Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky has a long and interesting history. It started as part of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station (KAES) in the late 1800s. As the teaching program in Agriculture grew after the A&M College was established, the employees of the KAES developed courses in the Animal Sciences dealing with meat animals, dairy, poultry, and horses. Early courses related to Veterinary Science were taught under one of the umbrellas of Animal Husbandry.
As research and teaching programs evolved, Extension programs were developed under the direction of T.R. Bryant. The Department has had several types of organization. Originally the functions of the KAES and College were officially separate, even though the research group taught classes. This gradually changed, and in 1912 the College and Experiment Station merged into a joint teaching-research unit; most faculty had joint teaching-research appointments. Extension faculty and staff were included later.
The name of what is now the Department of Animal and Food Sciences has been Animal Husbandry, Animal Industry Group with Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Poultry Sections and separate Departments of Animal Husbandry (later Animal Science), Dairy Science, and Poultry Science. Veterinary Science or Animal Pathology was split out along the way and became a separate department. In 1966 Animal Science, Dairy Science, and Poultry Science merged into the Department of Animal Sciences with a Chairman, Vice Chairman (later Associate Chairman) and several subject matter and commodity coordinators.
At the time of the 1966 merger, a Food Science Section was formed, and a short time later a curriculum option in Food Science was established. This was upgraded to a degree program in 1977. In 1982 the Council on Higher Education approved Food Science as a separate degree program to be administered by the Department of Animal Sciences.
On January 1, 2005, the department name became the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.