The following list summarizes classes offered in FISC. Classes are listed by department. Some may not be offered every year.
For detailed information such as when and where a specific class is offered, visit the Course Timetables page.
- Agricultural and Applied Economics
- Animal Sciences
- Biological Systems Engineering
- Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
- Community and Environmental Sociology
- Dairy Sciences
- Farm and Industry Short Course
- Food Science
- Life Sciences Communication
- Plant Pathology
- School of Veterinary Medicine
- Soil Science
All first-year students will earn a certificate in Foundations of Farm Management. This one-year certificate requires a minimum of 12 credits. There are also five two-year certificates available to choose from for students who choose to attend for a 2nd year:
- Crop and Soil Management
- Dairy Farm Management
- Diversified Agricultural Operations
- Farm and Equipment Operations
- Meat Animal Farm Management
Students must take the required courses for the specialty they choose, although some electives are allowed. Students can complete the appropriate coursework to obtain as many certificates as they choose. Courses that have been successfully completed can be applied to multiple certificates. Specialty certificates may qualify a student for additional employment opportunities.
FISC Courses Offered
Agribusiness Feasibility Planning
[FISC 115] 1 cr. This course will concentrate on the computer, accounting, and communication skills necessary to develop and evaluate farm businesses. Students will be introduced to computerized farm accounting and will develop skills with modern electronic spreadsheets while developing a case farm feasibility assignment. (Prerequisite: Must earn a “B” or better in Business Principles of Agricultural Management).
Agriculture Human Resources Management
[FISC 053] 1 cr. This course provides practical human resource management training for agricultural enterprises. Topics will include understanding yourself as a manager, leader, and communicator; how to develop your human resource management philosophy; how to find and retain a perfect employee; and legal considerations.
Business Principles of Agricultural Management
[FISC 051] 1 cr. An introduction to the workings of a market economy and decision making concepts. Students will learn about the role of prices and preferences in making production and consumption decisions. Students will also become acquainted with the U.S. agricultural system and various economic policies that may be employed by government. Taxation, regulation, trade, and employment policies are some government programs that will be considered in the course.
Agricultural Business Law
[FISC 136] 1 cr. The object of this course is to provide students with a basic overview of some of the areas of the law that may impact them on the farm or in agribusiness, and to help students identify practices and activities that may impact their legal liability. Topics include property, contracts, torts, and state regulatory issues.
Agricultural Commodities Marketing
[FISC 121] 1 cr. This course provides an overview of the economics of grain and milk markets. Students develop skills for effective grain and dairy marketing analysis and strategies, examining forward contracting, hedging on future markets, delayed pricing and trading. The course will examine major trends in dairy and grain industries and their causes, market factors that influence farm commodities, risk tools and cooperatives.
[FISC 058] 2 cr. This class covers topics such as dentification and characteristics of forage legumes and grasses; management and culture of legumes, grasses and grass-legume mixtures; weed, insect, and forage disease control; hay and haymaking; legume, grass, and corn silage; forage varieties and their uses; forage quality and its importance in feeding livestock; pasture types and improvement; forage production trends.
Grain Crops Production & Management
[FISC 104] 2 cr. Covers corn, soybeans, and alternative crops. Current production recommendations: hybrid and variety selection, seedbed preparation, pest control, fertility management, harvest, storage, marketing, crop ecology, information resources, seed production and certification. Students interested in other crops (sweet corn, peas, sunflowers, etc.) and those with a specific area of interest, such as seed production, will have an independent study opportunity.
[FISC 071] 1 cr. This course covers pasture establishment, pasture improvement, and pasture plant growth. Instructors will discuss in depth pasture layout, fencing, and water systems. Pasture utilization by the animal including animal behavior on pasture, animal nutrient needs vs. pasture growth, and supplemental feeding are also covered.
Identification and Management of Agronomic Pests
[FISC 142] 3 cr. This course introduces students to principles in Integrated Pest Management with an emphasis on pest biology and management in agronomic settings. Students will develop skills to identify common agronomic pests, understand common management strategies, and develop management plans to minimize the impact of pests on common crops.
Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides in Agronomic Crops
[FISC 023] 1 cr. Multiple aspects of pesticide (herbicides, insecticides, and diseases) use in agronomic crops. Patterns, application methods, resistance, regulations, and safe application. Emphasis placed on how to utilize existing resources to use pesticides safely, legally, and effectively while minimizing environmental impacts.
Meat Animal Evaluation and Marketing
[FISC 120] 2 cr. This course demonstrates how meat animals within a species differ in value, grade, and yield. It will also discuss price determination and marketing systems for each species. Students will receive hands-on experience in evaluating, slaughtering, and cutting beef and pork. Lamb processing and manufacturing of processed meat items will be demonstrated.
Meat Animal Production I
[FISC 101] 1 cr. Focuses on ruminant livestock production systems. Students will evaluate and design the implementation of foundational principles in beef cattle, sheep, and goat production. Connecting production system to market costs and revenues to gain an in-depth understanding of meat animal livestock production. Hands on experience in beef cattle, sheep, and goat management.
Meat Animal Production II
[FISC 102] 1 cr. Monogastic and ruminant meat animal, specifically swine and poultry production systems. Students will evaluate and design the implementation of foundational principles in swine and poultry production as well as build on beef, sheep, and goat foundations from Meat Animal Production I.
Agricultural Safety and Health
[FISC 052] 1 cr. Provides an overview of the causes and prevention of common farm injuries and illnesses with an emphasis on control of hazards as part of overall farm safety management. Covers types of fatal and non-fatal injuries, tractor and machinery-related injuries and operating practices, hazards to children, animal-related injuries, confined spaces, respiratory hazards, chemical exposure, personal protective equipment, OSHA, DOL, and EPA worker-related regulations, causes and prevention of injuries including inspections and hazard control, and safety management strategies and activities.
