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: 73

Location: Calmar

Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer

Contact email: lawstuend@nicc.edu


Dairy production is a multi-billion dollar economic force and is key to the effort to feed an ever-increasing world population with growing food demands. Northeast Iowa Community College provides leadership in dairy science education at the world-class facility in Calmar known as the Dairy Center.

Students can expect to enter the dairy workforce after completing this two-year degree. Career options include:

  • Return to and modernize family dairy operations
  • Management positions on modern dairies
  • Industry jobs with AI firms, milk procurement organizations and local cooperatives
  • Positions working with or at veterinary clinics
  • Beginning producers starting their own operations

The Dairy Center’s facilities include a “dueling parlor” (half parallel-half herringbone) complete with the industry’s latest advances and a three-row, 144-stall barn equipped with slatted floors and an alley scraper for manure collection. Additionally, the spacious special-needs facility is a focal point along with a calf barn designed to maximize animal and employee performance.

This program includes management training, classroom discussion, practical hands-on dairy lab work and an on-the-job experience (internship). In addition to dairy and milk production classes, required course work includes nutrition, health/disease, reproduction, genetics and farm accounting/business management. Students will be exposed to and interact with artificial insemination, ultrasound, hoof care, intravenous treatments, vaccination, pH monitoring, CMT, milk culturing, dehorning, moisture testing, computer training, and much more. Students also become proficient in dairy management software, farm cash flows, budgeting, milk marketing, job applications and preparing a tax return.

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Complete ACCUPLACER® admission testing. 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.
  3. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
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:328 Parlor Management Rotation OR 1.0
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 OR 1.0
AGS:344 Dairy Equipment and Facility 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: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:342 Dairy Business Analysis Rotation OR 1.0
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 Rotation OR 1.0
AGS:343 Bovine Husbandry Rotation 1.0
AGS:944 Issues Facing Animal Science 1.0
* Psychology Elective (transfer-level) 3.0
* Science Elective (transfer-level) 3.0


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 $22,526 - $60,715 and a projected growth of 23.3%, the career outlook for Dairy Science Technology graduates is outstanding.

Salary Source: Institutional Effectiveness; Salary range represents 10th-90th percentile earnings for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2010-2020.

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