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Community Engagement

Dairy Extension educational programming at a local robotic dairy

  1. Enhance the environment of the department by fostering a culture of service, servant leadership and inclusive excellence
  • Provide increased faculty, staff and student support and opportunities for professional development.
  • Promote faculty, staff and student engagement in service opportunities.
  • Recognize service contributions of faculty, staff and students.


  1. Grow external engagement through collaboration, community outreach and public-private partnerships that enhance the quality of life in South Dakota and beyond.
  • Enhance research, teaching, and extension partnerships with industry and consumers (e.g., – Central Plains Dairy Expo, I-29 Moo University, Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, Midwest Dairy Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers, regional commodity groups, Ag United and Dairy Fest).
  • Increase internationalization of departmental activities in research, teaching and Extension.
  • Provide leadership and expertise through media and internet outlets including news releases, iGrow, social media and other appropriate venues.
  • Conduct workshops and seminars on emerging issues in department expertise areas.
  • Maintain an up-to-date website and social media presence that is designed to recruit new students and deliver pertinent departmental information.
  • Jackrabbit Dairy Council, and other industry groups will be engaged in an advisory capacity.
  • Maintain active links with Dairy and Food Science alumni.
  • Serve as a resource for industry for placement of graduates.
  • Extension Field Specialists will be invited to participate in departmental operations and planning on a regular basis.


  1. Enhance the sustainability of Dairy and Food Production Systems, while strengthening our rural economies, through agricultural profitability and growth of the industry.
  • Deliver Extension based programs based upon clearly defined objectives and needs.
  • Offer producer programs, in one-on-one and group settings, with interactions focusing on profitability of operations utilizing a systems approach towards production agriculture.
  • Deliver programs that will raise awareness and increase knowledge about workforce cultural backgrounds, while developing and implementing strategies for achieving their maximum interest and work potential.
  • Expand upon programs to guide the dairy industry clientele in having reliable and qualified employees to run an efficient and sustainable operation.
  • Elevate and model programming focused on learning strategies for educating a culturally diverse workforce with defined food safety, milk quality and employee safety training objectives to increase the sustainability and profitability of the dairy operation; while at the same time reducing accidents and injuries.
  • Design and implement revised communication techniques to provide producers increased access to new, cutting-edge, advanced techniques that will allow for improvements in the dairy operations’ productivity and profits.
  • Create alliances  with  community  and  stakeholders  from South  Dakota, and the region, to  identify  sustainable  solutions  to create an expanded employee training and retention business model.
  • Enhance the learning community partnerships and collaborations of the dairy industry in the upper-Midwest.
  • Strive to optimize natural resource management practices to meet production goals, while minimizing detrimental impacts on the environment and the livestock industry. 
  • Stakeholders will be made aware of research based resources for reference and follow-up information through iGrow articles, web-based portals, events, fact sheets and podcasts, to provide unbiased information to enable sound business decision making practices.
  • Expanding extension outreach to other small dairy ruminant operations that have shown an increase in the past few years.
  • Continue participation in multi-state extension collaborations with mutual strategies and goals for the dairy industry.

Goals and Strategies