Montana State University and the MSU Alumni Foundation announced today that Timothy DelCurto of Oregon State University has verbally agreed to fill the position of the Nancy Cameron Endowed Chair in Range Beef Cattle Production in the university's Department of Animal and Range Sciences within the College of Agriculture.
DelCurto will be an asset to MSU and the Montana livestock industry, according to Patrick Hatfield, head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences.
"We couldn't be more excited to have someone with Dr. DelCurto's background and experience in all things teaching, research and outreach in the animal sciences," Hatfield said. "This is the first endowed chair for our department, and we're anxiously awaiting the research development and advancements we know Dr. DelCurto is capable of. He's well-versed in the land-grant mission and that of conducting research that makes a difference in the lives of producers and the state's agricultural economy."
The position is the department's first endowed chair, meant to develop a rich research profile and program in range beef cattle nutrition and management that serves Montana and the region's beef Industry. DelCurto, currently an associate professor, director and program head at Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center of Oregon State University, was selected after a national search by a search advisory committee of MSU faculty and private stakeholders.
"I'm thrilled to join Montana State University, particularly in a research vein so heavily supported by the university, faculty and the state of Montana," DelCurto said. "There is a wealth of opportunity to investigate and develop answers to the largest challenges facing the livestock industry through advanced research, highly qualified faculty and an integrated network of private producers across the state. I'm honored to serve as the department's first beef physiology chair."
DelCurto has a bachelor's degree in general agriculture, a master's degree in animal sciences from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in animal sciences from Kansas State University. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in animal sciences, authored or co-authored five books, holds 24 years of university teaching experience and has generated $3 million in grant funding. He is expected to join MSU on Nov. 1.
The position has been heavily supported by Montana producers and university stakeholders, including a foundational $2 million gift from Nancy Cameron, a descendant from a pioneering ranching family with a 125-year history in Montana and 1954 graduate of the College of Business at what was then Montana State College. Statewide producers have partnered to support the position with an ultimate goal of raising $5 million, according to the MSU Alumni Foundation. To date, joint fundraising efforts by the MSU Alumni Foundation and the Montana Stockgrowers Research and Education Endowment Foundation have raised more than $250,000, with a goal of $1 million. The Bair Ranch Foundation has contributed $500,000. Both the Stockgrowers and Bair Ranch contributions are for graduate research in support of the chair. Fundraising programs will continue until the $5 million goal is met, according to the MSU Alumni Foundation.
Sustained by permanently invested funds, endowed chairs – which are often the highest academic award universities bestow on faculty – provide predictable and stable funding to help the university build upon its existing academic and research programs.