Ph.D. Position Available: Implementation and Evaluation of Precision Grazing Management and Feedlot Carryover Effects on Range Cattle Production

South Dakota State University

One Ph.D. student position is available to participate in a USDA-funded effort to evaluate new precision grazing technologies for rangeland cattle in the Northern Great Plains. The project will compare traditional grazing management with virtual fencing and evaluate carryover effects through finishing, including meat characteristics. The study applies a systems approach in examining the complete livestock production process. Consequently, student mentorship will include grazing, nutrition/feedlot, and meat scientists. The student will be responsible for running and integrating several precision technologies, including virtual fencing, weighing, and precision enteric emissions precision livestock management. The student will also develop related projects as additional dissertation components. Fieldwork will take place at the Cottonwood Field Station in western South Dakota and at the Southeast Research Farm located near Beresford, SD. The work is a collaboration between faculty in the Animal Science department and Natural Resource Management department. The student will have the Animal Science department as their home department. The position is available beginning August 2022. The successful candidate will receive a full tuition waiver and a competitive 12-month stipend.

Required Qualifications: (1) A BS/BA degree in Animal Science or Rangeland Science, or closely related field by May 2022; (2) strong academic record including research experience leading to publication; (3) strong quantitative skills preferably using R or Python; (4) prior experience in GIS and spatial statistics; (5) excellent written and oral communication skills. Knowledge of beef cattle production and grazing, creative and innovative problem-solving abilities and completion of an MS degree is preferred.