Upcoming Free Online Training – “Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management”

The transformation of agriculture in Africa will require that existing practitioners and new entrants embrace the culture of life-long learning through continuing professional development (CPD).

Learn about ‘the impact of infectious disease on sustainable animal-based food production by understanding the science of growth, immunity, and infection and by learning the problem-solving skills needed to advance animal health and food production through optimal management practices’.

Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management is an upcoming course developed by instructors – Dr Jim Lowe and Prof Brian Aldridge – of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be delivered through coursera (online platform).


About the Course

There is a growing global need in agricultural production for a workforce that is capable of integrating knowledge of animal health and production with an understanding of consumer preferences in the context of economic reality, business efficiency, and ethical constraint. However, current evidence suggests that there is a growing shortage of people with the knowledge and problem-solving skills required to match the rapid advances being made in animal health, science, and food production. The results of this shortage are wide-ranging and could lead to challenges in food security and agricultural economic competitiveness in some countries.

In this course we will explore the effect of infectious disease on sustainable animal-based food production. The content and learning outcomes of this new course will be designed to be relevant across different food production sectors (i.e., beef, dairy, poultry, and pigs). While the instructors will provide the participants with a strong scientific base for understanding the impact of infectious disease in animal-based food production, the emphasis of the material will be on practical problem-solving and will be directed towards equipping participants with a platform for developing the skills needed to contribute to sustainable food production.

Course Syllabus

  • Week 1: How does livestock disease impact the affordability and sustainability of food production?
  • Week 2: What causes infectious disease in animals?
  • Week 3: How does the host respond to infectious disease?
  • Week 4: What is the impact of caregivers, the environment, and management systems on host response and disease transmission?
  • Week 5: How do infectious diseases behave in production animal populations?
  • Week 6: How do pathogens, animal management practices, and cultural norms influence human health?

Recommended Background

Some understanding of the following will help maximize your learning experience:

  • Basic mammalian biology
  • Rudimentary microbiology
  • Fundamentals of immunology
  • Livestock husbandry
  • Animal production cycles

Suggested Readings


Course Format

The class will consist of lecture videos that are between 8 and 12 minutes in length and contain 1-2 integrated quiz questions per video. There will also be standalone homeworks that are not part of video lectures and other activities. Discussion with other participants will provide excellent networking opportunities.
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About ‘Tunde Akinmolayan

Tunde Akinmolayan holds an M.Agric in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management from FUNAAB. He writes and runs a rabbit farm, among other engagements. He can be reached on akintunde.akinmolayan@yahoo.com.

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