National Awards

2019 National Award Recipients

Agri-King Outstanding Animal Science Graduate Student Award

Sponsored by: Agri-King, Inc

Brittni Littlejohn, Mississippi State University

Littlejohn_Brittni_Agri-King Outstanding Graduate Student Award Photo

Dr. Brittni P. Littlejohn is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University. She earned a B.S. (2012) in Animal Science, as well as a M.S. (2014) and a Ph.D. (2018) degree in Physiology of Reproduction at Texas A&M University. Her graduate work focused on the influence of prenatal transportation stress on postnatal physiology in cattle. She evaluated differential methylation of DNA as a mechanism of phenotypic differences observed in prenatally stressed calves. As a doctoral student, she received the Sorensen Achievement Award and several SS-ASAS paper competition awards. She also served as the SS-ASAS Graduate Representative (2015-2017). Dr. Littlejohn has authored 5 refereed journal articles and authored or coauthored 32 abstracts. Her current research at Mississippi State University in cooperation with USDA ARS is focused on: 1) generating a non-invasive model to induce liver abscesses in cattle with the intent to investigate alternatives to antibiotic usage, 2) utilizing biophotonic methods to track the colonization of liver abscess-causing bacteria in cattle, and 3) exploring therapeutic methods to improve fertility in bulls.

Allen Tucker Travel Scholarship

Sponsored by: H. Allen Tucker Appreciation Club

Brandon Smith, University of Connecticut


Brandon Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences at Utah State University and graduated Cum Laude. While working towards his bachelor’s degree, he performed cell culture, animal husbandry, and viral research in an antiviral laboratory in the Institute for Antiviral Research in the Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences at Utah State University. Following graduation, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Kristen E. Govoni at the University of Connecticut to pursue a Ph.D. in Animal Science. His research focuses on the “The effects of maternal undernutrition followed by realimentation on liver development, lipid metabolism, and metabolism in sheep”. In addition to mentoring students in the laboratory and serving as a TA for courses in the department he is also the Graduate Student Representative for the Northeast Section of ASAS/ADSA and serves as the Executive Secretary in his church. 

American Feed Industry Association Award in Nonruminant Nutrition Research

Sponsored by: American Feed Industry Association

Robert Goodband, Kansas State University

Goodband_Robert_AFI Nonruminant Nutrition Research Award Photo

Dr. Bob Goodband is a swine nutritionist at Kansas State University. Originally from Walpole, Massachusetts, Bob graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1984. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Swine Nutrition at Kansas State University, and joined their faculty in 1989. Bob and his co-workers have played an important role in developing an intensive on-farm research program that has conducted numerous on-farm trials across the U.S. His work has resulted in 310 refereed journal papers, 6 book chapters, over 1,000 research reports and Extension publications, 8 patents, and $13.9 million in grants and gifts to K-State. Bob also teaches Swine Science and Swine Nutrition courses and serves as academic advisor to 35 to 40 undergraduate students each year. Bob has served as the major professor for 22 M.S. and Ph.D. students and on committees of an additional 113 students. Bob enjoys spending time with his wife Dani, and son Brady on their small farm outside of Randolph, KS. 

American Feed Industry Association Award in Nutrition Research

Sponsored by: American Feed Industry Association

Kendall Swanson, North Dakota State University

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Dr. Kendall Swanson is a Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University. Dr. Swanson grew up on a farm in southeastern North Dakota and received his BS (1994) and MS (1996) from North Dakota State University. He received his PhD from the University of Kentucky in 2000 and was a Research Associate at the USDA Meat Animal Research Center from 2001–2003. Before returning to NDSU in 2010, Dr. Swanson was on faculty at the University of Guelph for 8 years. Dr. Swanson’s research program has focused on nutritional influences on performance, nutrient balance, post-ruminal starch digestion, pancreatic function, and energy and nitrogen metabolism in beef cattle. He has 312 total and 94 refereed publications. He has received $5.7 million in grant funds. He has advised 50 students and staff. He also teaches courses in nutrition and physiology.

