Featured Articles

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    Jan
    26
    Viewpoints shared on proposed changes to bylaws


    January 25, 2016 – This article summarizes conversations with Dr. Michael Looper, ASAS President, and Dr. Peter Hansen, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida, concerning a petition requesting changes to the ASAS Constitution and Bylaws. The petition, submitted to the ASAS Board of Directors in December 2015, calls for changes in ASAS board composition, leadership and governance.

    This article provides a forum for Dr. Looper and Dr. Hansen to address the ASAS membership and present the viewpoints of both the ASAS Board of Directors and the petitioners associated with the proposed bylaws changes.

    The petition containing the proposed amendments to the ASAS Constitution and Bylaws will be sent electronically to ASAS members on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

    During an interview with Kim Schoonmaker, ASAS Scientific Communications Associate, Dr. Hansen explained the rationale for the four amendments to the ASAS bylaws, as outlined in the petition.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    25
    ASAS invites ADSA to form annual meeting committee


    January 25, 2016 – Today Dr. Mike Looper, ASAS President, sent ADSA an invitation to form a committee to work with the ASAS Annual Meeting Strategic Planning Committee toward creating a co-located ASAS-ADSA meeting in 2021. The invitation was in response to ongoing conversations between ASAS and ADSA concerning a co-located meeting in 2021 and in response to an ADSA request for ASAS to join an ADSA-appointed JAM study committee.

    Please note, ASAS declined to participate in the “JAM” study group as proposed by ADSA for the following reasons:

    In order to move forward, ASAS is in the process of appointing the committee described by the ASAS Board of Directors to the membership in the second “JAM vote.” The annual meeting strategic planning committee will be composed of ASAS members (Board members and ASAS members that are not on the Board). Criteria for service on this committee will include: 1) JAM/ASAS annual meeting attendance a minimum of 3 of the last 5 years, 2) a minimum of 5 consecutive years of ASAS membership, and 3) service on at least 1 JAM/ASAS annual meeting program committee in the last 5 years. If ADSA opts to plan a co-located meeting with ASAS in 2021, they are invited to impanel their own committee with their committee structure and these two committees will work together.

    In order to facilitate a quick decision concerning a 2021 co-located meeting, ASAS is willing to concede the following pieces of the process to ADSA:


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    25
    Nominations for national awards to open February 1


    January 25, 2016 – Based on member requests from last year, ASAS has delayed opening nominations for National Awards so that the deadlines fit better with the academic calendar. Therefore, National Awards nominations will open on February 1, 2016 and close on March 7, 2016.

    Reviews for these awards occur March 7–18, 2016. The week of March 21-25, 2016, will serve as an extra review week for awards that have ties or too few reviews to determine a clear recipient. Recipients for all awards will be notified by March 28, 2016.

    Thank you for your understanding as we try to determine a schedule that best fits the needs of the membership.

    Photo: Dr. Carey Williams (left) accepts the Equine Science Award at the ASAS Awards Program in July 2015. She is pictured with Dr. Connie Larson of Zinpro Corporation, the award sponsor.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    21
    Got any urban students?


    Students
    January 21, 2016 – Only 35% of animal science undergraduate students come from an ag background. Learn how to enhance communication with non-ag students during an “urban students” symposium at this year’s Joint Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Here’s a sneak peek at the topics and speakers.

    Symposium Title: Urban Students Symposium

    Section: Horse Species

    Topics and speakers include:


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    19
    Call for nominations for ASAS Board and committees


    January 18, 2016 – ASAS is beginning to populate the 2016-2017 Board of Directors, 2016-2017 Committees and 2017 Program Committees. Nominations for open board and committee positions are due February 8.

    Most board positions are 3-year terms and are elected by the membership (Sectional directors are elected by the sections, JAS Editor-in-Chief is appointed, and Foundation Chair is elected by the Foundation). Leadership positions open in 2016-2017 include:

    President-Elect

    3 Director-At-Large Positions


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    19
    JAS EiC wants to visit your university


    January 18, 2016 – The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) is launching a new journal support/professional development program. On a yearly basis, the Journal of Animal Science (JAS) Editor-in-Chief will be available to conduct a half-day workshop at your university.

    The workshop will cover the following topics:

    We are soliciting requests from universities and departments to have Dr. Jim Sartin, JAS and Animal Frontiers Editor-in-Chief, come to your university or department and conduct this workshop for graduate students and/or faculty. ASAS will cover Dr. Sartin’s expenses, and program participants will receive a 10% discount on paper submissions to JAS within 6 months of participation.

