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https://ansc.illinois.edu/animal-sciences-extension (4)

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Dr. Johnson promotes, protects, and maintains brain health by studying communication pathways between the immune system and the brain. He investigates how infection, nutrition, and birth weight affect brain and cognitive development. He also studies how aging causes deterioration in brain health.

Janice Bahr

Professor Emerita
Dr. Bahr uses the laying hen, the only animal that gets ovarian cancer identical to humans, to develop techniques for the early detection of ovarian cancer. She evaluates the dietary influences of anti-inflammatory Indian spices, such as curcumin and ashwagandha, on the incidence and severity of ovarian cancer. She also studies how the elevation of follicle stimulating hormone in postmenopausal women may cause the disease.






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Meet the Ambassadors

Katelyn Smoot

Katelyn Smoot

Sterling, IL / Pre-Vet
My future plans include graduating from ACES with a bachelor's degree in animal sciences. Next year I plan to apply to a college of veterinary medicine. My ultimate career goal is to become a large/mixed animal veterinarian. 

Maddie Heidtke

Maddie Heidtke

Woodstock, IL / Equine Science/Companion Animals + Leadership Studies
After graduating with my bachelor's degree in May 2022, I plan to go ont o graduate school to get a master's degree in livestock reproduction and breeding. Ultimately, I would love to work with livestock producers and consult with them on their animals' reproductive needs. 

Kaitlyn Roley

Kaitlyn Roley

Metamora, IL / Food Animal Production and Management + Spanish and Leadership
I plan to graduate in 2022 and go into the meat industry. I ideally would do quality assurance in a pork processing plant. If the opportunity arises to go to grad school, I would. 

Julia Walli

Julia Walli

Lombard, IL / Pre-Vet + Spanish 
My future plans are to graduate with my degree in animal sciences with a minor in Spanish. I will then apply and attend veterinary school hopefully at the University of Illinois. I am hoping to be a mixed animal veterinarian as well as become a clinical instructor at a veterinary school. 






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Horses running in a field

Horse Judging Team

As a member of the horse judging team, you will have the opportunity to view some of the world's best horses at national judging competitions and improve your decision-making skills and self-confidence through systematic evaluation of classes. The judging team practices and competes in the fall semester, and members are encouraged to take ANSCI 313 before joining the team.

Advised by: Debra Hagstrom

Livestock Judging Team with award

Livestock Judging Team

The livestock judging team is open to all undergraduate students at the University of Illinois, although most members of the team have a strong interest in animal agriculture and its related industries. If you are interested, enroll in ANSCI 211 (Breeding Animal Evaluation) in the spring semester of your junior year to compete at the National Western Stock Show, Denver, CO; Sioux Empire, Sioux Falls, SD; Iowa Beef Expo, Des Moines, IA; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston, TX; and the All-East.

Advised by: Dr. Dan Shike and Lee Rincker

Meat animal evaluation students in facility with hanging meat

Meat Animal Evaluation Team

The meat animal evaluation team serves as the capstone experience for students with an interest in the evaluation of breeding animals, market animals, and the end product. The contest consists of four sections: the breeding, meats, and market animal divisions, and the communication challenge. The meat animal evaluation team competes in the spring at the National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest. Students interested should contact one of the following Advisors.

Advised by: Dr. Dan ShikeLee Rincker, and Brandon Klehm

Meat judging team standing outside of bus

Meat Judging Team

The meat judging team is a competitive extracurricular program that tests students’ knowledge on carcass anatomy, industry function, and end product quality. The meat judging program at the University of Illinois has been active since 1929. Being a part of a meat judging team takes dedication, passion, and typically hand warmers. As a member of the meat judging team, you will get a firsthand understanding of how the final product is evaluated, fabricated, and marketed. Team members are exposed to numerous segments of the livestock and meats industry, allowing you to network with leaders in the industry and across other universities.

Students on the team will get to travel across the country for 2 semesters, competing against students from other agriculture universities to determine who the best evaluators are. The team competes at 4 contests in the spring and 4 contests in the fall. Students interested in being on the team need to enroll in ANSC 215 – Section A (Intro to Meat Eval). For any questions, please contact the Advisor below.

Meat Judging Team on Facebook

Advised by: Brandon Klehm






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Explore Our Current Organizations

Animal Sciences Ambassadors

The Animal Sciences Student Ambassadors serve a variety of roles that involve representing the department to potential students, alumni, and guests, as well as designing activities for current students. You can learn more about their studies and their future goals by viewing their profiles.

Student Ambassador Profiles

Companion Animals Club

This club promotes the enjoyment of companion animals through related activities such as volunteer opportunities and social events while providing career and educational resources for members. They have monthly meetings with guest speakers, an exciting field trip each semester, and a number of service and social events throughout the year!

Advised by: Sarah Albert

View CAC on Facebook

Hoof and Horn Club

The Hoof and Horn Club is the University of Illinois chapter of the National Block and Bridle Association. The club's main objective is to provide the opportunity for students to develop greater knowledge of the animal sciences industry. Each year begins with the annual Fall Call Out to welcome students back to campus and introduce the club to new students. The club holds monthly meetings that often include industry guest speakers.

Advised by: Dr. Doug Parrett and Dr. Dan Shike

View Hoof and Horn on Facebook

Illini Equestrian Club

Illini Equestrian Club is dedicated to providing experiences and education for anyone interested in equestrian sports. Whether an individual has been riding for their entire life, or has never been on a horse, the club is more than willing to accept them onto the team and assist with instruction and learning. It is our belief that, for many people, horses and riding are lifelong passions. We don't want that passion to be unfulfilled because of college.

Advised by: Dr. Kevin Kline

View Illini Equestrian Club's website