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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. Departmental research has a long history of effective collaborations between faculty members within the unit as well as with other universities, federal laboratories and industry. Faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students and staff conduct research in well-equipped laboratories on campus, animal units near campus and three research stations at various locations throughout the state. In particular, facilities near campus consist of the Cow/Calf Teaching and Research Unit, Equine Teaching Facility, Ruminant Nutrition Center, Sheep Unit and Swine Unit. Off-site facilities consist of the Southeast Farm (feedlot and swine research) and the Cottonwood Station (cattle research). Research in the Department of Animal Science covers a wide variety of timely topics critical to the betterment of animal agriculture. Examples of ongoing research include:

  • Beef cattle nutrition, growth, development, nutrient-reproductive interactions and management.
  • Swine management, nutrition and neuroendocrine control of reproduction.
  • Equine management and effects on the environment.
  • Sheep reproductive management strategies and use of co-products in diet formulations.
  • Grazing livestock nutrition, supplements and crop-livestock interactions.
  • Applied range beef cattle management and nutrition.
  • Cattle fertility and early embryonic development.
  • Genetic variation in vaccine response in beef cattle.
  • Alternative feedstuffs, mineral nutrition and water quality for livestock.
  • Meat Science: marbling development, carcass quality – tenderness and palatability, fetal nutrition and carcass properties and fetal programming.
  • Cellular mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle growth and development of meat animals.