Award-winning dairy researcher joins SDSU Dairy & Food Science Department

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Award-winning dairy researcher Johan Osorio recently joined the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Dairy & Food Science Department faculty.

Osorio brings more than eight years of experience in animal nutrition research, with emphasis in dairy calf nutrition, dairy cow physiology during the transition period and dairy cattle nutrigenomics.

“I’m so glad to join the great working environment at the SDSU Dairy & Food Science Department,” Osorio says. “The department is all about dairy, so I very much feel in my environment. It’s a great opportunity to interact with people all throughout the food chain, from the cows themselves to the food science end of the spectrum and combine resources for research.”

Osorio will be teaching three classes; Dairy Farm Operations I and II and Laboratory Techniques in Dairy Science. His research/scholarship responsibilities will focus on the utilization of advanced molecular biology and sensor systems techniques to improve dairy cattle health and performance.

Osorio most recently served as a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore., where he taught a dairy production systems class.

Osorio has also conducted dairy research in Denmark and Honduras and has been successful in supporting his research with competitive grants. He is the co-author of 26 publications, many of them peer-reviewed.

“My area of interest is a fairly new field of research called nutrigenomics,” explains Osorio. “Nutrigenomics looks at how the relationship between cows’ diets can alter gene expression and using that information to improve cow health for better performance. Another area I’m interested in studying is cow behavior and relating that to biomarkers to track cow welfare in order to detect diseases before they reach a critical level.”

In 2013, Osorio received the Midwest Young Dairy Scholar Award and the Innovation in Dairy Research Award from the American Dairy Science Association.

Osorio grew up on a family dairy in Honduras and was introduced to animal husbandry as a child. He received his Bachelor’s in Agricultural Sciences & Production from the prestigious Escuela Agricola Panamericana Zamorano, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he received hands-on instruction and gained experience in working with dairy cattle health and management. Osorio went on to get a Master’s and Ph.D. in Animal Sciences, both from the University of Illinois. His advisor for the M.S. degree and co-advisor for the Ph.D. degree was Dr. Jim Drackley, who received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Dairy Science from SDSU.

During his Master’s and doctoral programs, Osorio served as a graduate research assistant, conducting hoof research, studying the nutrigenomic effects of methionine, trace minerals and moderate-energy diets on cow performance during the transition period and maternal level of energy intake prepartum on gene expression in neonatal heifer calves.