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Specialist - Outreach-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 597487
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Animal Science Department Anr 10002063
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Working/Functional Title

Swine Management

Position Summary

The swine industry in the state of Michigan is growing. Currently ranked 13th among states in the number of breeding animals, and one or two positions better than that in market animals, the addition of a new packing plant in 2018 has led to new production capacity in Michigan.  Michigan’s industry is predominantly characterized by the use of modern, intensive production practices and facilities.  Michigan producers are forward thinking and at the forefront of participation in audit programs focused on food safety and animal well-being.

Currently, the MSU Extension pork work group includes specialists in Animal Science, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, BioSystems Engineering, Agricultural Food and Resources Economics and Occupational and Environmental Medicine as well as Extension Educators in the field. Current research in swine precision management at MSU includes computer vision and wearable technology approaches to individual- or group-level phenotyping (e.g. continuously monitoring growth, feed intake, welfare, aggression) and the adoption of technology to optimize the work of on-farm personnel.

The application of technology within the animal space to facilitate real-time management decisions has the potential to transform swine production in the USA. Generation and adoption of precision management technologies in swine production specifically could lead to substantial improvements in productivity, welfare and health of pigs and subsequently increased profitability of pig production. 

This position is initially for one year, renewable annually based on performance, for up to three years.

The successful candidate is expected to deliver extension programming that is industry-responsive, proactive, and related to management of swine, especially focused on precision management. The candidate is expected to build strong relationships with the Michigan swine industry, state and federal agencies, and faculty and extension educators at MSU and in the region. The successful candidate will collaborate with others to identify stakeholder needs, develop science-based information, organize and deliver extension programs, and to report on and evaluate program impacts.  The position includes the expectation to work with preliminary data generated by others in the swine group and the individual will be mentored by senior faculty who will provide further training and opportunities for professional development. The individual will participate with the appropriate Extension work group(s) and report against the group(s) plan of work.

The successful candidate is also expected to conduct applied research related to precision management of pigs, including aspects such as management, welfare, and genetic improvement. These projects may involve using applications for animal identification and phenotyping as well as developing science-based solutions to improve the health, welfare and profitability of pig production systems.  

Required Degree

Doctorate -Animal Science or related discipline

Minimum Requirements

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in Animal Science or in a related discipline that includes a focus on precision livestock systems.  Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated capacity for teamwork in interdisciplinary environments is a must.

Good computer programming skills with knowledge of at least one commonly used language in data sciences or engineering (e.g., R, Python, Matlab, C++, etc).

Ability to translate technologies in development into practical applications to pork production systems.


Desired Qualifications

Expertise related to current swine production and management practices.

Prior experience in outreach or extension programming and ability to develop and submit research and outreach proposals


Required Application Materials

 letter of interest, CV, research statement, extension statement, and contact information for 2 references.

Special Instructions

Please send inquiries regarding the position to Chair of search committee: Dr. Juan P. Steibel,, with subject, Academic Specialist Position Precision Swine Management. For questions about the application process, please contact Robbyn Davenport, 517-355-8383,

Review of Applications Begins On


Summary of Health Risks

Animal contact and working in environments where animals are housed.


MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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