Congratulations to Dr. Robert Thaler (SDARL III) who is the 2020 recipient of the “Richard Wahlstrom Animal Science Award for Excellence in Scholarship.” Bob is a professor and South Dakota State University Extension Swine Specialist.

Dr. Thaler, pictured here with his wife, Karen, has been a faculty member at SDSU for the past 32 years. He graduated with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SDSU and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. In his role as a professor, Thaler has taught a wide range of classes in animal nutrition, swine production, agriculture and global health, and current issues in animal and range sciences. Additionally, he created an online swine nutrition class as part of the Swine Science Certificate online program.

He also developed two international travel classes to China and Vietnam in which students take a semester-long course studying international agriculture in the countries and then get to go on a study abroad trip to the countries at the end of the semester.

Bob was honored by his students by being selected as the college’s Teacher of the Year in 2000 and 2006. He has also served as an advisor for the Swine Club, Block and Bridle, and Little International.

The award is given in honor of Richard Wahlstrom, a retired faculty member of the Department of Animal Science.

“This is one of the most meaningful awards I’ve received since it is named after Dr. Rick Wahlstrom,” Dr. Thaler said. “Rick was my master’s advisor and one of the best mentors a person could have. Rick continues to be a tremendous resource and friend to me throughout all these years, both as a faculty person and human being.”


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