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Dairy Production

Career Opportunities

Missouri is experiencing a revitalization of the state’s dairy industry.  Conventional confinement operations are expanding.  In addition, there has been an influx of new dairy grazing enterprises that use seasonal pasture based systems utilizing New Zealand style management systems.  Indeed, there has been growth of dairy farms involving New Zealand investors and farm managers.  The growth of the New Zealand investment dairies complements pre-existing grazing and confinement operations.  The convergence of these two systems has led to current interest in “hybrid” dairy operations that incorporate aspects of both the conventional confinement and seasonal grass based dairy systems.  Thus, there are confinement, grazing and hybrid enterprises operating in Missouri.  The Division of Animals Sciences is the only comprehensive dairy program in the state that provides relevant research, teaching and outreach/extension programs.  An in-depth educational program is available in dairy sciences and includes dairy cattle nutrition, reproductive management, genetics and production management.  There is growing demand for graduates with a solid education in principles of dairy science who have extensive hands-on dairy production experience and can combine the two to make science based management decisions.  Opportunities include management in commercial dairy operations, health related industries, artificial insemination companies, dairy product companies and banking, to name a few.

Opportunities at the University of Missouri

The mission of the University of Dairy Program is to serve the dairy industry through research, teaching and outreach/extension.  The on-farm teaching laboratories provide students the opportunity to learn and enhance skills in dairy production practices, nutritional management, genetic selection, artificial insemination, embryo transfer, forage management, economics and entrance into the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Research efforts are focused on discovery research to examine fundamental processes within the whole animal and to develop innovative dairy production practices.  Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research which allows them to be early adaptors of new production management practices. 

B.S. in Animal Science

An Animal Science degree at MU can be earned while learning the biology and science underlying dairy production, as well as gain valuable hands-on training in the important segments of the dairy industry. This pre-professional program prepares you for a career in the dairy industry.   

MU Dairy Courses include:

  • Intro to Animal Science
  • Laboratory Practicums
  • Ruminant Livestock Production
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Physiology of Domestic Animals
  • Applied Livestock Genetics
  • Forage Crops
  • Reproductive Management
  • Dairy Production and Management
  • Internships in Animal Science

FB Miller Reproductive Management Internship Program

Miller Internship

This internship provides provide students with practical training in the development and execution of estrous synchronization and AI programs.   Students gain extensive hands-on experience in estroussynchronization, estrus detection, semen handling, and AI.  In the past nine years, 100 students have participated in the F. B. Miller Internship.  Students in the program participated in hands-on reproductive management procedures on farms and ranches in IA, ID, IN, KY, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, and WY.  These students worked with approximately 135,000 heifers and cows on farms and ranches in the various states.