Dairy Science Technology

Two dairy cows staring into the camera while in the dairy barn.

Dairy Science Technology

Subject Area: Agriculture and Animal Sciences

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 74

Location: Calmar

Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer


NICC is recognized globally for Dairy Science education. The world-class facilities at Iowa's Dairy Center are a one-of-a-kind setting. Students will be in a classroom environment, and within minutes they move to a modern dairy facility for hands-on practical education.

Iowa's Dairy Center has the latest in Dairy Science technology for training and next generation of dairy professionals. The facility includes a robotic milking system, as well as the traditional parallel and herringbone parlors. Additionally, the Dairy Center has modern calf, heifer, and dry cow facilities. Furthermore, the Dairy Center offers the latest in agronomic/soil conservation practices producing high quality forages for the dairy operation.

Successful graduates of the Dairy Science Technology program have a multitude number of career opportunities which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Returning, modernizing, and becoming the next generation of their family dairy business.
  • Management positions on progressive, modern dairy operations.
  • Dairy service industry careers which include the AI industry, milking equipment positions (especially robotics), dairy field representatives, dairy feed sales, and veterinary clinics.
  • Starting their own dairy farm operations.

Dairy Science students are trained in many areas of animal husbandry including, but not limited to the following:

  • Artificial insemination and ultra-sound
  • Vaccinations and treatments including IV
  • Ration evaluation, balancing, mixing, and delivery
  • Feed harvest, storage, and nutrient testing
  • Genomics and sire selection
  • Milk sampling, culturing, and milk harvest prep procedures
  • Milk marketing and feed purchasing
  • Facility design of parlors, freestalls, and manure storage
  • Neonatal care of dairy calves, plus replacement heifers
  • Financial analysis, including cost of production and profitability return.
Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment and ALEKS® math assessment. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.
Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
AGB:330 Farm Business Management 3.0
AGS:114 Survey of the Animal Industry¹ 2.0
AGS:242 Animal Health 3.0
AGS:244 Applied Animal Disease Prevention and Treatment 2.0
AGS:344 Dairy Equipment and Facility Rotation 1.0
AGS:335 Principles of Milk Production 3.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
AGB:235 Intro to Agriculture Markets 3.0
AGB:333 Applied Farm Financial Management 2.0
AGS:101 Working with Animals 2.0
AGS:328 Parlor Management Rotation  1.0
AGS:331 Animal Reproduction 3.0
AGS:334 Applied Reproductive Techniques 2.0
AGS:337 Principles of Dairy Production 3.0
SPC:112 Public Speaking 3.0


Term 3
AGS:346 Dairy Robotics 1.0
AGS:805 Dairy Internship I 2.0


Term 4
AGA:114 Principles of Agronomy² 3.0
AGS:336 Agricultural Selling 3.0
AGB:466 Agricultural Finance 3.0
AGS:343 Bovine Husbandry Rotation 1.0
AGS:353 Animal Genetics 3.0
AGS:354 Applied Animal Selection and Improvement 2.0
COM:723 Workplace Communications OR 3.0
ENG:105 Composition I 3.0


Term 5
AGA:212 Grain and Forage Crops 4.0
AGS:319 Animal Nutrition 3.0
AGS:326 Applied Ration Balancing and Feeding 2.0
AGS:342 Dairy Business Analysis  1.0
AGS:944 Issues Facing Animal Science 1.0
* Psychology Elective (transfer-level) 3.0
* Science Elective (transfer-level) 3.0

This Associate of Applied science degree program requires a minimum of 15 credits of transfer-level general education electives from Communication, Humanities, Math, Science or Social Science. Three of these hours can include SDV:179 The College Experience.  If The College Experience course is waived or transfers in for less than three credits, an additional general education elective from the areas listed above is required.


Psychology Elective:  PSY:112 recommended
Science Elective: BIO:248 recommended

Articulation can be achieved by successfully passing an NICC Agriculture Department proficiency exam and taking the following at your high school:
¹Animal Science
²Crop Science

Employment Information

With an annual income range of $28,988 - $50,401 and a projected growth of 5.2%, the career outlook for Dairy Science Technology graduates is growing.

Source: EMSI; Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2016-2020.

Click here to read Dairy Science alumni success stories.

Employers NICC Alumni

Accelerated Genetics, Westby, WI
Alta Genetics, Watertown, WI
Animal Health International, Dyersville, IA
Best Farms Inc, Fort Branch, IN
Crispy Cream Dairy, Hokah, MN
Daley Farms, Lewiston, MN
E&M Farms, Ossian, IA
Harbaugh Dairy, Elkader, IA
Haz-Broy Farms, Lanesboro, MN
Hei/Bri Jersey Dairy, Hawkeye, IA
Klein's Cow Palace, Lake City, MN
Land O'Lakes, Pine Island, MN
Lenhart Dairy, Sutherland, IA
McAllister Dairy, New Vienna, IA
Mills Farm Fleet, Mason City, IA
NICC Dairy Center, Calmar, IA
Obert Farms Inc.
Roadside Dairy, Preston, MN
Schumacher Farms, Plainview, MN
Summit Farm, Lester, IA

Sample Job Titles

Assistant Herdsman
Feed Tech

Additional Information

Related Student Organizations

Post Secondary Agriculture Students, Dairy Science Club


Dairy Center


Lenny Graves
Dean of Career and Technical Education
800.728.2256, ext. 240

Dave Lawstuen
Dairy Science Instructor
866.474.4692, ext. 112