College of Agriculture

John A. Unruh

Personal Information

John A. Unruh joined the College of Agriculture as dean in August of 2016. Dr. Unruh grew up on a diversified crop and registered Angus farm near Warden, Washington, where he was active in 4-H and FFA showing both cattle and hogs. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in animal science specializing in animal nutrition, beef production, and meat science at Washington State University, where he competed on and coached both the livestock judging and live animal/carcass evaluation teams. Dr. Unruh earned his PhD in animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University (KSU), specializing in beef production and meat science. While there, he served as the assistant coach of the meat judging team. 

Dr. Unruh served as the state extension specialist for swine production and meat science and later was the livestock project leader at Washington State University. He returned to KSU as an assistant professor with a 70 percent teaching and 30 percent research appointment in animal sciences and industry specializing in meat science. Dr. Unruh also coached the KSU meat judging team to two national championships and four reserve national championships in seven years. As a professor, he gradually took on administrative roles at KSU, first as the associate director of the International Meat Livestock Program, and later as the chair of the undergraduate food science program. 

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Unruh’s research interests integrate live animal production and management, carcass composition and quality, and sensory evaluation of meat. Internationally, he has conducted multiple shortcourses, led eleven faculty-led study abroad programs, and worked with livestock producer groups in Costa Rica and Mexico.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Animal Science
  • American Meat Science Association
  • Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honorary
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honorary
  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture
Portrait of John A. Unruh