Animal Growth and Development Award

Sponsored by: DSM Nutritional Products, Inc

Juan Loor, University of Illinois


Juan Loor earned a B.S. degree from the University of California (Davis) and M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He was post-doctoral fellow at INRA (France) and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) from 2001 until joining the faculty at Illinois in 2005. He is currently Professor of Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Loor has developed an internationally-recognized program in physiological genomics of ruminants. His research has enhanced our understanding of mechanisms regulating function and development of key organs during the periparturient and neonatal periods. Since 2008, Dr. Loor has authored 259 peer-reviewed articles that have received more than 4,600 citations. His research program has been supported by the USDA-AFRI, private industry, international collaborations, and state programs. He is active in various departmental, college, and campus committees. His teaching efforts include undergraduate and graduate courses in animal and ruminant nutrition, and a capstone graduate course within the Division of Nutritional Sciences on the regulation of macronutrient metabolism. 

Animal Industry Innovation Service Award

Sponsored by: Zoetis

Merlin D. Lindemann, University of Kentucky

Merlin Lindemann

Dr. Merlin D. Lindemann received his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He worked at Virginia Tech for 13 years before joining the University of Kentucky in 1994, where he is actively involved in swine nutrition research and teaching. Dr. Lindemann has had a distinguished research and service career. He has worked with over 60 different companies and organizations to address issues of need with his research. The issues have addressed societal concerns (animal waste and environmental issues), producer concerns (mycotoxins, floor/feeder space needs), company interests (value of new compounds or byproducts) as well as nutritional research (omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins). His most notable work has been with Cr and he was an integral part of obtaining its clearance for use in the US. Dr. Lindemann is active in ASAS and other professional agricultural organizations and has had leadership roles in many of them. He is in demand as a speaker and has spoken in 35 countries to share his expertise. 

Animal Management Award

Sponsored by: United Animal Health

K.C. Olson, Kansas State University

KC Olson

Dr. KC Olson’s graduate training at North Dakota State and Kansas State Universities preceded his 8-year appointment in extension and research at the University of Missouri. In 2006, he joined the faculty at Kansas State University where he is now professor of animal science in a research & teaching role. In 2011, he was awarded the W.M. and F.A. Lewis Distinguished Chair in Animal Sciences & Industry. His research has attracted collaboration with more than 40 KSU scientists and 25 scientists from other academic institutions. These projects supported degree requirements for 17 M.S., 8 Ph.D., and 7 undergraduate students under his mentorship. Over the last decade, Dr. Olson has published 62 peer-reviewed journal articles, 5 book chapters, 48 proceedings papers, and more than 100 abstracts. He has delivered numerous presentations around the globe. Dr. Olson’s previous honors include Advisor of the Year, Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and Excellence in Extension.

Animal Physiology and Endocrinology Award

Sponsored by: James W. Lauderdale Appreciation Club

Min Du, Washington State University

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Dr. Min Du earned his BS from Zhejiang University, MS from China Agricultural University and PhD from Iowa State University. After postdoctoral training at University of Alberta, he was a faculty member at the University of Wyoming (UW). In 2011, he moved to Washington State University (WSU) as a Professor and Endowed Chair. His research focuses on the maternal impacts on fetal development and offspring performance. His program is well funded by USDA and NIH awards (>$24 million). Dr. Du has trained 50+ graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. He has published 232 peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent speaker for national/international meetings. He was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Science, and served on panels or advisory committees of numerous funding agencies. He was the recipient of Young Scientist Award, Early Career Achievement Award, Animal Growth and Development Award from ASAS, UW Outstanding Advisor Award, and WSU Faculty Research Excellence Award.

ASAS Fellow Extension

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

Jack Whittier, University of Nebraska


Dr. Jack Whittier, a 36-year member and 6-year board member of the ASAS, was raised on a livestock and crop farm in Utah and received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Utah State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. For 28 years, he was an Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at the University of Missouri and later at Colorado State University, focused on beef cow nutrition and reproduction. Since 2014, Jack has been Director of the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center. Dr. Whittier has given several hundred presentations to producer audiences and initiated the Colorado Ranch Practicum, Colorado Nutrition Roundtable, Robert Taylor Memorial Beef Symposium, CSU Beef Team, and AI training schools. He also provided support and leadership for the CSU Integrated Resource Management Program, Western Beef Committee’s Cow/calf Management Guide, Colorado Animal Identification Task Force, eXtension Beef Community of Practice, and Range Beef Cow Symposium.

