Featured Articles

  • Oct
    03
    Registration open for National Block & Bridle Convention


    Oct. 3, 2016 – The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention will be held March 31-April 2, 2017, in Arlington, Va. The convention will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington. The meeting theme is “Scientific Voice in Agriculture.” Registration is now open!

    The convention is co-hosted by the University of Connecticut and the American Society of Animal Science.

    Housing information is available here.  Learn more about local attractions and transportation.

    Here is the preliminary meeting schedule:


    Read more
  • Sep
    30
    Southern Section - Abstract collection ends tomorrow


    The Annual Meeting of the Southern Section, American Society of Animal Science will be held in Franklin, TN on February 4 through February 7, 2017.
    CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

    Members are encouraged to submit abstracts of papers for oral presentation.The deadline to submit an abstract for this meeting is October 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm CDT. Abstracts not meeting this deadline will be rejected. All abstracts must be submitted electronically. Other criteria for acceptance or rejection will include those outlined on the Call for Papers page.

    Presenters will be expected to submit PowerPoint presentations to the respective committee chair in advance of the meeting (more details will be provided by the respective chair). Committee chairs will provide a computer with all presentations pre-loaded and a video projector for their session. Any other video presentation equipment must be provided by the presenter.
    Visit the 2017 Southern Section, ASAS Annual Meeting website often for updates:

    https://www.asas.org/membership-services/asas-sections/southern-section/meetings
    If you have any questions, please contact the ASAS Program Director, Samantha Walker, at samwa@asas.org.


    Read more
  • Sep
    29
    In memory: Dr. William Garrett


    September 29, 2016 – Dr. William N. Garrett, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, passed away on September 18, 2016. Dr. Garrett, age 90, was an ASAS Fellow and a Past President of ASAS. He received the ASAS Morrison Award and was a recipient of the American Feed Industry Association Award in Nutrition Research.

    Dr. Anita Oberbauer, Professor and Chair of the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, writes: For those of you who did not know Bill, he was a longstanding faculty member in the Department of Animal Science, served as department chair, and received many accolades for his research in nutrition. He was instrumental in developing a comprehensive approach for feed evaluation, the California Net Energy System, served as President of the American Society of Animal Science (1983-1984), and was a leader at the national level for beef and sheep nutrition.

    Beyond those professional attributes, Bill was a great mentor and colleague. From a personal perspective, Bill introduced me to nutrition research, allowing me to intern in his laboratory in Hart Hall as an undergraduate.  I am grateful for his kindness, wit, wisdom, and generosity of spirit.  I am sure many have personal recollections of Bill.

    The family has let me know that there will not be a service but asks that if you would like to remember him at this time, to take a hike or go fishing, which is something Bill would surely appreciate.


    Read more
  • Sep
    29
    Recording of Snack & Fact available


    Sept. 29, 2016 – A recording of the September 26th Snack & Fact briefing on the microbiome is now available. Five ASAS delegates were in Washington D.C. to present the briefing and meet with stakeholder groups.

    ASAS delegates included guest speakers Kelly Swanson and Juan Loor, both with the University of Illinois. ASAS Public Policy Committee members Teresa Davis and Casey Bradley attended, as well as Kim Schoonmaker, ASAS staff. Julie McClure, ACSESS Science Policy Manager, and Karl Anderson, Director of Government Relations for ACSESS (Agronomy, Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies) accompanied the group for the day. They helped coordinate the briefing and lunch, as well as a stakeholder meeting with Congressman Rodney Davis’s office. The delegates also met with representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as well as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

    The audio recording and PowerPoint presentation from the briefing are available here.

    ASAS representatives head back to D.C. for a Snack & Fact briefing on genomics on Monday, October 24 at noon in the Longworth House Office Building. Please email kims@asas.org if you have suggestions of stakeholder and legislative policy groups that ASAS should meet with that day.


    Read more
  • Sep
    29
    Rangelands subject of new issue of Jr. Animal Scientist


    Sept. 29, 2016 – The September 2016 issue of Jr. Animal Scientist magazine will soon be in the hands of our Jr. Animal Scientist members. The issue focuses on types of rangeland grazing animals and plants, as well as the different digestive tracts of rangeland animals. The issue also includes a ruminant digestive system maze, and a fun “match-the-animal-to-its-mouth” activity. Kids also can go to AnimalSmart.org to read a fun short story about cud chewing.

