This new Animal Sciences graduate will transform a male-dominated field—learn how


Auburn Animal Sciences graduate outside of Comer Hall
Wilson Anne is a recent Auburn graduate, launching her career in meat production. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

This one Auburn University graduate is about to make waves in the male-dominated meat production industry.

Yet she never planned to study Animal Sciences or enter meat production. Read on to learn how Wilson Anne chose this unique path and how Auburn’s College of Agriculture helped her in the process.

1. She chose agriculture because it’s hands-on

Two women talking outside of Comer Hall at Auburn
Wilson Anne loves how interactive the Animal Sciences Department is at Auburn. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Wilson Anne transferred to Auburn University after attending Faulkner University in Montgomery for two years. She had always dreamed of going to Auburn, but when she got there, it took her a little bit to find the right degree path for her.

“I originally started in the College of Science and Math instead of the College of Agriculture and studied microbiology. However, I switched over to Agriculture because I wanted more of a hands-on and immersive learning experience.”

Wilson Anne Stephen, Auburn University graduate, Animal Sciences

Although the Animal Sciences track still has lecture-based classes, it offers collaborative labs and opportunities to interact with the animals.

“You get to do real experiments and actually be around the animals instead of just working in a lab technically.”

Wilson Anne Stephen, Auburn University graduate, Animal Sciences

2. She’s on a unique path with Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences student at Auburn
Wilson Anne’s Muscle Foods professor completely altered the course of her career. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Animal Sciences is one of the most popular majors in Auburn’s School of Agriculture, but most students don’t take the meat production path.

The majority of students, like Wilson Anne, enter into Animal Sciences with a pre-vet focus. However, as Wilson Anne got deeper into her studies, certain classes inspired her to explore meat production.

“My Muscle Foods professor made a huge impact on me. He knew all about the meat production industry because he’s personally worked in it. I loved being able to learn from his first-hand experiences.”

Wilson Anne Stephen, Auburn graduate, Animal Sciences

As she listened to her professor’s journey, she unlearned many of her misconceptions about meat production and started to see it as a vibrant and vital industry.

“It’s not the blood and the gore that many think it is. For us, we’re making food for people and providing protein, using the resources we’ve been given.”

Wilson Anne Stephen, Auburn graduate, Animal Sciences

Interested in a hands-on learning experience? Learn more about Auburn’s College of Agriculture and how you can save money through Path to the Plains while studying certain majors.

3. She will impact the meat production industry

Cows on Auburn Campus by Meat Lab
Wilson Anne gets to have amazing opportunities because of her outstanding education at Auburn’s School of Agriculture. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

When entering the Department of Animal Sciences, most students don’t realize there are other options than the pre-vet path. At first, Wilson Anne thought pre-vet was the right career choice for her, but she later realized she was not interested in attending veterinary programs. She wanted to get into the workforce fast.

This summer she will launch her career, working an internship in Elba, Alabama, at Kelley Foods. This internship presents a multi-faceted opportunity for Wilson Anne—she will learn the intricacies of Human Resources, the logistics of meat packaging and the importance of sterilization.

Over the course of the summer, she will also travel to Texas to Kelly Foods’ umbrella company, Ben E. Keith, to learn about the company’s industry goals.

Learn more about Agriculture at Auburn

Auburn Animal Sciences student by Meats Laboratory. Meats production is a male-dominated field
Auburn’s College of Agriculture prioritizes personal relationships and growth. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Wilson Anne would not be where she is today without the support of her professors and friends at Auburn’s School of Agriculture. If you want to study on a big campus with small classroom opportunities, there’s no better place than The Plains.

“What I’ve really benefited from the most is having personal relationships with administrators and professors. They’re approachable and offer outstanding research. I just love how the College of Agriculture is so close knit.”

Wilson Anne Stephen, Auburn graduate, Animal Sciences

Ready to get the tools you need to launch your career in agriculture? Learn more about Auburn’s College of Agriculture and how you can save money through Path to the Plains when studying certain majors.

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