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  • The Department of Animal Science held their 2023 Graduate Student Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2023. Faculty, staff, and donors helped recognize the accomplishments of the department’s graduate students. Over the last 5 years, across the four majors the department has maintained 65-80 M.S. and Ph.D. students. These graduates are trained in varying aspects of basic and applied sciences with graduate degrees in four majors that include Animal Breeding and Genetics, Animal Physiology, Animal Science and Meat Science. Minors are also offered in Animal Breeding and Genetics and in Meat Science.

  • Thirteen undergraduates from Iowa State participated in this year’s North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge national contest, hosted in Saratoga Springs, New York on March 30 and April 1. The Dairy Challenge is a farm evaluation competition. Students evaluate the farm using farm records, a farm visit, and an interview with the producer, and they present their evaluation in a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges from the dairy industry. Four students competed on the Iowa State team, and two students competed on an aggregate team with members from Ohio State and the UW-Madison. Additionally, five students participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy in preparation to try out for the Iowa State team in future years, and two Iowa State students volunteered in the social media corps.

  • The Department of Animal Science recently hosted 526 FFA students from across Iowa for the FFA poultry CDE program. The event had 9 stations including a written exam, internal and external egg evaluation, placing live birds, ready to cook carcass grading and placements, ready to cook parts identification, and grading of further processed products.  



  • The Department recently hosted our first-ever “Senior Dinner and Panel Discussion”.  This event brought in recent graduates from several different companies to answer questions from our graduating seniors about post-college life, learning to start over in new place without your friends, how to get involved and figuring out what is next. A huge thanks to the companies and panelists that participated:

    Logan Lafrenz - Elanco Animal HealthJulia Mullenbach - Dairy Star and Country AcresKelly Rue - ZoetisWes Schweer - ZinproJake Sterle - BarnToolsBethany Swanson - Retrieving FreedomNichole Wilson - PIC
  • Over 70 young swine producers (from 13-21 years old) from across the U.S. spent a day on campus during the National Junior Swine Association’s National Youth Leadership Conference.  Dr. Jodi Sterle presented the keynote address, “Weaving Your Web” and also conducted a reproductive dissection wet lab for the participants.  

    Participants also toured the USDA National Animal Disease Center, National Pork Board, and several production sites as well as heard from industry speakers on a variety of topics.

  • BUSAD 594 is a class that enhances the professional skills of first-year MBA students utilizing an applied approach to learning. The course is offered in partnership with the Ivy College of Business and CyBIZ Lab. MBA student teams work on service-learning projects for local nonprofit organizations. The goal of this project is to further develop MBA students’ communications, collaboration, problem-solving, and leadership skills and to apply knowledge and skills learned in the MBA classroom to address organizational challenges in a nonprofit environment. 

  • On Saturday, April 15th, the Animal Science Department was able to host almost 200 people to celebrate and acknowledge students’ achievements within the department. Attendees enjoyed networking with fellow peers, colleagues, and sponsors before sitting down to a prime rib dinner prepared by Iowa State University’s very own meat lab. Guests finished off their meal with ice cream prepared by the members of the ISU Dairy Science Club.  

  • The Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University has received a student recruitment and retention grant from the USPOULTRY Foundation through a donation from Iowa’s own West Liberty Foods.

  • The Poultry Science Association Awards Isabella von Seggern with Zinpro Corporation's Undergraduate Poultry Science Scholarship Award

    The Poultry Science Association (PSA) has selected Isabella von Seggern of Iowa State University as the 2023 recipient of Zinpro Corporation’s Undergraduate Poultry Science Scholarship Award.

  • Huaijun Zhou carries an impressive resume in academia, with multiple graduate degrees and countless awards for his research. He is currently a professor in animal science at the University of California-Davis, where he teaches and conducts research. Zhou received his bachelor’s degree in animal science and master's in animal breeding and genetics from Yangzhou University in China. He then attended Iowa State, where he received his M.S. in bioinformatics and computational biology and his Ph.D. in immunogenetics and molecular genetics.  He spent seven years in the Department of Animal Science, as a visiting scientist, graduate student, and postdoctoral research associate.  

