Retiring to new research career, Dickinson’s Kris Ringwall goes north

DICKINSON, N.D.--Kris Ringwall retired from North Dakota State University Extension as director of the Dickinson Research and Extension Center on Oct. 30 and the next day started a new career at the University of Saskatchewan.

Kris Ringwall, livestock specialist and director of the Dickinson Research Extension Center, says ranchers should be cognizant of how cow sizes affect profitability. Photo taken at Streeter, N.D., on Nov. 1, 2017. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)

DICKINSON, N.D.-Kris Ringwall retired from North Dakota State University Extension as director of the Dickinson Research and Extension Center on Oct. 30 and the next day started a new career at the University of Saskatchewan.

On Nov. 1, Ringwall, 65, become the director of the new, $38 million Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan. It is a new research, teaching and industry center-a collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. It has a budget nearly five-times the size of the Dickinson station, Ringwall said.

A livestock geneticist and native of Columbus, N.D., near Crosby, Ringwall holds a bachelor's degrees from NDSU and master's and doctorate degrees from Oklahoma State University. He held the North Dakota post since 1992. He was an Extension livestock specialist and retains the title of professor emeritus of animal science.

Ringwall was well-known for writing some 900 BeefTalk columns, starting in the fall of 2000. The columns always ended with the exhortation, "May you find all your ear tags." Tim Faller, former superintendent at the NDSU Hettinger Experiment Station, will fll in as acting director.

Greg Lardy, acting Experiment Station Director, is an international expert on beef cattle production and is not surprised he fit the bill for the new center. "Big shoes to fill," Lardy said. NDSU is interviewing for an interim superintendent and will wait for the legislative session to determine whether the budget will allow for a permanent replacement.


"We all have roots in agriculture," Ringwall, a he took the new job.. "The excitement of helping to create, guide and ultimately implement research and education involving livestock and agricultural products of the soil will be a driving force within the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, ultimately impacting future generations."

Mary Buhr, dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, said Ringwall has a long list of responsibilities as the new centre is in its infancy. "He will be working to iron out all the wrinkles of two brand-new facilities. He is in charge of pulling the entire centre together when it hasn't existed before. He'll be building a team and helping people from the three units work together when they haven't before," she said.

"Kris is an exceptional match for the LFCE's broad mission and its large family of partnerships. He has a long and productive career in research, extension and outreach targeting both the livestock and forage industries," said Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

The center boasts 27 quarters of land in three units in a complex of field and science laboratories

• Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit is south of Clavet, Saskatchewan, and includes a feedlot with 1,500-head capacity, as well as environmental monitoring.

• Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit, also south of Clavet, has 300 breeding cows.

• Goodale Research and Teaching Farm near Floral Saskatchewan, includes 165 breeding cows, plus horses, bison and deer.



At NDSU, Ringwall led research and producer understanding of numerous technologies and methods. Past Agweek stories featured his thoughts on high-frequency RFID tagging systems, and electronic animal identification systems.

The research center built its new headquarters in Dickinson during Ringwall's tenure. It added facilities at its ranch facility southwest of Manning. The center developed replicated crop fields and pastures for long-term integrated and beef cattle research.

In an Agweek interview and story this fall,, Ringwall discussed integrating crop and forage production, while reducing purchased inputs. Ringwall had been involved in cattle breeding projects to identify beef cattle frame size on longevity and profitability.

Kris Ringwall is director of North Dakota State University’s Dickinson Research Extension Center and is an NDSU Extension livestock specialist Photo taken Aug. 1, 2018, at Dickinson, N.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

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