Jobs that are available to students and make a difference in the community can be hard to come by.
“I just could never picture doing anything but ranching, and as long as people have to eat, I’ll have a job,” said Aaron Tenney, a freshman studying animal science.
Tenney received an associate degree in animal science from the College of Southern Idaho. He is now studying animal science at BYU-Idaho. The Livestock Center, the headquarters of the animal science program at BYU-I, is located about five miles west of campus.
“I spend about 17 hours a week in classes and labs,” Tenney said, “and the rest of my classes are online, so I never actually go to campus.”
The Livestock Center is home not only to the animal science program but also to a fully functional butchery.
Shaun Harris, a teacher at the livestock center, said about 15,000 pounds of meat products are processed and sold at the livestock center each year.
Harris said 300 students at BYU-I major in animal science.
“It is a serious responsibility to provide food for a growing nation,” Harris said.
The food industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Harris said in the next 40 years, more food will be produced than in the last 10,000 years due to the growing population.
Students are preparing to contribute to the efforts being made to produce this much food.
“Agriculture isn’t just a job, but it’s a way of life. I have a deep love of working with animals and working to feed the world,” Tenney said.
BYU-I’s meat lab provides hands-on experience for students who plan to work with animals in the future.
“In ‘Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation,’ we learn techniques to increase meat animal production efficiency through evaluation of live animals,” Harris said. “The live animals used in that class are then used in the ‘Principles of Meat Science’ class.”
Universities with an animal science department often have their animal science buildings on campus.
“In addition to a building, they often have a different livestock facility off-campus for labs,” Harris said.
The new agricutltrural science buidling on campus has a projected completion date of March 2015, pending approval from the Church Board of Education.
The building will provide classrooms, labs and additional offices.
Because there was no kill floor planned for the building, no animals will be slaughtered on campus.