diversity/inclusion issue in animal science

An issue that I believe is still seen in animal science is the lack of diversity. When I first got into the field of animal science, especially at the university of Missouri, most of my professors and graduate teaching assistants were predominantly white. Now, to my first year in graduate school I believe that the field of animal science has took a great step in the right direction. Obviously diversity and inclusion are still and issue but like what Dr. Alworth from the University of Georgia says diversity is already becoming increasingly present in the workplace and in the lab setting. Just from moving from Missouri to Virginia, I have seen a vast diversity in the building of animal science when it comes to professors and graduate students, but I believe there is still a disconnect to get more diversity into the undergraduate level. I personally do not know if international students just do not want to be in the field of animal science, if it is the non-promotion from this department, or if it is a mixture of both. All I do know though, is that diversity in animal science will give us more perspective on the global issues and not just the issues we see in the United States. I believe that animal science especially needs to be more diverse and inclusive because our future of feeding our growing population is going to be a majority on our shoulders. Another statement by Dr. Alworth that supports this is that diversity brings the potential to generate creative discussion and innovation, which is exactly what we need moving forward.

The journal article below was my main source for this blog post and I believe it has some great messages for societal diversity as well. In the article it also provides some examples of promoting more inclusion and diversity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20353686

2 Replies to “diversity/inclusion issue in animal science”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Cooper. Diversity is an idea, concept, overarching descriptor. I encourage you to go deeper than just naming diversity as something present in some spaces. You mentioned diversity around undergraduate being present in the field is an issue. I’m wondering what other forms of diversity aren’t present? It’s important to name the diversity that exists so that you can better address the kind that isn’t present. I look forward to reading about what you come up with.

  2. To add to this discussion I think that equity is an important topic to talk about not only in animal science, but in agriculture in general. To go along with jess’s blog post everyone needs agriculture, but the way our economy is set up no wants to be a farmer because it is so hard to make a profit. That is why when looking up farm size over the past couple years the number of farms has dropped dramatically, but the size of the farms have risen. That is because the only way farmers can make anywhere near a profit is they have to become a mass producer of what ever they are making, like corn or raising cattle. That is making the whole agriculture system non-equitable and leading to an all time low employment in agriculture, even though we need more food than ever in present and upcoming future.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.AGR.EMPL.MA.ZS?end=2018&start=1991&view=chart

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/farming-and-farm-income/

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