    To be considered, send ASAS an email at asas@asas.org expressing interest, providing contact information, best months and a simple one-paragraph justification on why ASAS should bring this workshop to your department.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    18
    FFAR nominations due Jan. 20


    January 18, 2016 – Nominations are due January 20 for both the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) Advisory Councils. 

    The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award is designed to support, through grants of up to $200,000 per year over three years, standout food and agriculture scientists within the first three years of a tenure-track or equivalent career. Awardees will possess innovative ideas with the potential to propel a specific area of food and agriculture science forward.

    Nomination requirements:
    Institutions of higher education are invited to nominate one outstanding individual. Please be prepared to submit via online form the nominee name, department, title, institution, and area of research.  Because this award will support early career faculty members within the first three years of a tenure-track or equivalent career, you will also be required to submit the nominee’s date of appointment. The earliest eligible hire date has been extended to August 1, 2012.

     


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    16
    ASAS summer internship opportunity


    January 15, 2016 – ASAS is offering a science writing internship program during summer 2016. Application materials are due February 15, 2016. Internship details are as follows:

    Description: The American Society of Animal Science is currently accepting applications for its 2016 science communications summer internship program. During the eight-week internship, interns will work with the ASAS Scientific Communications Associate to write press releases, write and edit online content, produce podcasts and create video content for ASAS sites. Interns will also travel for one week, expenses paid, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to report on the ASAS annual meeting, July 19-23. The internship begins in early June and concludes at the beginning of August.

    Requirements: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a university program. Applicants must be willing to provide proof of health insurance. Applicants must have writing experience, and they should be comfortable writing about science for a non-scientific audience. Applicants must be willing to live in Champaign, Illinois during the eight-week internship. Interns will be expected to work 40 hours per week. Interns will be responsible for travel expenses to Champaign and for finding housing in Champaign (information on a potential sublet is available).

    Salary: $1,500 per month for two months.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    15
    ASAS Foundation: Supporting student travel


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    January 14, 2016 – The 2016 Southern Section Meeting is less than a month away. The meeting runs February 6-9 in San Antonio, Texas. This year, the ASAS Foundation will support travel of several graduate students to the meeting through the Joseph P. Fontenot Appreciation Club Student Travel Scholarship. The fund was established to recognize the contribution of Dr. Joseph Fontenot to the field of ruminant nutrition and to the American Society of Animal Science. The recipients of travel scholarships to the 2016 Southern Section Meeting will be announced next month during the Southern Section Awards Ceremony on Mon., Feb. 8.

    The 2015 travel scholarship recipients were Brittni Littlejohn, Texas A&M University, and Kate Sharon, Texas Tech University.

    Since its inception, the Fontenot Appreciation Club has awarded over $15,000 in travel awards. The Fontenot Appreciation Club also supports graduate student travel to ASAS national meetings.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    15
    Tackling cattle fever ticks with vaccines


    By Sandra Avant, ARS News Service

    January 12, 2016 – Despite a successful program to eliminate cattle fever ticks during the first half of the 20th century, these ticks still manage to cross the Mexican border into Texas. A new vaccine developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could control these pests and help prevent a reinfestation of cattle fever ticks in the United States. These ticks can transmit pathogens that cause bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis—diseases that can kill cattle.

    While sequencing the cattle tick’s genome, insect physiologist Felix D. Guerrero and his colleagues at the ARS Tick and Biting Fly Research Unit in Kerrville, Texas, identified several proteins that, when formulated as a cattle vaccine, could potentially kill cattle ticks. One of the proteins, aquaporin, was developed into a recombinant tick aquaporin protein vaccine.

    ARS researchers collaborated with their partners at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) to test the vaccine’s ability to protect cattle against infestation. In two trials, animals infested with a known amount of cattle tick larvae were divided into two pens in Brazil. In each trial, one group was vaccinated with the aquaporin vaccine, and the other group was not. When scientists compared the groups, they found that vaccinated cows had 75 percent and 68 percent fewer ticks than unvaccinated cows. Results indicated that the aquaporin protein was effective as an antigen in cattle vaccines to help prevent cattle fever tick infestations.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    15
    Support our Image Gallery!


