Livestock Industries

For more information about this program or to schedule a visit to campus contact:

Program Description

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The Livestock Industries certificate program is designed to give students a professional advantage in the livestock production career field of their choice. Students are exposed to a broad spectrum of applied course work and hands-on education at the university’s facilities and an extensive industry internship. Students engage with leading professors, researchers, and future professional colleagues in a manner that is directly applicable to a functioning livestock operation and also develop communication skills while bridging the gap between theory and practical best management practices.


Students are required to complete courses in reproduction, animal nutrition, anatomy and physiology, live animal and carcass evaluation, livestock management and farm business management. This program is unique in that allows students to pick elective courses as well so that they can further specialize their educational plan to meet their needs, making them more marketable once they enter the work force. These courses can include agricultural economics, crop and soil science, agricultural technology and animal science.

For more information about this program and others visit the Department of Animal Science.

To see courses required for this program, visit the Livestock Industries certificate listing in the MSU course catalog. 


Students have the opportunity of completing clerkships and having classes at the several farms on the MSU South Campus. These facilities are reflective of modern operations in production around the region while allowing students an up close look at current livestock production practices being implemented in industry.


Students will complete a clerkship at one of the teaching and research farms at MSU. Students work with members of the farm staff and become involved in the day-to-day management of the unit. Students develop skills in daily husbandry and management, nutrition, animal health, record keeping and biosecurity.


An important part of the Livestock Industries program is the professional industry related internship. The internship places students in a professional learning environment that challenges them to apply knowledge gained in the classroom with hands-on mastery of production skills along with the development of interpersonal and professional skills. Internships are an extremely valuable part of the certificate program, providing students to broaden their knowledge of animal agriculture and gain professional management experience.

Student Life

Livestock Industries students enjoy all the benefits of student life, including housing, use of the many recreational facilities, athletics and membership to the University’s over 700 registered student organizations.  Within the Department of Animal Science, there are several clubs and judging teams students can become a part of to enhance their academic experience while at MSU.

Career Opportunities

The livestock and dairy industry contributes $4.73 billion to the state of Michigan’s economy, ranking it 21st in the nation. Animal agriculture is one of the most diverse segments of Michigan’s agriculture industry and has seen steady growth poultry and eggs. Along with the beef cattle and swine industries, these three segments had over $1.5 billion in sales in 2014. 

A few examples of possible career paths are:

  • Farm Owner/Operator
  • Production Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • Herdsperson
  • Nutritionist and Feed Sales
  • AI Technician
  • Equipment Sales and Service
  • Pharmaceutical Sales and Service

Admission Requirements

A high school diploma with at least a 2.0 GPA or greater is required. ACT or SAT scores are used as needed in the admission process.  High school preparation should include a balanced curriculum of writing, speaking, mathematics biological sciences, agriscience and computers.  Your next step to enroll in this program is to apply for admission on the IAT apply page - APPLY NOW!