Superintendent selected for Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station

David Gay is the new superintendent at the Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station west of Philip. He has several years of experience in this field and is a welcome addition to South Dakota State University’s research team.

The 100-year-old Cottonwood research station has a new superintendent in charge of its day-to-day operations.

David Gay began his tenure as the South Dakota State University's Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station superintendent in mid-October. He replaced outgoing superintendent, Ron Haigh. Haigh retired from SDSU after more than 30 years of service.

Gay moved to Cottonwood from Lima, MT. He has held similiar positions in the past. Gay holds a bachelor of science degree in animal science and a master's degree in range science, both from Oklahoma State University. He is a native of Oklahoma. He has worked at the OSU Range Cattle Research Center and was a range technician in the university's agronomy division. At Corona, NM he served as the range and livestock technician. Add to all that, he has been the manager of a couple private ranches.

Gay noted he likes western South Dakota and the wide open prairie. "The neighbors have all been helpful and friendly, too," said Gay. "I see the position as being involved in the community as much as extension and research."

Gay took the superintendent position as the university undertakes an updating measure of the buildings at the station. He has been busy helping build a new corral system. Plans are for a new storage/office building and updating of electrical lines. He said the first research trial he will be carrying out will involve non-oiled distillers grain versus regular distillers grain.

Gay's wife, Connie, is a high school business and techonology teacher in Montana. The couple has three adult children, all in Oklahoma.

Research at the station is under the direction of Ken Olson and Pat Johnson, both out of SDSU's West River Area Center in Rapid City.

The station is located 12 miles west of Philip, SD. It was established in 1907 by the Agriculture Experiment Station at SDSU. It was originally 640 acres and focused on crops and soils. In 1940 2,000 acres of federal land were added. Today's research focuses on nutrient and grazing studies.

The station has also recorded area weather since 1907. It is a Climatological Bench Mark Weather Station that records maximum and minumum daily temperatures, precipitation and in the summer months, evaporation.