This fund was formed to recognize the contributions of Dr. George C. Fahey, Jr. to companion animal science, to comparative animal nutrition, and to the American Society of Animal Science. The money is used to maintain the esteemed reputation of the Companion Animal Program at the ASAS Annual Meetings, including support of speakers from companion animal and comparative animal science, a graduate student competition, and a reception for attendees interested in companion animal science broadly defined.
Dr. George Fahey is one of the most accomplished and influential comparative animal nutritionists in ASAS history and the founder of the Companion Animal Science program held annually at the Joint Annual Meeting. It is our honor to initiate this fund in 2013, which marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of this highly successful program. The Companion Animal Science program has charted the changing landscape of companion animal biology and has included research and teaching presentations in the areas of nutrition, reproductive physiology, immunology, behavior, human animal interactions, and the role of companion animals in animal science departments and society. This program is well known for embracing the importance of comparative nutrition thinking by including symposia that encompass captive exotic, wildlife, companion, and production animal species.
Dr. Fahey received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Master’s degree in Agricultural Biochemistry, and a Ph.D in Animal Nutrition from West Virginia University, Morgantown. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1976, and he is currently a Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences. He is held in high esteem by his mentees, colleagues, and associates. Indeed, animal science departments, the animal feed industry, and the pet food industry have benefited significantly from his effective mentorship of more than 90 postdoctoral research associates, Ph.D. and M.S. degree recipients, most of whom hold positions of importance in these organizations today.
Dr. Fahey’s research has been a critical resource as regards the nutritional and health benefits of macronutrients in the diets of companion animals. His area of research is comparative nutrition and the primary disciplines studied are carbohydrate nutrition, including work on dietary fibers, novel polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, starch, and resistant starch. He has also studied protein nutrition, including work on amino acid bioavailability and indices of protein quality. His contributions have strengthened the understanding of comparative aspects of nutritional biochemistry and improved practices for optimizing nutrition and health of domestic animal species and companion animals. These contributions have been nationally recognized, including awards from ASAS, the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society for Nutrition, the Federation of Animal Sciences Societies – American Feed Industry Association, and an endowed professorship position in Nutritional Sciences sponsored by Kraft Foods, Inc.