[INTRO MUSIC] SPEAKER 1: Today's animal science students are discovering a world of opportunity beyond the family farm. Although widely recognized for outstanding undergraduate studies in animal production and management, Cornell University's program offers much more. The curriculum is designed to provide a tailor made education for students with a great diversity of animal interests.
In fact, most graduates will enter fields outside of animal production. Students are encouraged to combine their animal science studies with their interests in other fields. As a result, program graduates have more career opportunities than ever before.
EJNAR KNUDSEN: Presently, I'm analyzing companies that are agribusiness companies. Loans range from five to $500 million in size. Having the background of Cornell with the agribusiness business education that I received, it well prepared me to be at this bank, Rabobank, in that Rabobank finances the leading agribusiness companies throughout the world.
ELLEN DIERENFELD: In my position as nutritionist for the New York Zoological Society, we are responsible for the feeding of animals at not only the Bronx Zoo but also our other wildlife conservation facilities. We've had some nutritional problems with captive elephants. One being vitamin E deficiency.
We lost a baby elephant about 10 years ago now to vitamin E deficiency here at the Bronx Zoo and have looked very closely at vitamin E nutrition in those animals. Professional opportunities are not necessarily directly related to working with animals.
TRICIA MCKENNA: I now work at a company called IVF Australia, which does human in-vitro fertilization. I don't have a medical degree. But oddly enough, most of my coworkers have an agriculture background. In fact, this company has four programs.
Three of the programs have embryologists with an agriculture background because in cattle, we've worked so much with the eggs, and sperm, and the embryo. We really have a vast amount of experience coming into the human field that a medical or lab technician type person would not necessarily have.
SPEAKER 1: Although the science and technology of farming is still an important aspect of the program, today's animal science includes many other topics of study. Cornell University offers a flexible curriculum that prepares students to enter a challenging and diverse job market.
W. RONALD BUTLER: We span the spectrum from animal biology to animal production. This would include very basic research and teaching about that area, as well as very applied aspects of animal science. In this broad spectrum, we have specific areas of curriculum development and coursework in these areas that students can choose to satisfy, first of all, their own interest. And secondly and most importantly, their future interest and career opportunities that they hope to avail themselves to.
In short, the curriculum is designed with broad flexibility, similar to the entire Cornell curriculum, which allows the student to plan their own coursework, and choose their own pathway that best suits their interests in their career goals.
SPEAKER 1: Animal science professors take a special interest in helping undergraduates adjust to Cornell. Students and their faculty advisors work together to design an academic program that matches individual needs.
ALICE PELL: In the Animal Science Department, we're very concerned with making sure that students do get support and advice while they're undergraduates. This is particularly true in the first couple of years where things can be a little bit overwhelming. And we spend a lot of time, both, as the students come to Cornell and over the four years that they're here talking about what courses they want to take, where they want to go, what the best plan of action is.
KECHIA DAVIS: Yes, I'm a faculty advisor. He's also a professor in animal science, which makes it really easy because that way you have some links to the science department. And at the same time, you're going to classes. So there's always that communication between the professor and adviser. So the adviser always knows how you're doing in your classes and can help you out if you need any help.
W. RONALD BUTLER: As an advisor, we have individual meetings with our new students. We have as many visits or opportunities for the students to visit with us as they need to feel comfortable in their new environment. We talk with them about their background, their training in their high school or their home life, and how that fits with their chosen program area interest that they have selected. In this case, animal science. And secondarily, how this interest leads to their ultimate career goals that they would like to satisfy.
SPEAKER 1: One of the world's leading research universities, Cornell stresses a hands on approach to education.
ALICE PELL: When advising students, I try to encourage them to get involved in research activity. At the moment, we have one student who's trying to isolate some bacteria from a cow to see how the bacteria digests fiber. We have another student who is working on some projects with some farmers in the field.
TRACY KAMENS: The research opportunities here are great. There are many, many professors looking for undergraduate help with their research projects. You can get very involved in them, and even help in writing some of the actual research papers at the end, depending on how much work you put into it and how many hours you'd like to spend with it.
DAWN HOWELL: My adviser had told me that, well, let's see if Dr. Pell is doing anything up in the lab. And I'm like, OK, this would be great. You know, maybe I'll learn something new. And I just started last semester working on some of her little projects and writing papers on the results I found.
SPEAKER 1: With the aid of modern facilities in a top notch faculty, students here are exposed to the latest techniques and developments in the major animal science disciplines. In campus labs, they gained practical experience in the studies of meat, science, and physiology. The department maintains modern surgical suites for use in research on growth biology, nutrition, reproduction, and other topics. Computers assist in animal breeding and genetic work.
STEVEN WALKER: We use computers very heavily on nutrition programs to balance rations. Lease cost. I've taken a lot of ag-ec courses. And we do a lot of cash flow analysis and loan analysis. And I was never a big fan of computers before I came here. And now I can't imagine life without one.
SPEAKER 1: Much of the learning here takes place outside of the lab or classroom. Graduates who returned to the family business will take along knowledge of the latest farming methods using modern equipment.
JENNIFER DYE: You get a lot of experience outside of the classroom either in undergraduate research or work study programs. You can work with the animals without being in a classroom environment, and still get the same education from it. Coming from the Animal Science Department, you have the right experience to go out into the outside world.
You can fit right in so fast that it's really amazing. I'm going to be working on a dairy farm this summer having a lot of responsibilities because I've already had the experience that I need.
