ANSC 101: Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture

In ANSC 101, Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture, students learn key concepts including contributions of animal agriculture to humans, food from agriculture, agricultural ethics, animal welfare, environment impact of food animals, and societal and economic impacts of food animals.

“My favorite part about teaching ANSC 101 is the transformation students make from the beginning of the course to end because they are willing to come to class with an open mind,” says Professor Janeen Johnson, instructor for ANSC 101. “The students write a self-reflection paper at the end of the semester, and students often say they see animal issues in a whole different way after taking this class.”

Students participate in a semester-long group project that allows them to research a contemporary animal issue. They work together to debate a topic, arguing both sides, and their peers decide who wins based on factual representation, points discussed in class, and presentation. Some of the debated topics include use of antibiotics in livestock, the value of GMOs, and conventionally raised vs. organically raised livestock.

“This class helps students understand that animal science does not mean just cats and dogs, but also encompasses food animals,” Johnson says. “They learn to question everything and to remember that this isn’t about ‘you’—it’s about feeding the world. Thus every decision we make affects animals, people, and the environment!”

A World With Abundant Food Professor Janeen Johnson