The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Precision Beef Systems & Sustainability (Assistant or Endowed Associate or Full Professor)

Posted on June 11, 2024
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Position Overview

The University of Tennessee, Department of Animal Science in Knoxville, TN is realizing an ambitious plan to become the leading group in the use of digital technology in Precision Livestock Farming considering one-health and environmental issues. Therefore, UTK invites applications for a full-time, 9-month/year, tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant, Endowed Associate or Full Professor.

About the University, Animal Science Department, AgResearch & Institute of Agriculture: The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has an enrollment of more than 31,000 students and is located in Knoxville. The City of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, varied nightlife, active neighborhoods, and eclectic shopping and restaurants. UT is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains. The Institute of Agriculture houses the Land Grant component of the university and consists of UT AgResearch, Hebert College of Agriculture, UT Extension, and College of Veterinary Medicine. Academic departments include Animal Science;Agricultural & Resource Economics;Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications;Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science;Entomology and Plant Pathology;Food Science;Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries;and Plant Sciences. Translational research addressing problems in production of food, fiber, energy and environmental/agricultural sustainability is prioritized. The Department of Animal Science is a diverse blend of applied and basic life sciences, ultimately focused on enhancing the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of the domestic animal industries. The department's activities are accomplished by its 25 faculty members and 13 professionals and support staff on the Knoxville campus and at locations across Tennessee. Approximately 500 undergraduate students are enrolled in the department's Bachelor of Science degree program with academic concentrations in Animal Industries, BioSciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and combined BS-MS (4+1). Encouraging undergraduate participation in research, creative achievement, and real-world experience is a departmental goal. There are approximately 40 graduate students enrolled in the department's M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
Research, Teaching, and Extension programs in the department serve the areas of animal health and well-being, nutritional physiology, genomics, reproductive physiology, and precision livestock farming technology. Extensive field and animal resources are available through UT AgResearch and Education Centers throughout Tennessee. These resources include over 1,000 head of beef cattle and multiple forms of precision livestock farming technologies. UT Extension also leads adult and 4-H youth programs in beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, horses, poultry, sheep, swine, and environmental management. Departmental programs encompass the full range of the land grant university mission (teaching, research, and service) and are administered by the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension. Opportunities abound to form collaborative and interdisciplinary activities with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture to facilitate international partnerships or collaborations, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, commodity and industrial partners, other university units, and regional industries. Additional information about the Department can be found at Faculty are also active in four recently developed centers/initiatives including the UTIA Genomics Center for the Advancement of Agriculture (, Precision Livestock Farming Initiative (, the University of Tennessee One Health Initiative (, and UT Beef and Forage Center (


Responsibilities and Expectations:  
●  	9-month, tenure-track position with 85% Research and 15% Teaching responsibilities
●  	Establish an independent, nationally recognized research program (basic and/or applied) in the area of Precision Beef Systems, with emphasis on any area of beef production that would benefit Tennessee, US, and global livestock industries. This could include herd health, environmental sustainability, climate resilience, genetic improvement, precision management, applied data science, or artificial intelligence.
●  	Form collaborative research partnerships with faculty within and outside the university, especially in association with the new Hickman Precision Agriculture Technology Unit and Precision Livestock Farming Program (
●  	Develop an extramurally funded, nationally recognized research program
●  	Be prolific in scholarly publications and presentations
●  	Successfully mentor undergraduate and graduate student research assistants
●  	Teach one senior/MS level course on Precision Livestock Farming and Sustainability
●  	Participate in other activities of the Department of Animal Science such as committee service and recruitment
Research efforts may integrate any type of experimental data or techniques related to the applicant's interests, possibly including sensor development & deployment, “omics” data, high-throughput phenotyping, machine learning applications, or data science/management, into data-driven solutions for beef production systems. Research can focus on various beef-related challenges such as herd health, genetic improvement, precision management, environmental sustainability, and/or climate resilience. Individuals having interests in an area including but not limited to Data Science, Animal Genomics, Reproduction, Nutrition, Health-Epidemiology, Statistics, or Bioinformatics would fit well within existing groups of Animal Science faculty. Teaching responsibilities include developing and serving as primary instructor for a new Precision Livestock Farming & Sustainability course (Senior/MS level) to be taught every spring semester with an enrollment of approximately 35 students across agriculture disciplines.


Earned doctoral degree in Animal or Veterinary Science, Agricultural Engineering, Data Science, Computer Science, or a closely related field at the time of employment at the University of Tennessee. Interested in developing or applying precision technologies to beef cattle systems. Research program emphasizes in the areas of beef cattle production, such as herd health, environmental sustainability, climate resilience, genetic improvement, or precision management. Candidate must have a strong ambition to create a new livestock sector embedded in a digital world by collaborating with engineers and experts in digital technologies and artificial intelligence-based solutions. The passion to have an impact in the new livestock sector with the UTK team is an important driver for success. Individuals must demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. To be considered for the rank of endowed associate or full professor, the candidate must have a proven record of scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals, successes in obtaining extramural grant and contract funding to support research efforts, a passionate teacher, and effectively mentoring graduate students that are worthy of the respective rank. All applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. on a long-term basis.

Preferred Level of Education



Salary: Commensurate with education, experience, and qualifications.

How to Apply

Apply via Interfolio: