MSU faculty, administrators celebrate completion of Animal and Dairy Sciences Building
Author: Vanessa Beeson
Mississippi State officials commemorated the completion of the new Animal and Dairy Sciences Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday [Sept. 30].
The 34,500-square-foot building is part of a complex at the corner of Blackjack Road and Hail State Boulevard, which also includes the newly constructed, 15,000-square-foot Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory that opened last fall. A 27,300-square-foot Poultry Science Building is anticipated for completion in spring 2020.
"The new Animal and Dairy Sciences Building provides our students and faculty with an exceptional teaching and learning environment," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "This building, as well as the recently completed Meat Science and Muscle Biology Lab and the Poultry Science Building under construction, will further enhance Mississippi State's national and international leadership in agricultural sciences research and education."
George Hopper, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, emphasized how the building positions the department for the future.
"The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences has a legacy of training future leaders in animal agriculture," Hopper said. "This facility will allow department faculty and staff to expand teaching, research and outreach efforts to assist the more than 16,000 livestock farmers in Mississippi."
The state is home to approximately 16,000 cattle and calf operations, 300 hog farms and 70 dairies. In 2018, these entities had the combined production value of $422 million. Additionally, the state's equestrian activities continue to have about $1.15 billion economic impact annually.
In addition to Keenum and Hopper, administrators speaking at the ceremony included Reuben Moore, interim vice president of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service; and John Blanton, department head and interim associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Representatives from general contractor Century Construction and Tupelo-based McCarty Architects also were on hand.
The Animal and Dairy Sciences Building will serve the department's growing student body, which includes approximately 430 undergraduates and 30 graduate students. The facility also will house the department's some 40 faculty members and staff. The space includes classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, conference rooms and a graduate assistant suite. A food retail space on the first floor, adjacent to the main lobby, has been named by the Mississippi State Equine Association. A 5,000-square-foot connector building between the Animal and Dairy Sciences Building and the Poultry Building also is under construction.
The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences offers a bachelor's degree with concentrations in business and industry, production management and science/veterinary science. Master's and doctoral degrees are offered in agriculture and agricultural sciences. The department includes faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the MSU Extension Service. Learn more about the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at www.ads.msstate.edu.