Animal and Food Science

The Department of Animal and Food Science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is dedicated to providing quality instruction for students seeking careers in:

  • Livestock production
  • Equine training and management
  • Dairy production
  • Dairy food processing
  • Meat processing
  • Food technology
  • Veterinary technology

It is also our mission to help students develop the communication and problem-solving skills necessary to adapt to a changing society and become productive members of their community.

Message from the Chair

Dear prospective students,

Gary OnanWelcome to the Department of Animal and Food Science. When you enroll in one of our programs, you will find yourself in a challenging academic environment with ample opportunities to learn in the way that works best for you. Many of our core classes such as Feeds and Feeding, Animal Physiology, and Physiology of Reproduction include laboratory components with significant hands-on learning. All of our animal production courses in dairy, meat animal, or equine also include laboratory sections taught at our farms, where you can put into actual practice the concepts learned in the classroom. 

Our farms have beef, sheep, swine, dairy, and equine herds, all of which are not only cared for, but managed in many instances by student workers. We also have operating meat and dairy processing facilities on our campus, which offer further opportunities for hands-on learning in food processing. There are many extracurricular activities available to our students as well.

Our department has 13 full-time faculty members with expertise in all the core disciplines of animal production including management, nutrition, physiology, genetics/breeding, and health. Teaching is job-one in our department. Most faculty members either have been, or are currently, active animal producers and maintain significant industry contacts in their species of interest.

It is my hope that you will consider our campus as your choice for a rewarding education in Dairy Science or Animal Science with a meat animal or equine emphasis. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about our programs.

Gary Onan
Animal & Food Science Department Chair

Why Animal & Food Science?

Variety of majors

  • The Animal & Food Science Department offers a variety of program choices including an Animal Science and a Dairy Science major as well as a number of different options and emphases within majors.

Faculty dedicated to student success

  • Teaching excellence: Our faculty have been recognized with the national teaching award from the American Dairy Science Association; campus and college-wide teaching awards; and the UW System Teaching Fellows Program.
  • Advising excellence: faculty members are very knowledgeable regarding program requirements and committed to efficient completion of student programs.
  • Open door policy: faculty members are available to students on a daily basis.
  • Mentorship: faculty members routinely mentor significant numbers of students with internships, undergraduate research projects, and international study endeavors.

Hands-on learning

  • Exceptional laboratory experiences: over 50% of courses in the core Dairy/Animal Science curriculum have substantial hands-on laboratory sections where students work with animals.
  • Work opportunities at Laboratory Farms: dozens of students work on a regular basis caring for and managing the livestock including dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, and horses at the university’s farms.
  • Experiences outside campus: A large number of private dairy farms and stables in the St. Croix valley offer further opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience.

Extracurricular activities

  • Student organizations: UWRF has the nation’s largest Dairy Club; a large and active Block & Bridle Club; a highly recognized Horseman’s Association; the only Rodeo Club in the northern half of the U.S. east of the Mississippi; an active Poultry Club.
  • Social organizations, judging & competitive teams, and academic competitions: the opportunities for student involvement are endless! View CAFES student organizations.

The department is home to the following majors, programs and minors.

Majors Minors

Animal Science

Animal Science

Dairy Science

Dairy Science


Food Processing Technology

Pre-Veterinary Medicine (program)

News & Events

UWRF Falcon Foods is selling Hickory Smoked Cured turkeys for Christmas. The turkeys are completely cooked and ready to eat! Average weights are 8-11 lb at $3.75/lb.  To order and for more information, please complete the order form found here and email it to: by December 9, 2015.

Professor Steve Kelm was interviewed by Al Ross from the Wisconsin Public Radio program “Spectrum West with Al Ross” (aired on September 24, 2015). This interview gave Dr. Kelm the opportunity to talk about the UWRF Animal and Food Science Department and in particular about the Dairy Science program and the Dairy Judging Team. Thank you Dr. Kelm, for being a great advocate and mentor to the department and its programs. Listen to the interview here.

Congratulations to the UWRF Dairy Judging Team, for placing on the Top 10 Teams at the Lely National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison on Sept. 28. The team, comprised by Cole Mark, Alex Huibregtse, Jacob Pintens, and Eryn Orth, placed 5th Team overall and 5th Team in reasons, and Cole Mark placed 5th in Individual reasons.

Once more, congratulations to the UWRF Dairy Judging team, for winning 2nd Team overall and 3rd Team in oral reasons at the 22nd Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest sponsored by Accelerated Genetics on Sept. 20. Meghan Connelly got 2nd Individual overall and 3rd in reasons and Trent Miller got 6th Individual overall and 6th in reasons. Read more

Applications for student workers on the UWRF Laboratory Farms and the ANFS Department will be accepted on an ongoing basis as positions become available. Download the application for the UWRF Laboratory Farms and the ANFS Department, and submit it by emailing or mailing:
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Attn: ANFS
410 3rd Street
River Falls, WI 54022.

Contact Us

Animal and Food Science
242 Food Science Addition
590 S. Spruce Street

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