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David R. Henning

David Hennng


Associate Professor Emeritus of Dairy Science

Office Building


Mailing Address

South Dakota State University
Dairy and Food Science
SDS 136B, Box 2104
Brookings, SD 57007


Ph.D. Microbiology, 1967: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
B.S. Dairy Technology, 1962: University of Illinois, Champaign, IL.

Academic Interests

Dr. David R. Henning came to the Dairy Science Department in 1990, and retired on June 30, 2006 as an Associate Professor. Dr. Henning had the distinction of holding the first endowed Chair at South Dakota State University, the Alfred Chair in Cheese Chemistry and Technology. His previous corporate positions include Director of Laboratory Sciences and Acting Vice President of the Kraft Research and Development Group in Glenview, IL.

During his 16 years at SDSU, Dr. Henning distinguished himself as a respected scientist, caring teacher, and had dedicated himself to the education and well-being of students in the field of Dairy Science. He routinely used his practical industry experience to help students gain a better understanding of careers in the food processing industry. Dairy Science alumni frequently cite Dr. Henning's industry-based knowledge, as well as his teaching skills, as an important educational foundation for their own careers. He was recognized with the Milk Industry Foundation Teaching Award of the American Dairy Science Association, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award at SDSU.
Dr. Henning advised numerous undergraduate and graduate students, and mentored students who won awards including the Joseph F. Nelson Undergraduate Research Mentorship, and also the Griffith Student Research Award. He served on departmental and college scholarship committees, and chaired the Dairy Science Department Committee to develop a prototype student portfolio for Dairy Manufacturing students.

He was the faculty advisor to the Graduate Student Laboratory Management Committee, and the SDSU Dairy Club. In 2005, the SDSU Dairy Club hosted the Midwest Regional Student Affiliate Division meeting of ADSA, bringing nearly 500 students to Brookings. Dr. Henning served as the media spokesperson for the SDSU Food Safety Task Force. He served as a judge for the Southeast South Dakota Regional Science and Engineering Fair. He has taught food quality workshops at the Dos Pinos Cooperative in Costa Rica.

When he was the holder of the Alfred Chair, research was a major component of Dr. Henning's appointment. He actively participated in a multi-departmental USDA-National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Program Project. His research record included work on the safety aspects of cheese manufacturing that has been recognized by industry.

Dr. Henning was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Dairy Science Association, the International Association for Food Protection, and the Institute for Food Technologists. He served on the editorial board of the Journal Food Protection, and reviews manuscripts for several other journals. He served as the Executive Secretary and Advisor to North Central Cheese Industries Association, and a Trustee of the American Dairy Science Association Foundation and Director of the American Dairy Science Association. He also served on the Kraft Teaching Award Selection Committee.

As a faculty member Dr. Henning was highly respected by the dairy food industry, and was frequently sought out to serve in consulting capacities on food safety and technology. He consulted for the U.S. Department of Justice on matters dealing with cheese technology patents.

Dr. Henning was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1962, and rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He served as operations officer for the U.S. Army Research Hospital Center Command from 1972 to 1986.

Dr. Henning was very active in the Brookings community, serving as the Treasurer of Olivet Presbyterian Church in Brookings; Past District Governor of Rotary International; Member of the Brookings Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee; Reserve Officers Association, and Military Order of the World Wars.