2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Dairy Production (B.S.)

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Londa Nwadike, Department Head
Department of Dairy and Food Science
Alfred Dairy Science Hall 136

Program Information

Dairy Science is an application of the sciences, engineering and technology, and business toward the study of milk production and processing. The Dairy Production major focuses on the study of milk production, dairy farm operation management, nutrition and feeding, genetics and breeding, herd health and business management. The degree is designed to prepare students for a wide range of outstanding, challenging and rewarding career opportunities ranging from industry to private enterprise, government, research and higher education.  Students will develop a knowledge base related to the basic biological, physical, microbiological, and chemical sciences.  These sciences are utilized to study the animal health, genetics, physiology, and nutritional requirements of lactating animals. Students will also be exposed to business operations management as it relates specifically to dairy farm operations. Graduates with a degree in Dairy Production are well prepared for professional positions within the dairy industry or for further graduate study in Dairy Science.

Course Delivery Format

The program offers in depth instruction and training through lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises and hands-on practical application and training.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Dairy Production curriculum a graduate should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Understanding of the chemistry and physiology underlying the nutritional requirements of lactating animals, specifically dairy cattle.
  • Functional and practical approach to maintaining herd health based on a thorough understanding of animal diseases and their causes.
  • Functional and practical approach to breeding dairy cattle and confirming pregnancy to enable initiation of milk production.
  • Applied genetics related to breeding and herd management.
  • Microbial growth and survival as it impacts the safety and spoilage of milk.
  • Development of the ruminal microbial environment and impacts on nutrient requirements, milk composition and milk quality.
  • Understanding of cleaning and sanitation processes and protocols impacting milk quality.
  • Understanding of dairy farm management and operations principles including finance, human resources, environmental controls, nutrient management, business costs and profitability.
  • Ability to utilize verbal and written communication skills effectively in a group or individual environment.
  • Ability to utilize critical thinking and reasoning skills while ethically applying scientific principles toward resolving issues associated with the growth, care and feeding, and harvesting of milk from lactating animals.

Requirements for Dairy Production Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science

Major Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science

System General Education Requirements* 31-34 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 79-81 Credit Hours
Electives** 5-10 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree shall include a minimum of 30 credit hours. Some general education coursework may be counted for Major Requirements and Supporting Coursework.
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.