ANSC 400: Dairy Herd Management

Animal Sciences 400 covers all aspects of dairy herd management. The course provides an overview of modern milk production practices; application of principles in nutrition, physiology, economics, health and hygiene; and waste management and facility design for efficient dairy herd management systems.

“The objective of this course is to help students develop two skills: critical thinking and critical diagnosing,” says professor and instructor Phil Cardoso. “This means that I will ‘dairy challenge’ students to question assumptions and arguments about dairy herd management by engaging with various types of media, literature, and practical experience.”

Students acquire a basic understanding of dairy herd management in the first half of the semester. Then they work in teams to identify bottlenecks in a real-life situation by visiting a commercial dairy farm. The combination of theory with real-world practice is unique.

“Following my sophomore year, I worked at a dairy farm near my hometown. I was able to implement some of my learning from this course and suggest some ways to improve the farm's herd management in order to increase production and better herd health,” says Brenton Bartelt, a student who took ANSC 400.

Students also have the opportunity to travel and attend multiple events during the semester, building their knowledge of the dairy industry

“On top of time spent in the classroom, our class went on field trips including the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, the university dairy farm, and Fair Oaks Dairy in Indiana,” Bartelt says.

A World With Abundant Food Professor Phil Cardoso