Feeding the World
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This course will explore the concepts driving current food production science (population growth, urbanization, emerging affluence, resource constraints, and underlying biological limits) with the main focus on livestock production. Each of the major food animal species (dairy, swine, beef, and poultry) will be covered in terms of their universal life cycles, constraints to production and emerging societal issues.
Throughout the course, we will tackle some difficult and important questions:
- What are the major health benefits and potential concerns regarding the production and consumption of animal products?
- How does animal production affect the efficient use of resources and impact our environment?
- Can cost of production be reduced to meet growing demand for animal products around the globe while maintaining health and safety for both animals and consumers?
- What are the different types of animal food production systems?
Myths and misconceptions surrounding the animal food systems will be discussed. We’ll also look closely at some of the global issues, problems, and challenges in these food systems which scientists, farmers, and veterinarians, are attempting to solve through collaboration.
Lectures will be delivered by several experts from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine who are intimately involved in the study and advancement of animal production systems. The course is geared towards learners who seek a greater understanding of animal food systems as well as those who might have never visited an animal farm, but have a desire to learn more about where some of our food comes from and issues surrounding sustainability.
WEEK ONE: POPULATION GROWTH AND GLOBAL ANIMAL INDUSTRIES
Animal food systems will be introduced and we’ll look at production processes here and across the globe with an eye on our growing population, demands of emerging economies, and more.
WEEK TWO: ISSUES SURROUNDING ANIMAL PRODUCTION
The benefits, concerns, ethical aspects, and management of environmental resources used in animal production systems will be discussed.
WEEK THREE: ANIMAL FEED, THE ENVIRONMENT AND GENETICS
We’ll explore the what, how, and why aspects of animal feeding and how its production affects our environment. We’ll also talk about genetic selection and emerging technologies in animal breeding.
WEEK FOUR: GENERAL ANIMAL PRODUCTION, EFFICIENCY, AND FOOD SAFETY
The final weeks of the course will focus on specific animal systems. We’ll look at each (dairy cows, swine, poultry and beef cows) in terms of their industry trends, animal life cycles, different types of production systems and myths and issues surrounding them.
WEEK FIVE: DAIRY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
WEEK SIX: SWINE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
WEEK SEVEN: POULTRY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
WEEK EIGHT: BEEF PRODUCTION SYSTEMS