2020 Southern Section Award Winners

Distinguished Service Award

Sponsored by: Southern Section of ASAS

Dr. David Lalman, Oklahoma State University

David L. Lalman

Dr. David Lalman is a professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Lalman holds the Harrington Endowed Chair with split extension and research appointment. He works primarily in the beef cattle industry focused on cow/calf and stocker cattle production. His extension and applied research program includes beef cattle nutrition and management with emphasis on beef cattle grazing and genetic by environment interactions in beef production systems. His program goals are to provide producers with information and decision tools to facilitate production system profitability, improve cow herd efficiency and to improve product quality. At Oklahoma State, Dr. Lalman serves as the Animal Science Extension Program Coordinator and the supervisor for the Range Cow Research Center.

Emerging Young Scholar Award

Dr. Rebecca Poole, Texas A&M University

Rebecca Poole

A native of North Carolina, Rebecca “Becky” Poole received her B.S. in Animal Science (2014) from North Carolina State University (NCSU). She received her M.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences (2016) from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. in Animal Science from NCSU (2019). While working towards her Ph.D., Becky received numerous academic awards including the Lester C. Ulberg Fellowship, Department of Animal Science Graduate Student Award in Research, and McDaniel Graduate Student Travel Award for Cattle Research. Her research focused on the negative effects of fescue toxicosis on beef cattle production and the utilization of various mitigation strategies to improve overall performance. She has authored or co-authored 9 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous abstracts. In addition to her doctoral research efforts, she was the instructor for ANS 221 (Reproductive Physiology Lab) and served as coach for the Dairy Judging Team. Becky also received teaching awards including the Graduate Student Association Award for Excellence in Laboratory Teaching and Department of Animal Science Graduate Student Award in Teaching. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University working on the effects of the reproductive microbiome on fertility in beef cattle.

Extension Award

Dr. Joao Vendramini, University of Florida

Joao M. B. Vendramini

Dr. Joao Vendramini received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Sao Paulo, and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He is current a Professor – Forage Specialist at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center, Ona, FL with extension and research appointments. Dr. Vendramini’s program is dedicated to forage management with emphasis on sub-tropical production systems. The major area of interest is forage-livestock interface and the impact of forage management on forage and animal production. Dr. Vendramini’s program has generated 6 book chapter; 120 refereed journal articles, 58 extension articles, and 147 abstracts in professional meetings. He received the 2010 Merit Award – American Forage and Grassland Council, 2011 Florida Cattlemen’s Association Researcher of the Year, 2011 Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents Outstanding Specialist, and 2017 Outstanding Crop Science Editor. He is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, Crop Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy.

Joseph P. Fontenot Award

Sponsored by: American Society of Animal Science Foundation – Joseph P. Fontenot Appreciation Club

Elizabeth Palmer, University of Florida

Elizabeth Palmer

Elizabeth Palmer received her B.S. in Animal Science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2016 and her M.S. degree from the University of Arkansas in 2018. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida and is conducting her research at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center under the direction of Dr. Philipe Moriel. Her research focuses on supplementation strategies for Bos indicus-influenced cows and the subsequent effects on calf growth and health. During her time in graduate school, Elizabeth has authored or coauthored 2 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 abstracts.

Outstanding Young Animal Scientist - Research

Dr. Ky Pohler, Texas A&M University

Ky G. Pohler

Dr. Ky Pohler is an Assistant Professor in the Texas A&M - Department of Animal Science. He received a B. S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 2009, and a M. Sc. and Ph. D. from the University of Missouri. Prior to returning to Texas A&M, Dr. Pohler was on faculty at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Animal Science. Dr. Pohler’s research interests focus on physiological and molecular mechanisms that control reproductive efficiency in cattle. His research findings have resulted in invitations to speak at numerous local, national and international events. He has authored/coauthored 55 refereed journal articles, 3 book chapters, 34 conference proceedings and 94 conference abstracts. To date he has mentored 7 M. Sc. students, 9 international students/interns, and 3 visiting scientist. Dr. Pohler has also secured more than $4 million in grant and gift support for his program, including federal programs and industry support.

Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award - Education

Dr. Kim Mullenix, Auburn University


Dr. Kim Mullenix is an Associate Professor and Beef Extension specialist at Auburn University. She completed her B.S. in 2008 and M.S. in 2010 from Auburn University in Animal Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Forage Agronomy from the University of Florida in 2013. Dr. Mullenix has developed innovative curriculum, programming, and decision tools related to beef nutritional management for use by Extension agents and producers in Alabama and across the Southeast.  She has authored or co-authored 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, over 85 Extension and popular press articles, delivered over 110 in-state workshops on forage management and beef nutrition, developed an online beef cattle educational short course and iBook for beginning farmers, and been the invited speaker at 15 regional, national, and international events.  She has developed a highly visible research and Extension program related to extending the grazing season and improving forage quality in beef management systems in the Southeast region of the US. 

Become an ASAS member

Membership is open to individuals, organizations, or firms interested in research and application, instruction, or extension in animal science or associated with the production, processing, marketing, or distribution of livestock and livestock products.

Learn More

Enter your search terms below