K-State animal sciences department welcomes new leader


MANHATTAN, Kan. – It didn’t take a whole lot of encouragement for Mike Day to get up and go to work this week. He was plenty excited on his own.

Mike Day began work August 12 as the head of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University, a position he said is ripe with opportunities to serve a bustling livestock agriculture sector.

“All aspects of the landgrant mission – teaching, research and extension – were a big draw for me to come work for this department, as well as working with the people that are here,” Day said.

“K-State has one of the largest departments of animal science in the U.S.,” he added. “We have students from across the country with a wide variety of interests. And a big thing in Kansas that I’ve looked at from afar for years, is the interactions with the stakeholders and producers. In my mind, it’s the right way that a university and the producers should work together to improve the efficiency of production and the quality of life in agriculture.”

Day was previously the department head for animal science at the University of Wyoming, and was a researcher and faculty member at The Ohio State University and University of Nebraska for a combined 35 years before that. He has a strong background as a beef cattle reproductive physiologist, specializing in fertility and estrus synchronization.

At K-State, Day said he’s excited to build on the university’s strength in animal and food science research.

“It’s exciting to think of working in a department where we have such a broad range of people who work in research, from food science to meat science to all of the traditional animal science disciplines,” he said.

“I’m excited about getting those groups all together and headed in a direction that will allow us to build excellence. The people to do that are here and my job is to aid that progression to make us an even more effective department.”

During his first week, Day attended a regional meeting of the Kansas Livestock Association where he was able to begin meeting producers and other stakeholders in the state.

“I’d first like to understand what they think about K-State and the animal science program, what their needs are and what we can do to help them,” he said. “And, I’m interested in knowing what they can do to help us, as we try to make the program stronger.”

He’s not yet ready to set big goals, except one that he says is clear: “We want to be the best animal science department in the country, and the department is well on its way in many areas.”

For more information about K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, visit www.asi.ksu.edu.

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