Ag Journal – Achievements in Agriculture

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LUBBOCK, Texas – The Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University continues to produce outstanding accomplishments in agriculture.

From a discovery to increase the marbling in beef to a pheromone spray for breeding swine without the use of a boar, the impact reaches far beyond the university. 

Michael Orth, Ph.D., Chair & Professor of the Animal and Food Sciences Department at Texas Tech, pointed out the four predominant areas of research which include Food Science, Animal Health, West Texas beef cattle and Companion Animal Science. 

“The faculty here developed a product that can help increase the shelf life of meat products. That’s something that could have a great worldwide impact,” said Dr. Orth. “On the food safety side they now do a lot of work in Latin, Central American countries to help improve their food safety.”

Since 2008 the Animal and Food Sciences Department has experienced huge growth, educating 867 students and undergraduates in Fall 2019. With the new Texas Tech Veterinary School in Amarillo, Texas on the horizon – the university is looking to enroll 40 to 60 students focused on rural livestock medicine. 

“We feel like we’re going to play a very important role in getting kids ready for that because they have opportunities,” said Dr. Orth. “The students can get a lot of hands on experience that’s something that we value quite a bit in the department.”

Multiple outreach and engagement programs are offered throughout the year for the community. During the summer there are youth judging camps which engage youth in activities and help with recruiting. The therapeutic riding center offers equine therapy for all ages no matter the income status. And the new Companion Animal Science program does a lot of work with shelters, helping the adoption rates of dogs to improve.

Besides all the accolades, a signature of the department is a real sense of pride from the faculty to the students and the alumni.

“We have people that are invested,” said Dr. Orth. “Because of that, we can offer a lot of scholarships, we have good relationships in terms of providing internship opportunities. The other key component here is the stakeholder and the alumni that are committed to helping see this department thrive.”

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