Krista Fuoss

SDSU graduate Krista Fuoss hold her award for being named Outstanding Student in Animal Science. 

Growing up on a farm near Armour, S.D., Krista Fuoss realized at an early age that she enjoyed working with animals, and when it came time to go to college, she decided to pursue a degree in animal science at South Dakota State University.

This spring, the SDSU Animal Science Department honored one graduating senior from the department with the Outstanding Student in Animal Science award. Fuoss was selected from 12 nominated seniors and received the award at the first annual Celebration of Animal Science Achievements and Excellence banquet held April 25.

Students were nominated for the Outstanding Student in Animal Science award, which is new this year, by clubs they were involved in and departmental faculty members. A committee then selected a student based on academic performance, leadership, scholarship activities, extra-curricular activities and community service. The selected student receives a monetary award through the I.B. Johnson Scholarship Fund.

“Krista combines significant academic achievement, outstanding leadership and service to the community,” said Rosie Nold, assistant head of the Animal Science Department.

Fuoss said she really appreciated that she was able to gain hands-on experience right away with the introductory animal science course and then the amount of experiential learning in classes increased as she got further along in completing her degree.

“I really appreciate how many real-world experiences I was able to have in all the classes, from regularly handling the animals at the SDSU livestock units near campus, to visiting various agricultural businesses, to being put in specific scenarios that we will likely face in our careers,” Fuoss said.

She credits the professors for helping her be successful both as a student and professional. She said many of the professors went out of their way to help her when needed and really played a supportive role in her time as a student.

“The professors are so great at what they teach and it is because of them that I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes,” Fuoss said.

She also took advantage of the opportunity to get involved in undergraduate research with Crystal Levesque, assistant professor of swine nutrition. Fuoss began doing research her sophomore year and continued through her junior year. Her research focused on the effects an essential oil has on post-farrow constipation.

“Doing undergraduate research showed me that I love the science aspect of animal science,” Fuoss said.

Fuoss served as a leader to students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences as president of the Prexy Council, which is the student-led governing body of CAFES clubs and organizations.

“Holding this leadership role really stretched me outside of my comfort zone and is something I am very proud of,” Fuoss said.

While at SDSU, she met her soon-to-be husband, Justin Krell. Krell graduated from SDSU with an associate degree in agricultural science. The two are getting married this summer.

Following graduation, Fuoss started a summer internship working in customer relations for Land O’Lakes and CHS Inc. After that, she hopes to begin a career where she can work daily with producers to help them solve their problems and improve their operations.