Established in 1936, the College of Animal Science and Technology (CAST) is one of the earliest founded colleges at Northwest A & F University. CAST started the enrollment of bachelor’s in 1926, and master’s degree students in 1963.
After the boosting development for 85 years, CAST is now leading the researches in the fields as, genetic evolutionary research of animals, gene editing in animals, animal nutrition, muscle development, metabolism, and fish immersion immunization. CAST is now one of major leaders in advanced discoveries and techniques in animal reproduction and breeding, animal nutrition and health, animal production, and aquaculture in China, especially in northwest China.
CAST consists of five departments, including Department of Animal Genetics, Department of Breeding and Reproduction, Department of Animal Nutrition and forage science, Department of Animal Production and Livestock Engineering, and Department of Aquaculture. CAST includes 3 undergraduate majors: Animal Science, Aquaculture, and Intelligent Animal Husbandry Science and Engineering, of which Animal Science and Aquaculture are “National First-class Undergraduate Major”. CAST offers five doctoral programmes in Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Rearing of Special-type Economic Animals, Zoology and Aquaculture; seven learning master’s programmes in Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Rearing of Special-type Economic Animals, Zoology, Aquaculture, Fishery Resources, and Hydrobiology; Two professional master's degree in Animal Husbandry and Fishery Development. There is a post-doctoral station in animal husbandry. The disciplines of Animal genetics, Breeding and Reproduction are state key disciplines.
160 faculty and staff members are working in CAST, including 40 professors (8 professors of level 2), 63 associate professors, of which 75 are masters’ supervisors, and 44 are doctoral supervisors. Our faculties have won over 28 national talent titles and 11 provincial talent titles. Over the past five years, a large number of national and provincial scientific research projects and R&D funds have been approved in CAST, including two National Key R&D Programmes, five National Science and Technology Major Projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), seven Key Projects of National Key R&D Programmes of MOST, 74 National Natural Science Funds. CAST has received about 230 million CNY (36 million USD) from R&D funds. To date, CAST has over 1078 SCI articles published and 60 patents authorized, some of which have transferred into productions by manufacturers.
The college has so far nurtured more than 10000 professionals in various fields, who serve in academia, industry and government nationwide. Many of them have become celebrated scientists, industrialists and government officers. So far, CAST has educated 1822 students, including 920 undergraduates, 680 postgraduates, and 222 Ph.D. candidates (31 international students). In order to commend outstanding undergraduates and postgraduates, CAST supplies more than 20 types of scholarships and grants, including government-funded and university-sponsored scholarships.
CAST has established national and provincial comprehensive science and technology research facilities and scientific supporting platforms. For example, one National Engineering Research Center (modern cattle biotechnology and application), one National Demonstration Center for Experimental Education (animal science), two Key laboratory and Center of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and nine provincial Key laboratories and Engineering Centers covering animal breeding and reproduction, beef cattle improvement, dairy goat farming. To develop modern animal technologies transfers into new products, processes, and applications, CAST has built close cooperation with companies, agricultural cooperative societies and government. Besides, six technology demonstration farms or bases across Shaanxi Province, thirty-four training and practicing bases are established outside the campus. Academically, the college have cooperative associations with other leading universities and institutes worldwide for teachers and students exchange and process research cooperation.
The college culture of CAST is “Feed ourselves, and rich the world”. CAST is guided by the development strategy of “stand by disciplines, prosperous by talents, strong by technology, manage by law”. The mission of CAST is to cultivate excellent and innovative students and researchers with premium quality of education, conduct state-of-the-art research center on animal science and technology, promote integration of research and applications, become a first-class research institute in China.