Graduate 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 (continuous grazing) with virtual fencing (rotational grazing) and evaluate carry over effects through finishing including meat characteristics. The study applies a systems approach in examining the complete livestock production process. The Ph.D. student will be responsible for running and integrating several precision technologies including virtual fencing, weighing (SmartScalesTM), enteric emissions (GreenFeedTM) for precision livestock management in both rangeland and feedlot settings. Field work will take place at the Cottonwood Field Station (CWFS) located near Phillip in western South Dakota and at the Southeast Research Farm located near Beresford, SD. The CWFS is receiving state-of-the-art research facilities and currently has a suite of precision equipment capabilities. The Ph.D. student will have the Animal Science department as their home department. The position is available beginning Jan 2022. The successful candidate will receive a full tuition waiver and a competitive 12-month stipend. The candidate will have the opportunity to specialize in rangeland nutrition, feedlot nutrition, meat science, or data analytics/systems modeling under the supervision of an animal science faculty member in that field.


Required Qualifications: (1) A BS/BA degree in Animal Science or Rangeland Science, or closely related field by Jan 2023; (2) research experience, preferably with livestock or rangeland studies; (3) excellent written and oral communication skills. Knowledge of beef cattle production and grazing, creative and innovative problem-solving abilities is preferred, and students whom have already received an MS degree is preferred.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is the Land Grant University for the state and has approximately 13,000 students. The student will be located at the West River Research and Extension Center located in Rapid City, South Dakota.