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Animal Science

ECC animal science student using ultrasound equipment on steer

The Animal Science major is designed for students who have an interest in animal production, management, sales, research, and health care. The hands-on coursework focuses on domestic animals – beef and dairy cattle, cats, dogs, horses, sheep, swine, poultry, and the services related to these animals. ECC students will master the topics of animal nutrition, breeding and health. Instruction includes outings to livestock operations in the area, as well as partnerships with local producers and the Extension Service. Animal Science majors are prepared for a wide range of careers in agriculture and veterinary medicine, livestock production, agribusiness and finance, livestock sales and promotion, biotechnology and international agriculture.

This versatile Animal Science program is a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree that prepares graduates for employment directly after graduation or for transferring their ECC credits to complete a baccalaureate/bachelor’s degree at a university. This program includes a career seminar and a paid on-the-job training internship that has proven to be invaluable to our students for professional networking, building their resumes, and getting their foot in the door to make a great impression on a local employer.


The fields of animal production, management, sales, research, and healthcare provide many career opportunities for animal scientists. Specific careers include animal care, livestock production, agribusiness and finance, animal transport, livestock sales, animal feeds and feeding, and animal pharmaceuticals.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Animal Scientists with a bachelor’s degree was $58,610 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for 9% growth in employment (about as fast as average).


Our Animal Science (AAS) degree program is designed to transfer to most four-year colleges and universities. Students who plan to transfer their credits are encouraged to visit with an admissions representative or academic advisor of the college or university to which they plan to transfer to ensure that the transfer of their ECC credits is seamless and complete.

The majority of ECC’s Animal Science majors transfer to Iowa State University; others have transferred to Northwest Missouri State University, South Dakota State University, and many others.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!


  • ECC’s agriculture students maintain a 133-acre farm near the College, where they experience hands-on learning at its best.
  • Animal Science majors travel to a variety of farm shows including the Iowa Power Farming Show, Farm Progress Show, Iowa Beef Expo, Iowa Pork Congress, and others.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages … there are many agriculture scholarships available, including the Bob & Arlene Hamilton Excellence in Agriculture Scholarships, which cover nearly a full year’s tuition and fees!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.
  • Our Ag Science Club is a blast … activities include involvement in Iowa and National Postsecondary Agriculture Students (PAS) leadership conferences, field trips, service projects, parties, and more.
  • Professor Kevin Butt has been teaching agriculture at ECC since 2004. He has been recognized nationally as one of four Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Education Teachers in the United States.


Kevin Butt

Kevin Butt

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with...

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with an Associate’s degree in Ag Science, then transferred to Iowa State University, where he graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Ag Education and Animal Science. Kevin spent several years working...

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