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About the Animal Science Department

About the Department

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Animal Science at South Dakota State University! The Department of Animal Science strives to excel in the three primary missions of a land grant university which are learning, discovery, and engagement. Graduates of our department are expected to pursue successful careers in the animal industry, meat industry, academia, veterinary medicine and other fields related to agriculture. Our award winning faculty takes pride in providing a high quality education, academic advising, and professional development for our students. Students are provided hands-on learning opportunities through our in-house Meat Science Lab and livestock teaching farms located near campus. Opportunities to develop a greater appreciation of the global agricultural economy are provided through international travel opportunities. Extracurricular activities include our wool, meats, and livestock judging teams. Students also participate in multiple student clubs within the department, including Little “I”, which is the largest student run event of its kind anywhere in the U.S. Both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to participate in applied and basic research. Our Extension Specialists, Extension Associates, and Field Specialists enjoy providing service and education to the citizens of South Dakota and the upper Great Plains.

I encourage you to explore our website and consider making South Dakota State University part of your academic goal for an exciting hands-on education in Animal Science! 

Joe Cassady
Professor and Head
Animal Science Department

Animal Science Department Mission

To educate, research, and disseminate the many aspects of animal agriculture and rangeland management to improve the well being of the citizens of South Dakota and the region.

More on our vision and values

Animal Science academics

Animal Science is the study of animals and animal products. The Animal Science discipline includes education about the technology of breeding, feeding, producing, managing, evaluating, and marketing animals, as well as the processing and marketing of animal products.

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Animal Science research

Research in the Department of Animal Science is under the auspices of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Additionally, research funding to support this mission is obtained from grants through federal agencies, commodity organizations, and private industry. Many of our faculty publications have been archived on OpenPRAIRIE.

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SDSU Extension Animal Science

Animal agriculture is a major economic driver in South Dakota, and SDSU Extension personnel in the Department of Animal Science provide livestock producers, allied industry members, and general citizens the most current technical information available in order to help them be competitive in a global market.

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Animal Science facilities

Excellent facilities and large herds and flocks of livestock are available for Animal Science research and teaching at South Dakota State University.

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Animal Science Department history

Dakota Agricultural College was provided for by the Fourteenth Legislative Assembly of the Dakota Territory in 1881. In 1883, the Legislative Assembly provided for the erection of the first building and one year later (1884) the college was opened for students. In 1908, animal husbandry was given departmental status.

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