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Dr. Isaac Salfer


Dr. Salfer grew up raising registered Brown Swiss cattle in central Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate where he participated in Gopher Dairy Club, the UMN Dairy Judging and Dairy Challenge teams, among other campus activities. Since that time, he has always wanted to be an animal science professor at the University of Minnesota so he could give current and future students the same outstanding experience of being a Golden Gopher that he had!



  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, Dairy Nutritional Physiology, 2019

  • Master of Science, University of Minnesota, Ruminant Nutrition, 2015

  • Bachelor of Science, University of Minnesota, Animal Science, 2013


Research Interests: Dr. Salfer's research interests focus on nutritional approaches to improve feed efficiency and productivity of dairy cattle. Within this, he studies relationships between circadian rhythms and metabolism to study potential novel time-based feeding strategies. Furthermore, he studies the impacts of novel feeds and feed additives on energy and protein balance of cows, including strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



  • ANSC 1101: Introductory Animal Science (co-taught)

  • ANSC 4044:Applied Dairy Nutrition,

  • ANSC 4096: PEP Internship 

  • ANSC 8311: Animal Bioenergetics


  • Advisor, Gopher Dairy Club, the largest student organization on Twin Cities Campus

  • Advisor, FarmHouse Fraternity

Dr. Salfer also interacts with dairy producers and nutritionists across the state to stay current on hot topics within the dairy industry and communicate the research and teaching efforts conducted at the U of MN. This includes volunteering at youth events such as dairy quiz bowl contests, the Minnesota 4-H dairy show, and the 4-H and FFA dairy Judging Contests.


Honors and Awards: 

  • National Milk Producers Federation Richard M. Hoyt Award, American Dairy Science Association, 2019.

  • Alltech, Inc., Graduate Student Paper Publication Award, American Dairy Science Association, 2019.

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Penn State Animal Science Department, 2018

  • Agriculture and Food Research Intiative Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, USDA National Institute on Food and Agriculture, 2018

  • William B. Darrow Graduate Scholarship in Ruminant Nutrition, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, 2017, 2018

  • Hintz Memorial Fellowship, National Milk Producers Federation, 2018.

  • John Brandt Memorial Scholarship. Land O’Lakes Inc., 2014

  • Hueg-Harrison Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2014

  • David V. Josephson and Stuart Patton Mentorship Award in Dairy Science, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, 2016, 2018

  • NIH Training Grant Fellow, Huck Institute of Life Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 2016

  • Garth Miller Dairy Science Award, University of Minnesota, 2013

  • R.W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science, University of Minnesota, 2012

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