    Special thanks to our friends at the Society for Range Management (SRM) for contributing the content and photos for the September issue! This is the second issue made possible with the help of SRM members. Guest contributors included: Lisa Page, Sarah Noelle, Sandra Johnson, Kathleen Delzell, and Theresa Becchetti.

    Be part of our outreach and education efforts by contributing content to our 2017 issues of Jr. Animal Scientist! Contact kims@asas.org with your ideas.

    Jr. Animal Scientist makes a great gift for kids in K-3rd grades. Give an individual, family, or classroom/group subscription today!


    Read more
  • Sep
    29
    October issue of Animal Frontiers now online


    AFOct2016cover
    Sept. 29, 2016 – The October 2016 issue of Animal Frontiers is now available online. The theme of the issue is “The Use of Performance-Enhancing Technologies in Global Livestock Production.”



    Dr. Anna Dilger and Dr. Dustin Boler, both with the University of Illinois, serve as guest editors of the October issue. In addition to their editorial, the issue includes seven feature articles:

    “Metabolic modifiers as performance-enhancing technologies for livestock production,” by F.R. Dunshea, D.N. D’Souza and H.A. Channon.


    Read more
  • Sep
    28
    Call for Platform Speakers ends today



    Read more
  • Sep
    26
    20 Questions - A presidential science debate


    By Penny Riggs, Chair, ASAS Public Policy Committee

    Sept. 26, 2016 – More than 50 of America’s leading non-partisan science and engineering organizations collaborated to pose 20 questions related to science, engineering, technology, health, and environmental issues to major party presidential candidates. Four candidates, Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Donald Trump (Republican), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), and Jill Stein (G) recently responded.

    These 20 questions provide more insight into the candidates’ platforms regarding agriculture and science, which was the subject of a previous Taking Stock article. The questions address many topics important for animal agriculture and agricultural research, including innovation, research, climate change, water, food, and more. Full responses can be found at sciencedebate.org.

    All of the candidates describe their support for the value of scientific discovery and innovation for the benefit of the US economy and overall American well-being – with each offering slightly different specific details (Q1 & Q2).


    Read more
  • Sep
    26
    ASAS heading back to D.C. in October


    Sept. 26, 2016 – ASAS representatives are in Washington D.C. today to host a Snack & Fact briefing on the microbiome. Next month we’ll host a genomics briefing on Mon., October 24. Plan to join us!The briefing will be held at noon (EST) on Mon., Oct. 24, in the House Agriculture Committee room, 1300 Longworth House Office Building, Washington D.C. The hour-long briefing focuses on the subject of genomics, which was featured in this issue of Animal Frontiers. A light lunch will be provided.

    The goal of the ASAS Snack & Fact briefings is to share information about topics affecting animal agriculture and to serve as a resource for attendees, including congressional staffers and key stakeholders. Guest speakers at the October 24th genomics briefing include Dr. Penny Riggs, Texas A&M University, and Dr. Kent Weigel, University of Wisconsin-Madison.


    Read more
  • Sep
    26
    You're Invited: FFAR Public Board session


    Sept. 26, 2016 – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) Board of Directors invites you to attend the Foundation’s second annual Public Board Meeting Session on Wed., Oct. 5. As we celebrate the one year anniversary of our inaugural Executive Director Dr. Sally Rockey, it is energizing to reflect on the milestones we have crossed in the past 12 months. We look forward to sharing our recent progress with you, including the latest updates on current programs and the Foundation’s future direction.

    Please register to attend by Monday, September 26. For those unable to join us: A recap of information presented will be posted on the FFAR website immediately following the event.

    Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Public Session

    When: Wednesday, October 5
    1:00 – 2:00 p.m


    Read more
  • Sep
    22
    Jr. Animal Scientist makes a great gift


    Sept. 22, 2016 – Looking for the perfect kid’s birthday present? Give a gift subscription to Jr. Animal Scientist. The magazine is ideal for ages 5-9, so sign up those K-3rd graders!

