JCJC's Animal Science Program Has High Success Rate

By Kelly Bryant

Students who sign up for the animal science program at Jones County Junior College quickly find out that their professor, Timothy Ishee, supports hands on learning, no matter how dirty.

Labs include field trips to farms of all sorts, and today, it was held at the Hilltop Swine Farm. Ishee has been teaching at Jones for more than 20 years putting students right in the learning pen. Most of his students transfer to larger universities, and are often successful in the animal field.

Ishee says he thinks the program at Jones is more successful than larger universities because of small class sizes, and his unique teaching methods. He likes to get to know his students on a first name basis, and give them more hands-on training in his labs than larger universities can often provide.

Ishee has a pretty impressive track record, after traveling around north and south America evaluating cattle farms, and is known for being well connected in the animal science field, which ends up benefiting his students when they apply for vet school. He says the vet school at Mississippi State calls him frequently for student recommendations, and that makes the program at JCJC have a very high student success rate.

He says, "Our students have been extremely successful. We've probably put more students in vet school than all the other junior colleges combined. We've had students do some wonderful things."

Nearly half of the animal and poultry science graduates at Mississippi State are transfers from Ishee's program at JCJC. Most go on to become successful veterinarians, and one student, hand picked by Ishee to study genetics at LSU, made national news for being the first to artificially inseminate a sheep.

Students in his class enjoy his outgoing personality, and told me it makes the learning part a lot easier.