The SD Agricultural Experiment Station and the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science at South Dakota State University are seeking a 12-month, benefit-eligible, full-time Research Manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm (DLRF). This position will carry the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor depending on qualifications. The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is owned by a nonprofit association of farmers and operated by SDSU personnel.  It is focused on strengthening the agricultural economy in ways that sustain or regenerate soil health.

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

The Manager provides the vision, leadership and oversight to ensure that the research farm meets the objectives of conducting locally relevant agricultural research and transferring that new knowledge to South Dakota users.  The DLRF has a prestigious history of conducting applied research in the arena of regenerative agriculture advancing no-till cropping systems that incorporate use of cover crops and grazing.  It is the intention of SDSU and the farm board that this effort will be continued and broadened as needs and opportunity dictate.   The successful candidate is expected to maintain a nationally recognized research program that identifies new knowledge of cropping systems and soil management techniques that assist growers in building soil health and agroecosystem resiliency (40% research/60% managerial appointment).

To identify research priorities and promote effective dissemination of results, it is expected that the Research Manager will work in cooperation and close communication with the DLRF Board and with SDSU personnel.   Stationed at the DLRF in Pierre, SD, the Manager shall work in collaboration with SDSU Extension personnel to plan appropriate outreach activities that engage/showcase the unit’s research.  This position will be under the supervision of the Director of the SD Ag. Experiment Station.  Academically, the Manager will provisionally be considered a faculty member of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science at SDSU.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate activities that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities or organizations.  Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

RESPONSIBILITIES:  This position has two major roles: first, responsibility for overall farm operations to see that DLRF provides a good environment for SDSU scientists to successfully complete their research projects; second, to establish their own research program utilizing regenerative agriculture methods to strengthen the agricultural economy of the region.  The Manager has supervisory responsibility for all the staff at the farm, and operates under the supervision of the Director of the SD Agricultural Experiment Station.  The Manager is the liaison between the DLRF and SDSU Research and Extension personnel.  The incumbent will develop science-based, region specific information for agricultural producers, crop specialists and natural resource managers that enables climate-smart decision-making that supports optimum crop yields, soil health, and environmental stewardship.  Grantsmanship, graduate student mentoring, and publication of scholarly work in peer-reviewed journals are expected of the successful candidate.

QUALIFICATIONS:  Ph.D. in Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Science or related discipline is required and must be completed by the appointment date.  The successful candidate must be able to interact and communicate effectively (both verbally and in writing).

SALARY:  Commensurate with background and experience.

BENEFITS:  South Dakota State University offers a wide range of 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.

UNIVERSITY/COMMUNITY:  SDSU is a land grant institution and the state’s largest institution of higher education. Ranked as the Number 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students.

SDSU 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, and excellence through continuous improvement.

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

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in 2014.  The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science includes over 37 faculty whose expertise spans the fields of agronomy, entomology, genetics/breeding, horticulture, plant pathology, plant physiology, precision agriculture, seed science, soil science, and weed science. The department has a robust research program that consistently ranks at or near the top of departments at SDSU. Dissemination of science-based knowledge is a core mission of the department. Our faculty Extension Specialists and Field Specialists provide an effective structure for meeting this mission. In Academic Programs, the department provides nationally competitive training for undergraduate students leading to B.S. degrees in Agronomy, Horticulture, and Precision Agriculture. The department also offers a strong graduate training environment leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant science and biological sciences.

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

The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is owned by a not-for-profit (501 C-3) corporation created by area farmers, businesses, and commodity groups. The original mission statement of the corporation was and still is:

The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is to have as its primary mission the conducting of projects designed to research, identify, and demonstrate the best methods of stabilizing the agricultural economy through promoting agricultural diversity, increasing production efficiency, minimizing negative environmental effects, maintaining soil productivity, and developing techniques to mitigate biological stress effects.

The property consists of approximately 1,000 acres of owned and rented land located adjacent to Lake Sharpe on the Missouri River. A portion (250 acres) of the Main Station is irrigated using three lateral-move and one center-pivot irrigator. The remainder of the land is managed without irrigation and is used for diverse crop production or pastures. The entire operation has been under low-disturbance, no-till practices since its inception in 1990 and is recognized as a leader in developing the techniques used in what is now known as regenerative agriculture. The facility has a modern maintenance facility, newly refurbished office spaces, a small dry laboratory, an area for sample processing, a storage building, and numerous grain storage structures. The machinery line is modern and is used to conduct field scale research and manage all areas of the farm. A beef cattle herd has been integrated into the operation since 2015. Small plot seeders and harvesters are brought to the property by individual project leaders. This resource is supplied to South Dakota State University to use for research purposes. SDSU supplies the Research Manager, three technicians, and a secretary to provide support for the research projects being conducted there.  The DLRF Corporation web site is

Pierre, SD is a community of approximately 14,000 located on the Missouri River in the geographic center of the state. The city has an excellent K-12 education system, is accessible to major medical facilities, has an active cultural and social environment, and has numerous lakes and parks within driving distance. The seat of Hughes County as well as the state capital, it is a friendly community whose tree-lined streets, historic downtown and lush green parks give way to rolling hills and steep bluffs as the county spreads east into the state’s expansive plains.  It is less than a three-hour drive to the Rapid City, the Black Hills and Badlands, or to Sioux Falls.  There are daily jet flights to Denver.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Position is open until filled, with full consideration given to applications received by Oct. 12, 2020.  The actual start date for the position is negotiable out to January 22, 2021.

APPLICATION PROCESS:  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 posting.”  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, official transcripts, and a reference page with a minimum of four current references.  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 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. 

Questions on this opening should be referred to:  Dr. Peter Sexton, Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, SDSU Southeast Research Farm, 29974 University Road, Beresford, SD  57004, (605) 563-2989, or email