What are your food-animal vet school rankings?

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U.S. News and World Report has ranked veterinary schools for their 2011 year in the U.S. (see rankings here). Cornell University took top honors.

Rankings for top 10 schools from U.S. News and World Report are:

  1. Cornell University
  2. University of California
  3. Colorado State University
  4. North Carolina State University
  5. Ohio State University
  6. University of Pennsylvania
  7. University of Wisconsin
  8. Texas A&M University
  9. Michigan State University
  10. University of Georgia

In their methodology section on graduate health program surveys, they explain that: All the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline.

Geni WrenSculpture at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Food-animal emphasis
While all of the above are excellent veterinary schools, I believe some other schools need to be highlighted for the advances and emphasis they have made in food-animal programs, often working in concert with their departments of animal science.

I’m not going to get myself in trouble by ranking them, but I do want to make note of some great food-animal programs at some of these other fine institutions that benefit undergrad animal science students (who may be on track to attend veterinary school) and veterinary students (not to mention practicing veterinarians and producers through Extension). They are:

  • Kansas State University – K-State has long been known for its great food-animal programs, and with the launch of the Beef Cattle Institute and online training modules, it has become one of the premiere veterinary schools as far as beef cattle medicine.
  • University of Minnesota – The veterinary college’s Dairy Education Center is located at a commercially viable dairy operation that is used for veterinary student education, research, continuing education and public demonstrations.
  • Iowa State University – In the last several years Iowa State has made a commitment especially to the dairy industry with the opening of the Iowa State University Dairy Farm for teaching, research and outreach. They also have some of the best researchers in the area of dairy cattle welfare and lameness. With its partnership with the University of Nebraska, veterinary students are also able to take advantage of UNL’s Great Plains Veterinary Education Center in Clay Center, Neb. for more intense beef cattle education. 
  • Washington State University – WSU is forging ahead in the area of food safety as demonstrated by the last two years of comprehensive E. coli webinars and research. They also have extensive dairy lameness research and materials for students, veterinarians and producers.

There are many more schools well-deserving of mention, but these are just a few to highlight.

Comment below and let me know what your veterinary school (presently attending, employed by or as an alum) does in the food-animal arena that makes it top-notch as well.

See the full list of veterinary school and colleges ranked by U.S. News and World Report here.

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John Wenz    
Pullman, WA  |  November, 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM

We also hope that the Good Dairy Health Records Program at WSU will also contibute to the food-animal arena. Check it out at www.goodhealthrecords.com Thanks.

Eileen Kuhlmann    
University of Minnesota  |  November, 07, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Looking at the link that was provided to US News and World Report. I believe that Michigan State University, University of Georgia and the University of MN tied for 9th.

Angela King, DVM    
Lena, WI  |  November, 07, 2012 at 01:41 PM

I am a 2009 Iowa State University graduate. They made huge additions to food animal faculty while I was at Iowa State. I know this is a bovine focused magazine, but we have (I believe) the best swine production section of any vet school as well.

Chris Brown    
E Lansing MI  |  November, 07, 2012 at 02:04 PM

This ranking is based on all aspects of the CVM's programs, not solely on the food animal programs at the schools.

Geni Wren/Editor Bovine Veterinarian    
Lenexa, KS  |  November, 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM

Chris, you are right, the top 10 rankings were for the schools as a whole, but for my Bovine Veterinarian readers I wanted to also identify some schools that also have great food animal programs and I think sometimes the food animal aspect gets lost amidst the volume of small animal departments/specialities at the veterinary schools.

Georgia  |  November, 10, 2012 at 07:40 AM

The University of Missouri also has a high food animal caseload and has a very good herd health program. Plus their students get 2 years in clinical rotations compared to the one year in many other veterinary colleges.

Florida  |  November, 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM

I have long argued that it is time that our profession took an honest look at itself, and split the degree into companion animal (which would include equine) and food animal. The skills and knowledge necessary to provide a vaccination protocol for Fluffy the cat versus the vaccination protocol for a 10,000 cow dairy are only a milk example. I left clinical practice and now work as technical support, and absolutely cringe every time I see a small/mixed animal practice name on prescriptions.

Duke Wilgenbusch    
Iowa  |  November, 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM

Luckily, I doubt if many prospective veterinary students depend on U.S. News and World Report for information to decide which Veterinary College they will attend if they are interested in food animal medicine. Hopefully, they will not depend on Bovine Veterinarian. Your comment about other colleges is appreciated, but your headline, which asks how your food animal school is ranked, is misleading. I do not think U.S. News was identifying food animal expertise at all, and in fact I suspect food animal is the "ugly sister" in the world of veterinary colleges. I am an Iowa State grad, and obviously think it deserves a high ranking among"food animal veterinary schools". It has a world class swine medicine program and has focused on developing sharing programs with other veterinary colleges and, where appropriate, private practices that have world class programs in a specific area of food animal medicine, to provide "top ten" experiences for their students in all aspects of food animal medicine.

Lindquist  |  December, 07, 2012 at 06:48 AM

I believe NC State's FARAD program needs to be recognized. The food animal residue avoidance databank offers resources for practicitioners on avoiding drug residues in milk and meat and trains the future of food animal safety veterinary medical officers.

G W Campbell    
franklin ky  |  December, 31, 2012 at 06:24 PM

UK has one of the best programs ive took several classes there and the Doctors there are very dedicated