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Retiring to new research career: Extension’s Ringwall starts new job in Canada

Kris Ringwall was director of North Dakota State University’s Dickinson Research Extension Center until he started a new career at the University of Saskatchewan this fall. Mikkel Pates / Forum News Service

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 two days later 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. The new research, teaching and industry center is 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 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.

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 said as 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:

  • The Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit, south of Clavet, Saskatchewan, includes a feedlot with 1,500-head capacity, as well as environmental monitoring.
  • The Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit, also south of Clavet, has 300 breeding cows.
  • The Goodale Research and Teaching Farm near Floral, Saskatchewan, includes 165 breeding cows, plus horses, bison and deer.