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Message from the Dean

John Killefer, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at South Dakota State University.  CAFES is your doorway to South Dakota’s educational, research and outreach programs in agriculture, food, natural resources and environmental sciences. I encourage you to explore our websites describing our academic programs that lead to associate, bachelor and graduate degrees; our vast array of cutting-edge research spanning discovery science to application of these innovations; the extensive research capacity provided by our South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Stations; and our many outreach programs provided by our state-wide SDSU Extension Service programs.

We share a world that faces many complex challenges, and the expectations society holds for agriculture have never been greater. Our nation looks to its land-grant universities to find solutions for feeding our world, protecting our environment, powering our communities, improving our health, enriching our youth and growing our economy. South Dakota State University is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges and provide solutions that are not only relevant to the northern plains, but can impact the rest of the world.

The students we are educating and the scientific advancements we are sharing, are making life better for South Dakotans and people around the world. CAFES provides our diverse student body with a practical education, incorporating high-impact learning experiences with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses that prepare them for careers in today’s job market.  Our students also develop skills and gain experience in communication and leadership through both formal coursework and the many student clubs and organizations found on campus. Examples of how our faculty members and students have impacted the world include: breeding varieties of disease-resistant wheat that kindled the Green Revolution, inventing Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream that is a national favorite treat, establishment of the first ethanol production facility in the U.S., creation of diagnostic tests to respond to animal disease outbreaks of national scale, and establishment of the nation’s first four-year degree program and facility dedicated to precision agriculture education and research.

While respecting our history and tradition, we are continually refining our own concept of what it means to be a premier land-grant university. We are always looking forward to the future and to meeting the grand challenges that lie ahead. Come join us and imagine the impact you can make on the world around us! 

CAFES is a people-centered college within a robust university. As a result, we offer a personal touch and flexibility in our programs. Please contact people listed on this website to learn more about CAFES majors, departments and programs. Get to know our faculty and staff. Find out about special events in the college. Explore what our students and faculty are doing that makes a difference in the lives of people in South Dakota and the world. Most of all, visit our campus!  We are happy to answer your questions and make sure you have any additional information you may need.

Go Jacks!