ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

NDSU's Odde to head animal science at KSU

FARGO, N.D. - Ken Odde, an animal and range science professor and former department chair at North Dakota State University in Fargo, has accepted a post as professor and head of the department of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State Unive...

FARGO, N.D. - Ken Odde, an animal and range science professor and former department chair at North Dakota State University in Fargo, has accepted a post as professor and head of the department of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

KSU's department is roughly twice the size of NDSU's, with more than 700 undergraduate students.

Odde confirms he'll start his KSU position Feb. 26 and will continue at NDSU until that date. NDSU is seeking a permanent department head and is reshuffling departments.

Odde's background

A native of Pollock, S.D., just across the border, south of Bismarck, N.D., Odde holds bachelor's degrees from South Dakota State University in Brookings and his master's, doctorate and veterinary degrees at KSU. He'd worked at Colorado State University and in industry before coming to NDSU in January 2003. He had started as department chair, but resigned that post effective June 1, 2005, and had stayed on as a professor.

ADVERTISEMENT

Odde has been a key player in the NDSU Beef Systems Center of Excellence, and offers an NDSU association with a new company - North Dakota Natural Beef L.L.C., in association with the North American Bison Cooperative.

"I'll do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition," Odde says. "There's lots of quality people to continue this effort."

Wade Moser, executive vice president of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, acknowledges his group is disappointed that Odde resigned from the chairmanship at NDSU, saying he had the "right vision" for the department, that put "students and the (cattle) industry first and everything else after that." Moser says he's confident that the Beef Systems Center for Excellence continues to have good leadership, particularly in Greg Lardy, a professor.

Odde says he and his wife, Arlene, will continue to own their ranch in Pollock but will live in Kansas.

Department reshuffling

Meanwhile, Don Kirby remains interim department chairman since Odde's resignation. The university has been seeking a permanent chair since the end of September. Les Backer, chairman of ag and biosystems engineering, is the chairman of the search committee for a new animal science head.

There are eight applicants - none internal. Committee members are independently scoring applicants to come up with two or three finalists to come in for interviews.

Animal and range sciences will be split, according to an administration plan, which Backer couldn't immediately comment on.

ADVERTISEMENT

There are 29 faculty within the animal and range science department at NDSU. About five of the range science scientists will merge with the soil sciences department to form a new natural resources department, sometime within the next year. D.C. Coston, vice president for agriculture and university extension, was traveling and not immediately available to describe the rationale.

Sources say North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana have merged animal science and range science departments, but most land-grant universities do not. NDSU's departments were separate until they merged in 1985.

Moser says his group wasn't consulted and hasn't seen a rationale for the department split.

"We don't see where it benefits our industry at all," Moser says.

What To Read Next
Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions says its pipeline project will help ethanol plants. The project aims to capture greenhouse gas emissions and pipe the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.
The number of cows going to slaughter is far above the five-year average. Attendees of the annual Cow Calf Days tour in Minnesota heard the latest on cattle trends.
As Mikkel Pates approaches his retirement from Agweek after 44 years in journalism, he talks to Rose Dunn about learning TV, covering ag's characters and scandals and looking toward the future.
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.