CORVALLIS, Ore. – John Killefer, professor and department head of animal and rangeland sciences at Oregon State University, has been named the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University.

Killefer has served in his current role since 2012. During that time, he successfully merged the departments of animal sciences and rangeland, ecology and management to form the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences. Killefer also completed construction on three facilities and numerous renovations to other facilities. He established approximately $3.5 million in endowments to support teaching and research, in addition to support for livestock farms and educational opportunities in cattle production.

“I am truly appreciative of the many opportunities that have been provided me at Oregon State University.  I am honored to have worked with so many outstanding professionals and colleagues that have allowed us to make tremendous progress within our programs.  It has been exciting to see the individual and programmatic growth throughout our department and I anticipate a bright future moving forward.  I thank the many colleagues that I am now able to call friends.”

An accomplished researcher, Killefer’s programs have secured more than $6.3 million from both federal and industry sources where his research focused on high-quality production animals and meat products. Killefer was inducted into the Oregon Beef Council Hall of Fame in 2014 and served as a fellow from 2013-15 for the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a national organization dedicated to developing individual and institutional leadership for a 21st century food system.

Killefer came to OSU in 2011 after working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and West Virginia University. He earned his Ph.D. in animal science with an emphasis in growth and development at Oregon State.

Killefer will begin working at South Dakota State in late March.

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Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787,


John Killefer, 541-737-1891,