[FISC 140] 2 cr. Principles of operation, construction, maintenance, and management of machines for tillage, planting, and harvesting agricultural crops. Laboratory sessions include working with machine components and actual field machines. Previous experience with farm machinery is not required.
[FISC 143] 2 cr. Principles of operation, construction, and maintenance of agricultural tractors and engine power systems. Covers two- and four-stroke diesel and spark-ignition engines, lubrication, cooling, fuel systems, power measurement, electrical systems, and transmissions. Labs focus on understanding the tractor and engine but do not include tractor or engine overhauls. Previous experience with tractors or engines is not required.
[FISC 110] 2 cr. Covers planning of dairy, beef and swine, livestock housing for proper environmental control, manure and feed handling, and labor and capital efficiency. Topics include building materials, heat loss, silo sizing, cost estimating, computer aided design, and ventilation and manure storage. Students will develop a plan for their own farmstead. This course is useful for those who plan to construct livestock buildings within the next 5-15 years, including those who want to work in the farm building trade.
Precision Agricultural Technologies
[FISC 145] 2 cr. Precision agriculture can aid in reducing inputs for crop production. Course provides an overview of Precision Agriculture technologies and will cover Global Positioning Systems, Geographic Information Systems, variable rate technology, section/flow control, soil and yield mapping, and guidance systems. Economics of the different technologies will be discussed. Previous experience with precision agriculture systems is not required.
Pasture-Based Dairy/Livestock: Business Start-up and Marketing
[FISC 072] 1cr. The core course of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF). Farmers, faculty, and business leaders discuss production and management strategies emphasizing pasture-based dairy or livestock farm start-up.
Pasture-Based Dairy/Livestock Seminar: Managing the Business
[FISC 073] 1 cr. Farmers, faculty, and business leaders discuss production and management strategies emphasizing pasture-based dairy or livestock farm start-up. Students will develop a business plan. FISC 072 is a pre-requisite for this course.
Agriculture, Food Systems, and Rural Development
[FISC 056] 1 cr. Students will study how national economic and social policies affect farmers and rural residents. Topics include rural economic trends and issues, rural development policies, state and local taxes, local land use planning, farm financial stress and government intervention, farmer-natural resource use conflicts, and the impacts of international trade agreements and export policies.
Reproduction of Farm Animals
[FISC 134] 2 cr. Students are expected to become proficient in artificial insemination and understand the estrous cycle. Each class has 15 minutes of lecture with the remainder hands-on experience.
Dairy Cattle Selection and Evaluation
[FISC 105] 2 cr. Covers basic anatomy of a dairy cow and linear scoring systems. Students evaluate conformation using type scorecards to improve the appearance, performance and longevity of dairy cattle. North American dairy breeds and mating programs are studied.
Dairy Herd Health
[FISC 061] 1 cr. This course covers cattle disease problems; how the animal body works, digestive disorders, noninfectious diseases, principles of infection and sanitation, state regulations against disease.
Dairy Herd Management
[FISC 063] 2 cr. How to care for your herd to increase production and profits. Use of business, feeding, and herd management tools in dairy farm operation. Case studies of individual farms used for analysis and planning.
Reproduction of Farm Animals
[SC_DYSCI 11] 2 cr. Students will learn the basic comparative physiology of reproduction of farm animals and apply those physiological principles to understand successful heat detection, artificial insemination, estrous synchronization, embryo transfer, pregnancy diagnosis, and improvement of reproductive efficiency through good reproductive management.
[FISC 114] 2 cr. Practical nutrition for lactating dairy cows, dairy heifers and dairy beef. Course covers digestion and nutrient metabolism, milk synthesis and ration formulation guidelines. Stresses importance of quality forage in the feeding program.
FISC First-Year Seminar
[FISC 055] 1 cr. General orientation to campus, the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, and special selected topics. Required for all first-year students.
[FISC 059] 1 cr. A survey of many aspects of food processing including food safety, food plant sanitation, and the manufacturing processes for a variety of dairy products and other foods. The composition of milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products is also covered.
Introduction to Plant Science
[FISC 020] 2 cr. An overview of the horticulture profession, including its role and importance throughout history, current trends and career opportunities. Material to be covered includes an overview of horticulture, crops, plant classification, plant use and interrelationships with the environment, plant growth and plant development.
[FISC 054] 2 cr. This course focuses on improving writing skills for personal and mass media as they relate to agriculture. Students will understand and use personal and mass media channels to communicate with others.
[FISC 021] 2 cr. Interactive course that emphasizes practical sales. Provides basic steps to the sales process and prepares students for both a career in sales and related sales applications found in everyday life. Includes training in negotiation skills, body language, and time management.
Spanish for Agriculture
[FISC 075] 1 cr. Beginner level course intended for those working with or managing Spanish speaking employees. Students will gain Spanish vocabulary and communication for the workplace specific to the agricultural sciences. In addition, workplace culture and employee management for Hispanic customs will be covered.
Introduction to Soils
[FISC 057] 2 cr. This course provides an overview of soil formation, important physical and chemical properties of soil, soil moisture, introduction to soil fertility, soil mapping and classification.
Soil and Crop Nutrient Management
[FISC 133] 2 cr. This course covers soil and water management for crop production and environmental protection, advanced fertility management, nutrient crediting, and development of nutrient management plans. Students will also learn water and wind erosion processes and control practices, water management for crops, tillage, compaction, irrigation and drainage of agricultural land, and related soil management issues. (Prerequisite: Successful completion of Introduction to Soils.
Note: Not all classes are offered every term.