UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Animal and Food Science

The Department of Animal and Food Science 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 gary.onan@uwrf.edumail 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.

Extra & co-curricular 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 ANFS student organizations.

The department is home to the following majors, programs and minors. Full degree requirements for our majors and programs can be found in the University Catalog.

Majors Minors

Animal Science

Animal Science

Dairy Science

Dairy Science

Food Science (As of fall 2011, CAFES is no longer accepting students to the Food Science major)

Food Science

Pre-Veterinary Medicine (program)



ANFS News

The UWRF Dairy Judging Team took 6th place (out of 21 teams) at the World Dairy Expo Intercollegiate Judging Contest in early October.

Gary Onan, professor of animal and food science, received the 2014 Friend of the County Agent Award by the Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents. Congratulations! Read more


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