    You also may want to give a local elementary school classroom a classroom subscription. The cost is just $5 per student.

    Visit AnimalSmart.org today to sign up for an individual, family, or classroom subscription!

    We always welcome your ideas for upcoming issues! The magazine is published in January, March, May, July, September, and November.


    Read more
  • Sep
    19
    Symposium brings together human and animal perinatal experts


    By Dr. Larry Reynolds, Taking Stock Contributor

    The 6th Aspen/Snowmass Perinatal Biology Symposium was held August 27-30, 2016 at the Viceroy Hotel and Conference Center in Snowmass, CO.

    The topic of the symposium recognized that ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease,’ or simply ‘Developmental Programming,’ is critical for life-long health and productivity. Developmental Programming is the concept that ‘developmental insults’ during fetal life or infancy ‘program’ development, such that organ structure or function, or both, are permanently altered. The topic also recognized that although the concept was originally developed using human epidemiological observations, primarily by the research team led by Dr. David Barker working at the University of Southampton, UK, researchers have subsequently confirmed Barker’s observations, and at least some of the mechanisms involved, using animal models.

    Major themes addressed by the twenty-nine invited speakers were:


    Read more
  • Sep
    19
    USDA recognizes Animal Handling and Welfare Panel with prestigious award


    By Dr. Larry Reynolds, Taking Stock Contributor

    Sept. 19, 2016 – The Agricultural Research Service’s Animal Handling and Welfare Review Panel (ARS-AHWRP) received the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Honor Award during ceremonies held September 12-13 in Washington D.C. Members of the Panel, all of whom were present to receive the award, included Aaron Olsen, Chair, Utah State University; Lonny Dixon, University of Missouri; Stephen Ford, University of Wyoming; Mo Salman, Colorado State University; and John Clifford, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ex-Officio Member.

    Michele Esch, Executive Director of the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics Advisory Board Office, coordinated the Panel. The ceremonies were held at USDA headquarters in the Jamie L. Whitten building on the National Mall.

    A successor to the Secretary’s Honor Award, the Abraham Lincoln Honor Award was established in 2014 and is the most prestigious award presented by the Secretary of Agriculture. The award recognizes “noteworthy accomplishments that significantly contribute to the advancement of USDA’s strategic goals, mission objectives, and overall management excellence.” The theme for this year’s ceremony was, “USDA – Strong Service and Superior Results.”


    Read more
  • Sep
    19
    New JAS section titles


    jasAug2016cover
    Sept. 19, 2016 – The Journal of Animal Science has expanded its list of section titles. The publication now offers 40 section titles for authors to choose from when submitting papers to JAS. Dr. Jim Sartin, JAS Editor-in-Chief, says the new section titles increase the choices available to authors and allow them to be more specific when choosing a section that represents their papers. Following is the complete list of section titles for JAS. Section titles will run on an as-needed basis within the table of contents. More information can be found in the Instructions for Authors.

     


    Read more
  • Sep
    15
    ASAS announces release of AG Guide agreement


    Sept. 15, 2016 – The following article is an ASAS press release regarding establishment of a joint committee to administer the AG Guide.

    Champaign, Ill. (September 15, 2016) — The American Society of Animal Science is pleased to announce the creation of a joint committee to administer the “AG Guide” (known as the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching).

    The joint committee consists of representatives from the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), and the Poultry Science Association (PSA). The committee is known as the ADSA/ASAS/PSA Animal Care Committee (the “ACC”).

    The ACC’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the AG Guide remains current, viable and recognized as the standard reference for the care of agricultural animals in research and teaching. The ACC will work collectively to identify needed revisions to the AG Guide.


    Read more
  • Sep
    15
    Deep discount on lactation pre-conference registration


    Sept. 15, 2016 – ASAS is pleased to announce that the Triennial Lactation Symposium and Biology of Lactation of Farm Animals (BOLFA) will occur at the front end of the 2017 ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting and Trade Show. Triennial Lactation/BOLFA will occur as a pre-conference on July 8, 2017. The speaker line up is one of the most impressive in BOLFA history.

    Currently, meeting registration is reduced to an all-time low, if you register by September 19, 2016. To encourage preregistration for BOLFA, we are cutting registration in half if you register in conjunction with the early meeting registration.

