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Sheep Research and Teaching Unit

The SDSU Sheep Research and Teaching Unit, located 1.5 miles north of the main campus, maintains a closed ewe flock of 250 commercial Polypay and 125 purebred Hampshire ewes. Lambing seasons include fall (September-October), winter (late January to early March) and May. The current flock manager is Karolynn Marsan. She has responsibilities for day-to-day management and supervises 8-10 undergraduate student employees each semester.

Animals from the Sheep Unit are utilized in a wide range of teaching, research and extension programming activities. The SDSU Hampshire flock is the oldest registered flock in the US with continuous registration dating back to 1898. Since 2007, this group has been enrolled in the NSIP program.

Dr. Jeffrey Held, the state sheep extension specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science has responsibility for sheep educational programming including extension, research and teaching. His primary research interest is in the field of ruminant nutrition to develop innovative sheep diet formulation strategies using co-product feed ingredients including soybean hulls, dried distillers grain with solubles and corn stover. The sheep research program has utilized a strong intra-departmental faculty collaboration model resulting in 3 successful MS degrees and 6 peer-reviewed journal publications from 2014-2018. Recent extension programs hosted at the Sheep unit include a field day affiliated with the South Dakota Sheep Growers convention education program in the fall of 2018 and a lambing time open house in February 2019. These were both highly successful programs with more than 100 people at each event, reaching producers throughout the region.

Visitors are always welcome!


Karolynn Marsan - 605-693-3808