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John G. Parsons

John Parsons


Professor and Head 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. Dairy Science, 1968: The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
M.S. Dairy Science, 1963: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
B.S. General Science, 1961: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Academic Interests

Dr. John G. Parsons retired on July 31, 2001 after 33 years of outstanding, dedicated service to higher education in South Dakota. At the time of retirement he enjoyed distinction of having the longest tenure of any current Dairy Science or Animal Science administrator at a land grant university in the United States. He taught and mentored countless students, faculty, and industry associates as a colleague, teacher and scholar, advisor, and friend and was recognized with the American Dairy Science Association’s Kraft Foods Teaching Award for Dairy Manufacturing in 1994. Dr. Parsons worked to establish a new Dairy Research and Training Facility, and at the time of his retirement had begun efforts to remodel the South Dakota State University dairy manufacturing facility. He was instrumental in establishing the Alfred Chair in Cheese Chemistry and Technology, which was one of the first funded chairs at South Dakota State University.

Dr. Parsons became Head of the Department of Dairy Science in 1978, by which time he had taught virtually every dairy manufacturing course offered by the department. While teaching, he emphasized the understanding and learning principles, their application through analytical and logical thought, and self-reliance. Students described him as a teacher who always had time to listen and help out on a one-to-one basis. Dr. Parsons was instrumental in placing students in summer internships within the dairy industry, and building the department’s scholarship program.

Dr. Parsons co-authored 103 articles, including 31 articles in refereed journals, 38 abstracts of papers presented at scientific meetings, 33 extension and media articles, and three chapters for books. He was active as a leader and advisor in many organizations, including: the American Dairy Science Association, the Institute of Food Technologists, the South Dakota State Dairy Association, the South Dakota Dairy Fieldmen’s Association, the Dairy Shrine Club, the American Cultured Dairy Products Institute, the North Central Cheese Industries Association, the Council of Agricultural Science and Technology. He directed the South Dakota portion of the Minnesota/South Dakota Dairy Foods Research Center, which is one of the six national dairy foods research centers founded by dairy farmers’ check-off dollars. Dr. Parsons worked to extend the expertise of the South Dakota State University Dairy Science Department by participating in international programs at the Mostok Dairy Cooperative in the Ryazan Region of Russia; at the Gilbert Chandler Institute of Dairy Technology at Victoria College of Agriculture and Horticulture in Werribee, Victoria, Australia; and at international dairy meetings in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia.