Department of Animal Science welcomes Russell Burgett

Russell BurgettThe Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University would like to welcome Russell “Rusty” Burgett as the new Farms Director and Assistant Professor of Practice. With his extensive background working in research and academia, Burgett will be a great asset to the department, the university farms, and a valuable resource for our students. 

“I’m very grateful and humbled for the opportunity to work alongside the great faculty, staff and students at ISU.  I’m excited to see where we can take the Animal Science Farms and ways we can continue to serve our missions of teaching, research and outreach,” said Burgett.    

Burgett received his undergraduate degree in animal science from The Ohio State University and his master’s in ruminant nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his graduate work, Burgett’s research focused on investigating the effects of fiber type and inclusion level of dried distillers grains on feedlot cattle performance, as well as the effects of gestation energy source of ewes on subsequent progeny reproductive performance and carcass characteristics. 

Most recently, Burgett served as the executive director for the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP). In this role, he assured the effective and efficient administrative operations of NSIP by promoting the program and educating the industry on the value of the technology. He also facilitated the quantitative genetic analysis for the U.S. sheep industry.

Burgett has also been involved in various organizations within the sheep industry. He is the president and founding member of Sheep Genetics USA, a part of the American Sheep Industry Association, a board member of the Iowa Sheep Improvement Association, and worked as an ad hoc committee member of the North Central Extension and Research Activity (NCERA) 214, focusing on the increased efficiency of sheep production. 

“We’re excited to welcome Rusty to the department in this important role. Our farm system provides exceptional teaching, research and Extension opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and stakeholders. Rusty’s experience and leadership will no doubt better position the farms and their staff to expand our department’s ability to continue striving towards excellence in our land grant mission,” said Dr. Jason Ross, Animal Science Department Chair.