areas, including production, nutrition, genetics, welfare, and meat science. Research on both applied and basic aspects of beef cattle production is conducted on campus, and at the outlying Lake City Experiment Station and Upper Peninsula Experiment Station.
The youth extension program coordinates state-level 4-H and youth livestock activities. Educational programs and opportunities exist for youth audiences in the areas of management, feeding, breeding, training and marketing of beef, sheep, poultry and swine.
MSU Beef Teaching, Research, and Extension are accomplished on campus at the Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center and Beef Cow-Calf Teaching and Research Center in conducting basic and applied beef cattle research as well as providing learning opportunities in feedlot management. The Lake City Experiment Station maintains facilities for beef cow-calf and stocker research and Extension activities, especially as they relate to Michigan forages. The Upper Peninsula Agricultural Experiment Station maintains a commercial beef cow herd used in applied research and Extension programming in Michigan's unique U.P. environment.
The Swine Teaching and Research Center's primary mission is to work with faculty and staff as they complete their research, teaching and extension/outreach programs. Animals produced are used for research in nutrition, behavior, genetics, environmental management, meat science and muscle biology, and production management. Animals are also used for class projects and experiences for all MSU students, as well as many 4-H, FFA, and other youth and adult activities.
The Sheep Teaching and Research Center provides students at Michigan State University with the opportunity to work with the sheep maintained on campus, for classes, livestock evaluation, undergraduate work and research and also graduate experience through research.
The Poultry Teaching and Research Center provides facilities and resources for the education of animal science students interested in poultry science as a career and to conduct basic and applied research that will benefit the poultry producers of the State of Michigan.
The Beef Cattle Education Endowment Fund focuses on enhancing support for the excellent educational opportunities afforded to students in the MSU beef cattle program, as well as provide a sustained source of funds for MSU’s beef research and teaching facilities.
The Swine Program Endowment and Poultry Program Endowment mission is to strengthen curriculum, student enhancement opportunities such as field trips, industry involvement and undergraduate research opportunities, and visiting lecturers and to maintain high quality of farms to support programmatic efforts.