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Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist Small Ruminant Production

South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Commensurate with qualifications.
Date posted
May 17, 2024

Job Details

South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) department of Animal Science is excited to announce a unique opportunity as an Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist for small ruminant production. This position offers the chance to make lasting impact through innovative Extension work and engaging teaching. Reporting to the Department Head of Animal Science, the individual in this role will have the support and resources to thrive. Available August, 2024 and located on our main campus in Brookings, South Dakota, this position is 9-month, full-time, tenure track, and benefits-eligible.

Our department is proud to be a part of a land-grant university and our focuses on the three primary missions which are learning, discovery and engagement. Our award-winning facultymeat science lab and livestock teaching units provide hands-on learning opportunities and prepare students for successful careers in the animal industry, meat industry, veterinary medicine, academia and other agricultural careers. Resources for this position include the SDSU Sheep Research and Teaching Unit located two miles north of the main campus. The unit includes a closed ewe flock of 250 commercial Polypay and 125 purebred Hampshire ewes. The Hampshire flock participates in the National Sheep Improvement Program. Lambing seasons include fall (September-October), winter (late January to early March) and May. There is a full-time shepherd to oversee day-to-day management and supervise 8-10 undergraduate student employees each semester.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.

Must be authorized to work in the U.S. Sponsorship is not available for this position.


This role primarily involves Extension work (90%) and Teaching (10%).

  • Spearhead the development of a nationally recognized Extension and outreach program focusing on Small Ruminant Production, particularly lamb and wool production, with an emphasis on sheep and goats.
  • Deliver the course "Sheep and Wool Production and Lab," a three-credit-hour offering each fall semester.
  • Establish and secure funding for an outreach and Extension program integrating applied research.
  • Foster strong collaborations with Extension personnel across relevant departments and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association.
  • Encourage partnerships with industry stakeholders and Extension Specialists from neighboring states.


Salary is commensurate with qualifications. We offer a generous retirement plan that includes 6% matching, 9.34 hours of sick leave each month, and eleven paid holidays. Relocation benefits are available per university’s guidelines. 


We offer a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusions and access. The university is part of a dynamic community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees, which offers an abundance of attractions and activities. South Dakota State University offers a wide range of excellent benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


  • Earned Ph.D. completed by appointment date in Animal Science or a closely related field with an emphasis in small ruminant production.
  • Knowledge of practical lamb and wool production and the modern sheep industry.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with colleagues, staff, students, producer groups, and other clientele.
  • The ability or potential to develop innovative and effective producer outreach programs through extension.
  • The ability or potential to identify and effectively address issues in modern small ruminant production.
  • Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain within 30 days of hire, and a willingness to travel.


  • Ability to conduct applied research and to develop an extramurally funded program through Extension programming.
  • Extension or outreach related experience.
  • Experience in successful grant writing.


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 academic programs, an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students, and over $60 million annual research expenditures.

South Dakota State University offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity of thought, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of South Dakota State University is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Brookings is listed as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees, and is rated among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school, and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by June 10, 2024.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, Curriculum Vitae, a teaching statement (attached as other, 3-page limit) and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14. 

For questions on the position, contact search committee chair, Warren Rusche at or 605-688-5452.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.


South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive higher- education institution. As South Dakota’s Morrill Act land-grant university, SDSU had a fall 2023 enrollment of 11,505, with students coming from 48 states and 74 countries. Students can choose from 88 majors, 38 specializations, 104 minors, 39 master’s degree programs, 16 Ph.D. programs and two professional doctorates. The university also offers courses at various off-campus sites as well as undergraduate and graduate programs online through the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

Named the 33rd safest college town by SafeWise (2022), Brookings (pop. 23,993) is just 55 miles north of Sioux Falls on Interstate 29, 200 miles from Minneapolis and 400 miles east of Rapid City and the Black Hills. Students from communities in Nebraska, North Dakota and Iowa also find SDSU within an easy day’s drive.

The Division of Research and Economic Development works closely with university researchers, business leaders and other sponsors to promote faculty expertise aimed at solving real-world problems in society and industry. The university is a leader in bioprocessing, agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences.

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