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About the Animal Science Department

Greetings from the Department of Animal Science at South Dakota State University! We are proud to be a part of a land-grant university and our department focuses on the three primary missions of a land grant university which are learning, discovery and engagement. Our award-winning faculty, meat science lab and livestock teaching units provide hands-on learning opportunities and prepare students for successful careers in the animal industry, meat industry, veterinary medicine, academia and other agricultural careers. In addition to classes, there are multiple activities students can participate in that include judging teams, the rodeo program or multiple student clubs. One of the clubs is the Little “I”, which celebrated its 100th year in 2023 and is the largest student run event of its kind anywhere in the U.S.  

Our educational courses are also designed to give students the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees through our successful graduate programs, as evidenced by our accomplished Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy students. Both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in applied and basic research projects. The results of these research projects directly benefit the people of South Dakota, and upper Great Plains. Our extensive network of Extension Specialists and Field Specialists help disseminate research findings to stakeholders and assist in identifying new challenges being faced by producers in our state that can be addressed by faculty in our department or the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science. These Extension professionals provide invaluable service and education to the people of South Dakota. 

My personal goals for the Department of Animal Science at SDSU are to promote “riding for the brand” by:

  1. Working hard.
  2. Being committed.
  3. Recognizing that a herd of individuals is stronger than a stray- we are stronger together. 

Please explore the Department of Animal Science website, reach out to me or any faculty member with questions, and/or schedule a visit. We look forward to the opportunity for SDSU to be the place you call home while obtaining your hands-on education and pursuing your academic degree. 

John Jaeger 

Professor and Head

Animal Science Department