ASAS Fellow: Administration Category

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

Michael Looper, University of Arkansas

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Dr. Michael Looper is Head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Arkansas. Looper received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Looper began his academic career at New Mexico State University as an Assistant Professor/Extension Dairy Specialist. From 2002-11, Looper was a Research Animal Scientist with USDA-ARS and was named the USDA-ARS, Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award winner. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals. Looper is a Fellow in the Southeastern Conference University Academic Leadership program, a member from Class X of the LEAD21 program, and is an Advanced Graduate of Distinction from the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. Looper and his wife Joneta have two teenage daughters, Madison and Taylor 

ASAS Fellow: Industry Category

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

James Sullivan, LLC


Dr. James E. Sullivan has had an illustrious career in the animal feed industry. Jim grew up on a family farm and received academic training at the University of Kentucky (BS) and University of Illinois (MS and PhD). Dr. Sullivan is a pioneer in the use of food industry byproducts in the animal feed industry. Dr. Sullivan orchestrated the building of the first dedicated whey permeate (the primary source of lactose for baby pigs) drying facility in the world. In part due to the efforts of Dr. Sullivan, brewer’s yeast, chocolate, sugar food, cheese and other food byproducts have found their way into animal food. Dr. Sullivan has served the industry though membership and leadership roles in the American Society of Animal Sciences (ASAS), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), and the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI). Anyone that knows Dr. Sullivan would agree that he is a scientist, an industry leader, and an even better person.

ASAS Fellow: Research Category

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

John Patience, Iowa State University

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Dr. John F. Patience earned his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University and led the Prairie Swine Center for 21 years before joining Iowa State University in 2008. He has published 134 refereed manuscripts, 21 books and book chapters, and more than 700 other documents, and has presented 401 talks at academic and industry meetings throughout the world. His research has addressed a diversity of practical topics, most recently focusing on the role of fiber on gut function and physiology and its impact on gastrointestinal disease. Patience has served ASAS on numerous award committees and the Midwest Section as President and as member and chair of the Non-Ruminant Nutrition Program Committee. He served JAS as Associate Editor for 5 years and is currently a member of the Editorial Board for the 4th time. He has received numerous awards, including the New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award from FASS/AFIA and the Non-Ruminant Nutrition and Animal Industry Service Awards from ASAS. In addition, Dr. Patience served as the president of the Canada Society of Animal Science.  

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

James Sartin, Auburn University

Dr. Jim Sartin is an emeritus professor of Physiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. Sartin received his B.S. and M.S. from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Sartin was a post-doc and staff scientist at Temple University and then joined the faculty at Auburn. His research has focused on control of hormone secretion with an emphasis on neuroendocrine control of appetite and feed intake in ruminants, and the impact of endotoxins and disease on the endocrine-appetite system. Dr. Sartin has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and has made more than 160 invited presentations in18 countries. Dr. Sartin has been PI or co-PI on over $5 million in extra- and intra-mural funding. He served as ASAS as a Director-at-Large and President as well Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Animal Science, Translational Animal Science and Animal Frontiers. Jim and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons and live outside Birmingham, AL.

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

Robert Collier, University of Arizona


Dr. Robert J. Collier is among the few animal scientists who has impacted development of animal agriculture world-wide. He attended Eastern Illinois University (BS, MS), University Illinois (PhD) and Michigan State University (NIH Post-Doc) and has been employed by US Army (Medical Technician), Monsanto (Director of Research) and Universities of Florida and Arizona (Faculty). Collier’s research addressed two of the pressing problems of human society – the increased demands for food production caused by increases in global population and the problems in meeting that demand caused by global climate change. Collier and coworkers characterized the cellular and molecular changes in the mammary gland and the alterations in metabolic endocrinology caused by heat stress, devised innovative systems to estimate the magnitude of heat stress effect on cattle, and identified management systems and feeding strategies to reduce or mitigate the impact of heat stress.  

ASAS Fellow: Teaching Category

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

Joan Eisemann, North Carolina State University


Dr. Joan Eisemann is a Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University. She earned her B.S. (1975) from the University of Connecticut and her M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) from Cornell University. She was a Research Physiologist at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center from 1984 to 1991. In 1991 she joined N.C. State University. Dr. Eisemann has conducted research in nutritional and hormonal regulation of protein accretion in growing animals. She was a member of the committee that authored the most recent Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. She has also authored 6 other books and book chapters and 144 refereed publications, proceedings, abstracts and presentations. Dr. Eisemann has made distinguished contributions to research and teaching in the field of animal science and has always provided the highest level of service to her students, the university and our society.

