Food Animal Systems

Food Animal Systems

     Animal scientists conduct research to develop better ways to produce and process meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. Much of the research focuses on the health and breeding of livestock, but domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, are also a research concern. Animal scientists are experts in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and animal production management. Developing new characteristics to introduce into animals (such as chickens that lay more eggs) and reducing the cost of raising animals and processing animal products are other goals of workers in this pathway.  Some animal scientists inspect and grade livestock and food products. Others develop special foods for animals, purchase livestock, or work in technical sales or marketing. Scientists may also advise producers on optimizing animal housing, handling waste matter, or lowering mortality rates of livestock and other animals. They recommend methods to improve disease control and increase the quality and quantity of animal production.
     Because most jobs in this field are research-based, a bachelor’s degree in animal or agriculture science is required. A doctoral degree (Ph.D.) is necessary for leading research projects or teaching on the university level. The farming and food production industry spends much money on breeding, raising, and feeding animals. The industry will continue to be interested in more efficient, less costly methods of raising animals. Therefore, employment of animal scientists at research firms will be needed to study new methods and develop healthier animals.

Animal Systems Pathway Courses

    Basic Agricultural Science and Technology 02.47100 

    Animal Science Technology/Biotechnology 02.42100 

    Agricultural Animal Production and Management 01.43200 

Basic Agriculture Science 02.47100

This course is designed as the foundational course for all Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Pathways. The course introduces the major areas of scientific agricultural production and research; presents problem solving lessons and introductory skills and knowledge in agricultural science and agri-related technologies. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities. This course is the prerequisite for all AFNR pathways and is intended for students in grades 9-10.
Animal Science Technology/Biotechnology 02.42100

This course is designed to introduce students to the scientific principles that underlie the breeding and husbandry of agricultural animals, and the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural animal products. This course introduces scientific principles applied to the animal industry; covers reproduction, production technology, processing, and distribution of agricultural animal products. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities.

Agricultural Animal Production & Management 01.43200

The goal of this course is to provide all students instruction in establishing and managing agricultural animal enterprises; includes instruction in selecting, breeding, feeding, caring for and marketing beef and dairy cattle, horses, swine, sheep, and poultry. Classroom and laboratory activities are supplemented through supervised agricultural experiences and leadership programs and activities.

​Related Pathway Occupations:
Meat, Poultry, Fish Cutters and 



Animal Breeders



Other Related Agriculture, Food,

& Natural Resources Occupations:

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Animal Control Workers

Agricultural Teachers

Science Teachers

Aquacultural Animal Caretakers

Non-Farm Animal Caretakers

Average Annual Salary Range

$22,000 - 


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