KECHIA DAVIS: I work in the physiology department at the vet school. And I work with dogs and doing a little bit of research there. And they train you to work with the animals, as well as technical abilities because I'm also getting trained to work as radioisotope, which is really advanced. And I never dreamed that I'd be doing radiostopes as a freshman in college.
SPEAKER 1: The Dairy Farm Fellows Program offers seniors an opportunity to participate in educational seminars and to analyze progressive dairy operations. This firsthand look at actual farms helps give students practical knowledge in management principles.
JEFFREY LOVE: The thing that attracted me most were the advanced programs, the Dairy Management Fellows Program, which is a program where you're going out on the farms, and working closely with dairy farmers, and advising them on making management decisions. It's a hands-on approach. And it's reality, basically.
SPEAKER 1: The Animal Science Department also sponsors opportunities for students to observe livestock and educational programs in other parts of the country and the world.
STEVEN WALKER: Cornell has established a program with Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. And it's an exchange program where the [INAUDIBLE] your junior year, you go to Cal Poly for a semester. And that was a great opportunity for me. We're exposed to a totally different system of agriculture and dairy farming that we don't have back here and different crops. It gave me a different perspective on the agriculture across the United States because I saw a lot of it.
SPEAKER 1: Closer to home, the department maintains small animal quarters in a large animal research and teaching unit. Here, students can gain experience with all types of animals, from farm livestock to companion species.
LEISA PAUTLER: On campus, the facilities are great. I think we have a horse farm. Actually, two horse farms, a dairy farm, a beef farm, and a sheep farm. So any type of species that you want to get involved with in the production type setting, you'd have ample opportunity to do so.
MARK THOMAS: My main interests are large animal. Mainly, cattle and swine. I've gained a lot of experience working at the university's swine farm.
W. RONALD BUTLER: Our curriculum has evolved and changed over the last few years, along with the interests of our incoming students. We realize that many students have interest in companion animals, pets, and small animals. There are many career opportunities where laboratory animals would be involved as part of the research or other business interests.
And more and more, we find students interested in exotic species. And by that, I would include fish, aquaculture, exotic avian species, and amphibians, which are not noted as animal science species. But nevertheless, they are animals. And understanding animal physiology, animal nutrition, is really the mainstream of our business here.
SPEAKER 1: Students here can take advantage of resources provided by a large university while enjoying the friendly supportive relationships associated with smaller colleges.
TRACY KAMENS: None of the professors would be very standoffish. They always welcomed you into their office hours, and really enjoy sitting down and talking with you, and helping you any way they could.
LEISA PAUTLER: When I came to Cornell and I looked around, I saw professors talking to students in the hallway and getting involved in classes. And I felt that this would be the place for me that people are really taking care of as individuals. It's not a big Ivy League institution where teachers stand on the sidelines and let students go. It's very interactive. And I really like that about Cornell.
SPEAKER 1: There is a wide variety of studies available outside of animal science, too. Certain curriculum requirements must be met. But students can also enroll in courses from any of Cornell's seven separate colleges. Many take courses that apply to a career choice. Others choose a subject based on personal interest.
SPEAKER 2: Our love and admiration for them was immense, too.
JENNIFER DYE: You don't come and just learn about animals. You come and learn about everything there is to offer at Cornell. There's a huge variety because it's such a large school. But it's not so big that you get lost.
EJNAR KNUDSEN: I found that the Animal Science department was very flexible but yet structured. And what it allowed me to do was focus on something that I loved. And that was agribusiness and dairy science, in particular. But also allow me to get the balance out of the business school and ag economics school to take the business classes. So when I graduated, I was an expert in the dairy field, but also an expert in business.
SPEAKER 1: The university also includes a grad school, a law school, and a business school. Many students choose to attend the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell following graduation from the Animal Science Program.
LEISA PAUTLER: I came to animal science because I knew it was a good pre-veterinary program. And it helped me a lot getting into vet school.
SPEAKER 1: Cornell is more than academics. Located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, the campus is among the most scenic anywhere. Here, students discover an ideal setting for studying, socializing, and enjoying the activities associated with college life.
JENNIFER DYE: The whole environment of Cornell is really excellent. You can drive out 10 miles, and you're all alone, and there's nothing around you. And then, just down the road from where you are, there's a shopping mall, and anything you could want, really. So it's really been great here.
SPEAKER 1: Throughout their Cornell experience, students will look forward to graduation and the opportunities that lie ahead.
JENNIFER DYE: I am going back to the family farm.
STEVEN WALKER: I've decided that I want to pursue a career in production agriculture.
JEFFREY LOVE: I feel that employment is going to be sales and marketing.
DAWN HOWELL: Working with endangered species and trying to figure out how we can save these species.
KECHIA DAVIS: Well when I'm finished with Cornell, I plan to apply to vet school.
MARK THOMAS: Yes, I believe the animal science program has given me a great advantage in applying to vet school.
TRACY KAMENS: I'm going into the Peace Corps right now. Going to be going to Sierra Leone, which is in West Africa. And then, after that, I would like to come back here and go to graduate school.
SPEAKER 1: Although their interests will take them in different directions, these future professionals face promising careers having trained in one of the world's most versatile programs, animal science.
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A description of how Cornell's Department of Animal Sciences offers support of its students' abilities, career goals and general interests as told through interviews with actual students and recent graduates of its program. Produced in 1992 by the ETV Center, Media Services at Cornell University for the Department of Animal Science.