    Register for BOLFA and the Annual Meeting by September 19, 2016 and the cost for both is only $355! Enter Promo Code AS17BOLFA to receive your discount.*


     


    Read more
  • Sep
    12
    ASAS sponsors presentation by Christian Maltecca at EAAP


    By Dr. Deb Hamernik, ASAS President

    Sept. 12, 2016 – Dr. Christian Maltecca gave an invited presentation, “The important and often forgotten role of managing genetic diversity” at the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) in Belfast, Ireland on August 29 – September 2, 2016. More than 1,500 people attended the EAAP annual meeting.

    Dr. Maltecca is interested in improving economically relevant traits in dairy cattle through the use of quantitative and molecular methods. Use of genomic markers in animal breeding is an active area of research. Genomic markers have been incorporated in selection decisions as a tool to control inbreeding in many species, including dairy cattle. Additional research is needed to identify the optimal way to use genomic markers to select genetically superior animals and manage the genome of a specific population of animals that is being selected for complex quantitative and/or fitness traits such as pounds of milk or meat and/or number of progeny, respectively.

    Dr. Maltecca’s presentation focused on the three pillars of managing genetic diversity, including: 1) understanding the basis and consequences of genetic diversity, 2) managing the population by controlling its effective size, and 3) optimizing genetic variability through specific mating plans. Dr. Maltecca’s team conducted simulation studies with their recently developed Geno-Driver tool that allows for a wide range of selection strategies to be evaluated in the presence of a fitness trait. A run of homozygosity (ROH) is an alternative metric that characterizes long stretches of inbreeding. Some regions of the genome have a high frequency of ROH and these are linked to a reduction in genetic diversity as well as negative effects on fitness traits. Crossbred animals have persistent stretches of shared haplotypes that can be identified based on long (>5Mb) ROH.


    Read more
  • Sep
    12
    Don't delay!


    Sept. 12, 2016 – Deadlines for submitting abstracts for two upcoming sectional meetings will be here before you know it!

    Submit abstracts for the 2017 Southern Section Meeting. Deadline to submit an abstract for this meeting is October 1, 2016, at 11:59 pm CST.

    Submit abstracts for the 2017 Midwest Meeting. Deadline to submit an abstract for this meeting is October 26, 2016, at 11:59 pm CST.

    The annual meeting of the Southern Section, ASAS will be held in Franklin, Tenn., February 4-7, 2017.


    Read more
  • Sep
    12
    ASAS sponsors presentation by John McEwan at EAAP Annual Meeting


    By Deb Hamernik, ASAS President

    Sept. 12, 2016 – Dr. John McEwan gave an invited presentation, “Genomic selection in sheep: where to now?” at the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) in Belfast, Ireland, held August 29 – September 2, 2016. More than 1,500 people attended the EAAP annual meeting.

    Dr. McEwan has made significant contributions to the international effort to sequence the genomes of cattle and sheep for more than a decade. He also provided leadership for creating high and low density sheep SNP chips (e.g., the 5K, 6K, 15K, 50K, and 600K SNP chips). The sheep industry in New Zealand has been using these SNP chips to allow faster genetic improvement (with improved accuracy) in sheep via whole genome selection since about 2010.

    In New Zealand, a monthly across flock and breed national genomic evaluation for more than 20 traits in selected maternal breeds and crosses was implemented. A similar development program is underway in terminal breeds and includes meat-quality traits. McEwan stated that many new technologies are being developed to enhance genomic selection in the future. Precision phenotyping produces a large amount of phenotypic data and offers many potential benefits. For example, scientists would like to collect data on a number of traits associated with fertility, but in natural sheep production situations it is not usually possible for humans to be present and collect data when traits such as estrus, mating, or lambing occur. Scientists are now developing fitbit-like sensors on ear tags that will record and transmit this information to a centralized database.


    Read more
  • Sep
    08
    Two internship opportunities


    Sept. 8, 2016 – Students: Expand your horizons with these 2017 ASAS internship programs:

    Science Writing Summer Internship  Applications due October 15!

    Science Policy Summer Internship in Washington, D.C.  Applications due October 21!


    Read more