SDSU Hires New Sheep Specialists


The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association announced Dr. Kelly Froehlich and Ms. Jaelyn Whaley will be joining South Dakota State University Extension this fall.

Dr. Froehlich will be joining the faculty at SDSU in Brookings as the new Extension Sheep Specialist beginning August 24th while Ms. Whaley will be joining the group at the SDSU West River Research and Extension Center in Rapid City as the new Sheep Extension Field Specialist.  Her start date in September 9th.

Kelly grew up in Grasston, Minnesota on a hydroponic lettuce and tomato farm. She says she corrupted her parents to let her have a few sheep when she was 13. Like eating potato chips, you cannot have just a few, now there is a flock of 90 registered Lincoln longwool ewes at her family’s home.

Growing up on a farm really pushed her in her academic ventures. Kelly holds two B.S. degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Education from UMN, and a M.S. in Dairy Science from SDSU. The last few years she have been living in New Zealand pursing her PhD in Animal Science at Lincoln University outside of Christchurch. Her PhD was focused on loline, a plant secondary metabolite found in fescue grasses. She was studying lolines metabolism and potential effects on microflora and internal parasites in sheep. Kelly looks forward to meeting South Dakota sheep producers and assist in finding solutions to current challenges.

SDSGA welcomes Dr. Kelly Froehlich (left) and Jaelyn Whaley (right) to the SDSU Extension team.



Originally from Northwest Colorado, Jaelyn grew up on a 100 head Suffolk/Hampshire operation raising club lambs and direct to consumer marketing grass fed lambs. She was very active in both 4-H and FFA and still tries to stay involved with these youth development organizations. After high school, Jaelyn attended Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, WY, where she obtained an Associates degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Animal Science. Between her two years at LCCC, she served as a Colorado State FFA Officer.

After community college, Jaelyn attended the University of Wyoming where she worked as an undergraduate research assistant working on various projects like a rumen microbiome study and U.S. Sheep Experiment Station sire evaluation. It was during this time that she met Dr. Whit Stewart who encouraged her to continue her education. Upon completion of her Bachelors degree in Animal Science, Jaelyn continued onto her Masters of Science degree at UW under Dr. Stewart and Dr. Warrie Means. During her graduate education, she also worked with Albany County 4-H as the wool judging coach for three years. Her project, funded by American Lamb Board and the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, is evaluating the effects of excessively finished lambs on the processing sector of the sheep industry. She will complete her M.S. in August, then begin working as the Sheep Extension Field Specialist September 9, 2020. Jaelyn is excited to begin meeting and getting to know the sheep producers of South Dakota.

SDSGA looks forward to working with these individuals to assess the needs of both the South Dakota and American sheep industry.


South Dakota Sheep Growers Association

Photos courtesy Dr. Kelly Froehlich, Jaelyn Whaley, and SDSU Extension

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