Joseph Cassady has been named the South Dakota Corn endowed dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at South Dakota State University. John Killefer, the college’s previous dean, has accepted a faculty position with SDSU’s Department of Animal Science.
Cassady has served as head of the SDSU Department of Animal Science since 2013 and has also served as the college’s interim head of the Department of Dairy and Food Science. He received the 2019 Dr. Harold and Barbara Bailey Award for Excellence in Academic Department Leadership.
“We’re excited about the future of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences with Dr. Cassady’s leadership,” said Dennis Hedge, SDSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Throughout his time at South Dakota State University, Joe has developed relationships with many stakeholders in our state and he will utilize those strong relationships to move the college into a bold future.
“Agriculture education, research and outreach has been at our university’s core since SDSU was founded in 1881, impacting thousands of South Dakotans and the hundreds of communities in our state. Dr. Cassady will build on the college’s tradition and lead the faculty and staff into an exciting future,” he continued.
During his time at SDSU, Cassady contributed to the design and construction of the Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility and the Swine Education and Research Facility. Under his leadership, the Department of Animal Science has increased undergraduate enrollment by 15% and doubled graduate student enrollment. The department also established two endowed faculty positions and successfully met the fundraising goal for the Kohler-Gee Livestock Judging Team Endowment.
“I am excited to accept this new role and work with our world-class faculty, field specialists and dedicated staff to advance food production,” Cassady said. “Agriculture is instrumental to the South Dakota economy and graduates of our college are working on farms and ranches throughout the state. We are committed to developing the next generation of ag leaders and working with stakeholders to advance best practices to protect our environmental resources. I look forward to those opportunities and working to have a positive impact both locally and globally.”
Cassady received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Iowa State University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in animal science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Before starting at SDSU, Cassady rose to the rank of professor in North Carolina State University's Department of Animal Science and worked as a research associate in genetics and breeding for the Agricultural Research Service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska.