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Restructured animal science program coming to Lakeland

A restructured animal science technology program is coming to Lakeland College this fall. The program will include more specialized courses, additional student-managed learning opportunities and the introduction of equine into the program.

Starting this fall, students will enter the two-year diploma program in one of four specific majors. Students will study for beef science, equine science, dairy science or livestock science at the Vermilion campus to work in the private sector or service side of the livestock industry. Geoff Brown, associate dean of Lakeland’s School of Agricultural Sciences, says the restructuring allows for more specialized training.

“This new structure allows students in the beef, equine and dairy majors to take additional courses specific to that animal species. For those who want to learn more about multiple species, the livestock science major is their best choice,” says Brown.

Lakeland is expecting high enrolment for the program. About 90 to 100 students enrol in the program each year, a big jump from the original figure of about 35 students. It also helps students stay in a hands-on learning model offered by the student-managed farm, which allows them to run a livestock unit in their second year. Brown says the SMF is a big feature of the program that allows the college to offer quality education.

“One of our big selling points is our student-managed farm model. In the second year they can actually run one of the livestock units. Just inherent to that model is that if the class size increases, we need more enterprises for them to run. This kind of facilitates this model better.”

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Lakeland is no longer accepting applications to its one-year western ranch and cow horse certificate program. Instead, the equine science is rolled into a diploma program and allows students to leave the program with a diploma credential instead of a one-year certificate. Brown thinks this kind of specialized training will benefit the students throughout their academic career.

“With the equine major in the animal science technology program, students will take horse training and cattle handling courses as well as more science-based courses focused on equine production. Graduates of the animal science technology program have the option to transfer their diploma credits towards a degree program at another post-secondary institution.”

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