General News

New: Online Certificate Programs for Livestock Professionals

[pigs in a barn]

Stand Out from the Herd

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine announces two certificate programs for the livestock industry, in Livestock Systems Health and Livestock Business Operations. Both provide graduate-level credit for people with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. And both allow learners to advance their professional credentials without leaving their homes.

“These certificate programs are designed so that the busy livestock professional can gain in-depth knowledge that is immediately relevant to their workplace,” says Dr. Jim Lowe, one of the content experts who created the courses as well as the director of the college’s new i-Learning Center, which produced the courses.

For decades, Illinois has been known for its high-quality, high-impact education for food animal professionals, according to Dr. Lowe.

“Our college introduced the Integrated Food Animal Management System program in 1987 and the Executive Veterinary Program in 1991,” he says. “The problem is, only a relatively small number of learners can participate in these traditional, in-person educational opportunities. Today, access to our expertise expands exponentially with online learning.”

[Dr. Jim Lowe developed the certificate programs]The two new certificate programs consist of three courses that allow learners to proceed through lectures and course materials on their own schedules. Each course lasts eight weeks and is offered sequentially rather than simultaneously. Live sessions with the instructor are scheduled via an online platform so learners can ask questions and participate with classmates.

  • Livestock Systems Health certificate: Focuses on an adapted lean manufacturing model and method tailored for the management of animal health and disease in livestock production systems. Particular emphasis is given to the economic and food safety aspects of disease management and prevention. Upon completion of the certificate, learners will be able to apply population- and systems-based infectious disease control and management practices in their workplace.
  • Livestock Business Operations certificate: Introduces business principles and applies them to livestock production operations. The foundational business knowledge required to efficiently and effectively run a livestock production business will be directly relevant to on-the job decision-making.

Each of the certificate programs consists of three eight-week courses that require an estimated 9 hours of course work per week.

Registration is open now for the first course in the Livestock Systems Health certificate program, which begins August 26, 2019. The first Livestock Business Operations course will be offered in early 2020.

Illinois will soon make available a host of online learning options for veterinary and animal health professionals. Modules soon to be released or currently in production cover topics ranging from small animal pain management to microsurgery skills.

To find out more, contact the i-Learning Center at 217-300-7439 or

You may also request information by completing our online inquiry form at