ASAS Retiree Service Award

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science

Keith Inskeep, West Vriginia University


Dr. Emmett Keith Inskeep, a native West Virginian who grew up on a diversified livestock farm, has been a member of the ASAS since 1960 and is an ASAS Fellow. Educated at West Virginia University and the University of Wisconsin, he did research, teaching and outreach as a faculty member at West Virginia University for 52 years. Since retirement, he has reviewed manuscripts for Journal of Animal Science, Journal of Dairy Science and other journals, taught classes, participated in seminars and journal clubs, collaborated in regional research, and raised funds for scholarships. In these activities, he interacts with aspiring animal scientists who will be the future of educational leadership in animal agriculture. Keith has presented lectures at ASAS sectional meetings and contributed to the ASAS Foundation. Almost weekly, he answers phone calls and e-mails from producers concerning applications of reproductive management of ruminants. Keith Inskeep actively promotes the ASAS mission in many ways. 

Bouffault International Animal Agriculture Award

Sponsored by: Center for Regulatory Services, Inc

Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida


Dr. Adesogan is currently a Professor of Animal Nutrition and Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. He has served on the Editorial boards of the Journal of Animal Science, ANIMAL, and other journals and he has chaired or co-chaired the committees of over 13 PhD and 6 MS students. He has authored or coauthored over 200 scientific publications and received over $65,000,000 in research grants. He has consulted for various organizations and companies including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Bank, served as the President of the UF Christian Faculty Fellowship and the President of the UF Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and he currently chairs the Council of Feed the Future Innovation Lab Directors. His research interests include sustainable improvement of livestock production, using animal-source foods to improve human nutrition and health, and improving the quality of forages to improve animal production.

Corbin Award in Companion Animal Biology

Sponsored by: Mars Petcare

Greg Aldrich, Kansas State University


Greg Aldrich received his PhD in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois in 1995 and joined the Iams Company. He has held positions at Kemin Industries and Menu Foods. In 2003 he started Pet Food & Ingredient Technology, Inc., which has provided support to more than 175 pet food, ingredient, and equipment companies. He writes a monthly column Petfood Industry Magazine with more than 165 articles. In 2012 Aldrich joined Kansas State University as a Research Associate Professor. He teaches courses in Pet Food Processing, Companion Animal Nutrition, and the Graduate Student Seminar. His research focuses on the effect processing has on safety, nutrition, and shelf-life of modern pet foods. Since 2012 he has published 14 peer reviewed manuscripts, one book chapter, and 63 abstracts, and presented at 85 conferences and industry events. He continues to provide technical support to the industry, serves on numerous corporate boards, and provides commentary on issues of industry importance.

Distinguished Teacher Award

Sponsored by: Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC/Land O' Lakes, Inc

Robert Coleman, University of Kentucky


Dr. Robert Coleman is an Associate Extension Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He completed his BSc (Animal Science; 1975) and MS (Animal Science; 1978) degrees at the University of Manitoba. After graduating, he worked as a nutritionist for two major Canadian feed companies. In 1980, he became the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture. During his time in Alberta, he completed his PhD with a focus in Equine Nutrition (1998). In 1998, Dr. Coleman moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist. In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Coleman teaches and advises in the Equine Science and Management program and is the advisor for the University of Kentucky Equestrian Team. Dr. Coleman is the Executive Director of the Equine Science Society, past chair of the American Quarter Horse research committee, President-Elect for the Certified Horsemanship Association, board member of the Midwest ARPAS, and a board member of KyQHA (secretary). 

Early Career Achievement Award

Sponsored by: ASAS Foundation

Cassie Jones, Kansas State University


Dr. Cassie Jones is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Animal Sciences & Industry at Kansas State University. She earned her BS and MS from K-State and her PhD in swine nutrition from Iowa State University in 2012. As the department’s Coordinator of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Jones oversees more than 100 undergraduates conducting research annually. She teaches more than 250 students in 7 different classes each year, and advises approximately 60 students. Outside of teaching, Dr. Jones is an accomplished researcher in the area of animal feed safety, with more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, 100 abstracts, and $6.5 million in awarded grants, gifts, and contracts during her 7-year career. Dr. Jones and her husband, Spencer, raise Angus cattle near Wamego, KS and have three young children, Ty, Hayden, and Hadley.

