Animal science class will explore animal industries in Belgium, the Netherlands

Kelly Jedrzejewski
September 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For students interested in embedded courses through Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the spring 2020 semester will include a new animal science class that features a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands.

“ANSC 499: Animal Industry in Belgium and the Netherlands” will allow students to explore and compare the countries' animal and equine industries during the semester. The three-credit spring semester class meets Mondays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and is being co-taught by Jacob Werner, research professor and attending veterinarian for agricultural animals and wildlife, and Ann Macrina, teaching professor of animal science.

Topics covered in the class will include breeding, training, international trade issues, agricultural trade policy, animal welfare, animal health and research, marketing, equestrian event and farm management, and rural development in Europe.

Macrina noted that students will learn about similarities and differences in animal management in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg compared to practices in the U.S. In class, students will make presentations on a cultural or agricultural aspect of the countries that they visited.

The travel portion of this course will take place over spring break, March 5-14. Students will experience horse, pig, poultry, dairy and beef farms in addition to university animal and research operations. They also will visit historical and cultural sites, such as the Flanders Field American Cemetery, a World War I cemetery.

Macrina said the students will have exposure to the European Union Parliament to learn about the role of the EU, how trade works in Europe and how trade relates to agriculture. Animal welfare policies in the European Union also will be covered.

“Our goal for this class is to give students an appreciation for other cultures, as well as an understanding of animal agriculture in countries with different resources and societal expectations than ours,” Macrina said.

The total cost is estimated at $3,000, which includes airfare, transportation, lodging and most meals. Students can apply for scholarships through the College of Agricultural Sciences and the University to support their travel.

For more information or to apply for the course, contact Werner at or Macrina at

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Last Updated September 25, 2019