Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2005


Published by University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The first mention of beef cattle used for instruction of students at the University of Nebraska was about 1874 according to Professor Wm. J. Loeffel’s written history of “Animal Husbandry Through the Years at the University of Nebraska.” While the University was founded in 1869, and the College of Agriculture was established in 1872, it wasn’t until 1874 that the “college farm” was purchased at the current location of the UNL East Campus for $55 per acre. Some livestock was maintained on the college farm during the years 1875 to 1890, but the number was quite small. The Board of Regents established the Department of Animal Husbandry in 1898 and E. A. Burnett was hired to be the Head of the Department in 1899. Burnett had only two faculty members in his fledgling department that first year, Professor C.H. Elmendorf and Professor H.R. Smith. Burnett’s first expenditure in 1890 was $1500 for the purchase of Hereford cattle to be used in feeding experiments. Major activities of the Department in 1899 were: erecting sheds for the cattle in feeding experiments, maintenance of horses to produce serum used in hog cholera experiments and distribution of 33,000 doses of blackleg vaccine furnished by the federal government.