Sponsored by: ASAS Foundation

Michael Steele, University of Guelph


Dr. Michael Steele is an Associate Professor of Animal Physiology at the University of Guelph, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Nutrition and Past-President of the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS). He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Guelph and worked for Nutreco Canada Agresearch for two years prior to returning to academia at the University of Alberta and Guelph as an NSERC Industrial Research Chair. He was recently awarded the CSAS Young Scientist Award, the Cargill Young Animal Nutritionist Award and the Lallemand Award for Excellence in Dairy Nutrition Research. His current research is focuses on the mechanisms that control gastrointestinal health and development in cattle and has published over 60 manuscripts.

Equine Science Award

Sponsored by: Zinpro Corporation

Shannon Pratt Phillips, North Carolina State University


Shannon Pratt Phillips is a Professor in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University. She teaches in the field of equine science and nutrition, both via traditional classes and online. Her research focuses on glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and obesity in horses. She is a North Carolina State University Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and won the Equine Science Society Outstanding Educator Award, the NCSU Outstanding Teacher Award, the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology, and is a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow. She is a member of the Equine Science Society, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, American Society of Animal Science, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Equine Science Society and is host of their 2019 meeting.

Extension Award

Sponsored by: Zoetis

Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois


Dr. Hans H. Stein is a professor of animal nutrition at the University of Illinois. He and his Graduate students developed concepts for formulating mixed diets for pigs using Standardized Ileal Digestibility of amino acids and Standardized Total Tract Digestibility of P. Hans H Stein and his team have also generated digestibility values for energy and nutrients in a large number of feed ingredients that are widely used in the global feed industry.  
His Extension programs are disseminated using traditional methods as well as electronic outlets and social media and he publishes a popular monthly newsletter that has subscribers from 54 different countries.  
Dr. Stein was a member of the NRC committee that wrote the 11th edition of Nutrient Requirements of Swine and he has given numerous invited talks in the U.S. and in many other countries. He has mentored 51 graduate students, 12 postdocs, and 38 visiting scholars, and his work has been published in more than 225 peer-reviewed publications.

Gary L. Cromwell Award for Minerals Nutrition

Sponsored by: Gary L. Cromwell Appreciation Club

Terry Engle, Colorado State University

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Dr. Terry Engle is a full professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Engle’s teaching responsibilities include Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism and Animal Metabolism. Dr. Engle’s research program focuses on the role of trace minerals in lipid metabolism and absorption and transport mechanisms associated with trace mineral homeostasis in ruminants. Dr. Engle is responsible for more than $7.8M of funding as PI or Co-PI and has graduated 10 Ph.D. students and 22 MS students. He has published in excess of 130 peer review publications and several book chapters. He has given numerous invited presentations domestically and internationally and he has served as a member of national, regional, college, and departmental committees. With all of his professional accomplishments, Dr. Engle has always put the training and education of his graduate students first. Graduates from his research program can be found in academic and private sectors of animal agriculture. 

Meats Research Award

Sponsored by: Elanco Animal Health

Steven Shackelford, USDA ARS

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Dr. Steven Shackelford earned degrees from UGA and TAMU in meat science and has authored over 199 journal articles and numerous abstracts, presentations, and book chapters. Dr. Shackelford’s most important contributions include confirming viability of instrument grading for beef carcasses and pork loins, factors that affect beef tenderness, and relationships between shear force and consumer acceptance of fresh meat. In addition, Dr. Shackelford has been involved in numerous meat safety projects widely used to validate HACCP systems. Dr. Shackelford also has been heavily involved in scientific societies, serving on numerous committees and presenting several papers and talks. Steven previously received the AMSA Achievement Award and the AMSA Distinguished Research Award. He is one of the preeminent meat researchers in the world and recognizing his contributions to the industry by awarding him the ASAS Meat Science Award is an honor that he has clearly earned.