  • Erin Brenneman came to Iowa State University to major in animal science with the goal of working with horses in her future career; little did she know that she would work in two areas she never saw coming - pigs and people.  

    Brenneman found her passion for the animal industry while working in a horseback riding program near the suburbs of Chicago, where she grew up. Wanting to pursue a career to follow her passion for horses, Brenneman shared her desire to be a vet with her counselor, and she suggested she look at Iowa State University. "I toured the campus and, just like everyone else, instantly fell in love."   

  • SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), the campus food pantry that serves students living with food insecurity, has an exciting new weekly donation from the Department of Animal Science – eggs.

    The SHOP team has been picking up eggs once a week from the Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Facility at Iowa State University. The eggs have been packaged in half-dozen carton sizes at SHOP with 390 cartons distributed in just the past 5 weeks.

  • In 2021, Iowa State University raised a colt out of Meadow Bride by Not This Time. He was a big, strong colt from birth. With the colt’s handsome looks and the increasing popularity of his sire, the farm chose to consign the colt to the Keeneland November sale as a weanling in 2021.

    Entering a thoroughbred foal at Keeneland was a first for the ISU Horse Farm. In the fall of 2021, the colt drew a final bid of $50,000 with Machmer Hall for David Menard signing the ticket. He entered the sales ring again in 2022 as a yearling repeating his previous price of $50,000 when the hammer fell to GOP Racing Stable.

  • RSVP here!

  • On March 12-13, 2023 the ISU Academic Quadrathlon team competed against 11 other teams from the Midwest in Madison, WI. In this intense competition where they demonstrated their skills in hands on animal skills, a written exam, quiz bowl, and presentation of an up and coming field in animal science.

    In addition to the competition, the team was able to visit the Lancaster Research Station in Lancaster, Wisconsin to learn more about the sustainability, beef production, and agronomy from Mr. Arin Crooks.  The ISU team consisted of Elizabeth Beckmann, Awnnalynn Hughes, Avery Crooks, and Luke Jaquet.

  • With great excitement for the future, the first flock of poults entered the Stanley L. Balloun Turkey Teaching and Research facility during November of 2022. Iowa is the 7th leading state for turkey production and this project was driven by strong turkey industry support.

    The first round of poults were in the brooder for about 6 weeks, then purchased by a farmer to grow to market weight.

    This state-of-the-art facility will help meet the advancing technology needs of today’s turkey industry and provide a classroom where students can experience hands-on learning in modern turkey production. 

  • When Ian Johnson, a Maryville, Ohio resident, decided to pursue further education to major in animal science, he knew that he had to find the university that best fits him and his education goals. Iowa State University first stood out to Johnson because of the passion he saw surrounding the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Touring the campus and department left a positive impression on Johnson. "I was impressed by the quality and depth of the organizations and the students – as big as the college is, it truly has that small-town feel."  

  • Current and previous members of the Animal Breeding and Genetics group participated in the Gordon Conference on Quantitative Genetics and Genomics, which was held February 12-16 in Ventura California.

    With 17 out of 160 participants, this was the largest representation from any group at this international scientific conference on Quantitative Genetics and Genomics for animal, plant, human, and evolutionary genetics.

    Pictured from left to right are:

  • Two graduate students from the Department of Animal Science were recognized with Excellence Awards for the Fall 2022 semester.

    Graduate College – Research Excellence Award

    Meaghan Meyer received the Graduate College Research Excellence Award. Meaghan’s graduate school research has focused on broiler chicken welfare and behavior, as well as broiler nutrition and meat quality. Upon graduation, she looks forward to making an impact in the animal welfare industry and on behavior-focused teaching.

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