SDSU hires new West River Ag Center director
“Kristi brings to South Dakotans an extensive knowledge and understanding of production agriculture in the western portion of our state as well as experience as a successful animal scientist,” said Daniel Scholl, Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at SDSU. “She will be critical in helping us achieve and maintain, in every way possible, a level of excellence that is absolutely essential and expected for the SDSU field stations in the western portion of the state.”
As Director of the West River Ag Center, Cammack will guide the operations of field stations in western South Dakota; including the oversight of staff, research and outreach activities for the West River Ag Center, Antelope Field Station and Cottonwood Field Station.
More about Kristi Cammack
Raised on her family’s crop and livestock farm near Platte, Kristi “Hiemstra” Cammack developed a keen interest in working with livestock which influenced her decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at SDSU.
“I really enjoyed helping out in all areas on my family’s farm,” said Cammack. “Even today, whenever I have the opportunity, I return to my family’s farm or my husband’s (Ryan) family ranch.”
While attending SDSU, Cammack’s interest in animal research was sparked through a part-time job in the SDSU Cow-Calf Unit as well as working as teacher’s assistant for an animal breeding and genetics professor.
“I enjoyed working in the lab and was encouraged by my professor to pursue a graduate degree in Animal Science,” explained Cammack, who received her Master’s in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in Animal Science from the University of Missouri.
Cammack spent the last 10 years conducting research and teaching at the University of Wyoming where she most recently served as Associate Professor of Animal Science in Breeding and Genetics. Her research there stemmed from earlier graduate work in the area of feed efficiency. Most recently, Cammack’s research focused on understanding the role of rumen microbes in the feed efficiency of the host ruminant animal, including both beef cattle and sheep.
Happy to return to South Dakota and work for her alma mater, Cammack said she will work to further facilitate integrated research, not only throughout the field stations in western South Dakota, but also with researchers on campus at SDSU. She explained that her experience in teaching and research will be put to good use.
“In life we are all students. After 10 years of focusing on my own research, I am excited for the opportunity to learn about and support the researchers and the many different research projects underway at the field stations throughout western South Dakota. Working together, we can have a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of South Dakota’s agriculture producers and consumers,” Cammack said.
To learn more about the SDSU West River Ag Center and other SDSU Field Stations visit, http://www.sdstate.edu/aes/stations/wrac/index.cfm. Cammack can be contacted at Kristi.Cammack@sdstate.edu or by calling the West River Ag Center at 605-394-2236.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News