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Summer Training Program in Precision Livestock Production

Two-Year Summer Training Program in Precision Livestock Production

South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD


This unique, competitive, two-year program is only available to Freshmen and Sophomore students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree who 1) are members of an ethnic minority group, and/or 2) qualify for Pell Grant Funding (i.e., economically disadvantaged students). In the first year of the program, trainees will live in Brookings, South Dakota for 10 weeks (May 29 to August 3) and work with two faculty members on active research and extension projects involving farm animals. Trainees will learn cutting-edge research skills, develop scientific communication skills and prepare themselves for pursuing graduate studies and/or a career that will help feed a growing worldwide population in an environmentally sustainable manner.

In the second year of the program, trainees will be paired for 10 weeks with a company or government agency working to serve the livestock industry. Trainees will gain additional expertise tailored to the company/agency chosen by the individual. Trainees will also network with people actively working in the livestock improvement industry. At the end of the two year program, trainees will be well-positioned to pursue a career focused on meeting the food and fiber needs of people worldwide while protecting the environment and maintaining high standards of animal welfare.


  1. Current Freshman or Sophomore student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at time application is submitted;
  2. Member of an ethnic minority group OR from an economically disadvantaged background, as defined by eligibility for the 2017-2018 or 2018-2019 FAFSA Pell Grant Program.


During the first year of the program, furnished housing (Meadows South Apartments, SDSU University Housing, double accommodations) will be paid for by the program. Additionally, trainees will be given a stipend equivalent to $150/week (paid monthly, at the beginning of each month) for food and other living expenses ($1,500 total). Each trainee will be given up to $750 to support travel expenses to/from Brookings, SD.

During the second year of the program, trainees will be given a stipend of $550/week (paid in monthly installments at the beginning of each month; $5,500 total) to support housing and living expenses for 10 weeks at the off-campus site. The trainee will work with faculty mentors and the off-campus site personnel to find housing.


When applying to the program, please include a 1) application form 2) personal statement telling us about yourself and your career aspirations (1 single-spaced page maximum length), 3) resume, 4) official transcript, 5) project ranking form and 6) documentation from your university’s financial aid office that you are eligible for a Pell Grant (if applicable). Please send all required documents electronically to Michael Gonda.

Please direct all questions to the Program Coordinator, Dr. Michael Gonda, Associate Professor of Animal Science, who can be reached by phone at 605-688-5442 or by email. This project was supported by the REEU Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2016-06415.