Morrison Award

Sponsored by: F.B. Morrison Fund

James Sartin, Auburn University

Dr. Jim Sartin is an emeritus professor of Physiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. Sartin received his B.S. and M.S. from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Sartin was a post-doc and staff scientist at Temple University and then joined the faculty at Auburn. His research has focused on control of hormone secretion with an emphasis on neuroendocrine control of appetite and feed intake in ruminants, and the impact of endotoxins and disease on the endocrine-appetite system. Dr. Sartin has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and has made more than 160 invited presentations in18 countries. Dr. Sartin has been PI or co-PI on over $5 million in extra- and intra-mural funding. He served as ASAS as a Director-at-Large and President as well Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Animal Science, Translational Animal Science and Animal Frontiers. Jim and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons and live outside Birmingham, AL.

Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics

Sponsored by: ABS Global, Inc

Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California - Davis

Van Eenennaam_Alison_Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics Photo

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is an Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis. She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne, and an MS and PhD from UC Davis. She has developed an internationally-recognized research program in animal breeding and genetics, with a particular emphasis on beef cattle. She conducts both basic laboratory and applied field research on topics ranging from genome editing to validation of DNA tests, along with work to ensure regulatory policy allows access to innovative breeding technologies. However, her career accomplishments far exceed her research output. She has given over 600 presentations translating her research to stakeholder groups with skill and passion. She is a fellow of AAAS and was the recipient of the prestigious 2014 CAST Borlaug Communication Award. She and her husband Joel have two sons, Kyle and Alec. 

Wettemann Graduate Scholar in Physiology Award

Sponsored by: Robert Wettemann Appreciation Club

Pedro L. P. Fontes, Texas A&M University

Fontes_Pedro_Levy_Wettemann Graduate Scholar in Physiology Award Photo

Pedro L. P. Fontes received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from São Paulo State University (UNESP -Brazil) in 2014, where he also worked as Director of Beef Production in a junior consultancy company, Conapec Jr.. He then worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and Masters Student at University of Florida, with a research focus on beef cattle reproductive physiology. Exposure to research and extension during his Masters sparked his interest on pursuing a Ph.D. Therefore, he is currently working with Dr. Lamb as a Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, where his research focuses on strategies to improve reproductive efficiency in beef production systems, as well as the mechanisms controlling in utero programming of postnatal performance in cattle. During his graduate career, Pedro has published 10 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, 3 conference proceeding, 33 abstracts, and 19 extension articles. 

Wilson G. Pond International Travel Award

Sponsored by: Wilson G. Pond Appreciation Club

Matthew Crouse, North Dakota State University

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Matthew Crouse is from El Paso, TX. He received his B.S. in Animal Science from New Mexico State University in 2014. As an undergraduate, he was involved in research projects with Dr. Laura White and Dr. Shanna Ivey studying insulin resistance in horses. Matthew then pursued his M.S. in ruminant nutrition at NDSU under the direction of Dr. Joel Caton while simultaneously fulfilling a ¾ time appointment as a technician in the NDSU nutrition laboratory. His M.S. focused on the effects of maternal nutritional status on nutrient transport expression and nutrient supply to bovine utero-placental tissues during the first 50 days of gestation. Matthew is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at NDSU under the direction of Drs. Joel Caton and Alison Ward focusing on the effects of aberrant maternal nutrition during pregnancy on the fetal epigenome. Matthew has published 12 peer reviewed papers and secured $132,000 in grant funding including a USDA-NIFA Pre-doctoral Fellowship for his research. 

Ahmed Elolimy, University of Arkansas


Dr. Ahmed Elolimy is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He earned a BS and MS degree from Cairo University, Egypt in Poultry Nutrition, and a PhD degree in ruminant nutrition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. His graduate work focused on applying “omics” technologies to reveal the impact of maternal nutrition and feed efficiency divergence on gut microbiome, metabolome, and transcriptome in dairy and beef cattle. He received the Carl Davis Graduate Student Research Award in Dairy Nutrition and the Animal Sciences Graduate Student Fellowship Award from the University of Illinois. Dr. Elolimy published 18 peer-reviewed papers received 110 citations, and 24 scientific abstracts. His current postdoctoral research focuses on the influence of milk components such as milk oligosaccharides and extracellular vesicles on gut development and immune functions in neonatal piglets and germ-free mice.

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