    January 14, 2016 – The Animal Science Image Gallery (ASIG) is an often overlooked resource for photos and videos. Stop at the site sometime and use a key word search to look for images or browse images by subject. While you’re there, be sure to submit your images to be published in the Gallery!

    The Image Gallery is located at the Journal of Animal Science. Photos and videos are available across a broad range of subjects, including:

    Beef cattle

    Companion Animals


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    11
    Genomic selection: A paradigm shift in animal breeding


    anifrontiersjan2016
    By Samantha Kneeskern

    January 11, 2016 – Genomic selection can greatly improve breeding programs. Genomic selection has been made possible by sequencing large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP; variations at a single nucleotide marking a specific position in the genome). Then, these markers covering the whole genome can be used to predict (with high accuracy) many breeding values and traits.

    Traditionally, breeding was based solely off of phenotype. At the turn of the 21st century, Ben Hayes, Theo Meuwissen, and Mike Goddard published a paper (Meuwissen et al., 2001) that would spark a genomic revolution. Now, 15 years later, they have written a review in the January issue of Animal Frontiers, discussing the current methods of genomic selection, how it deals with practical data, and the future of genomic selection.

    A genomic selection success story is dairy cattle. Dairy cattle were one of the first livestock species to use genomic selection, and it is now used in almost all dairy breeding programs. Because of large reference populations for each breed, accuracies of genomic prediction are extremely high for all traits, including productivity, longevity, and somatic cell count. Worldwide, 2 million dairy cattle have now been genotyped. Genotyping has led to increased profitability by selecting productive and efficient heifers to retain in the herd and by knowing the exact bull to breed her to.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    11
    Genomics can enhance efficiency of conservation programs


    By Samantha Kneeskern

    January 11, 2016 – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wildness is the preservation of the World.” And conservation programs help ensure the preservation of plants, animals, wildlife, habitats, and much more. However, there are many challenges associated with protecting threatened wildlife, livestock, and plant populations. First, the populations are small. Secondly, genetic diversity needs to be sustained. Third, the rate of inbreeding needs to be controlled or reduced.

    Genomic information and selection can further facilitate this essential preservation. In the January issue of Animal Frontiers, authors Jesús Fernández, Miguel Angel Toro, Fernando Gómez-Romano, and Beatriz Villanueva from Spain explain how genomics can enhance the efficiency of conservation.

    “Genomic information gives the advantage that it permits us to know the exact proportion of the genome that is homozygous or that is shared by two individuals, while pedigree information only gives expected proportions,” they write. With this advantage, they can calculate what probability two individuals come from a particular ancestor or lineage.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    11
    Genomics for phenotype prediction and management purposes


    By Samantha Kneeskern

    January 11, 2016 – Genomic selection has been implemented worldwide in dairy breeding programs (Please read Genomic selection: A paradigm shift in animal breeding in Taking Stock). Reference populations or large sire calibration groups include bulls with highly reliable breeding values that are genotyped with high-density SNP-chip panels.

    Drs. Tong Yin and Sven König from Germany discuss on-farm applications and how to use genomics to predict phenotypes in the most recent issue of Animal Frontiers. They believe that on-farm application of genomic selection should focus on genotyping females, not just bulls. Yin and König list two objectives for breeders:

    The two authors review previous literature on improving within-herd selection using genomic information. Using a computer package, SIG-R, they compared six different breeding strategies, from a scenario of conventional breeding (selecting based off of the dam’s performance) to a scenario of using embryo transfer on 50% of the genetically best heifers according to their genomic estimated breeding value at 12 months of age.


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    Jan
    11
    Penn State to launch first dairy MOOC


    January 11, 2016 – Faculty from Penn State’s Departments of Animal Science, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Plant Sciences, and Agricultural Economics are developing the world’s first Dairy Production and Management MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

    The course is designed to deliver fundamental knowledge and best practices related to sustainable dairy production systems in their broadest sense. Participants will gain a broad and comprehensive understanding of all aspects of dairy management including genetics, nutrition, reproduction, animal health, milk hygiene, farm economics, and sustainability of dairy production systems.

    The course is launching March 7, 2016. For more information and to register please visit the course’s website: https://www.coursera.org/course/dairy.


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  • Shadow
    Jan
    07
    New issue of Animal Frontiers


    anifrontiersjan2016
    January 7, 2016 – The January 2016 issue of Animal Frontiers is now available online. The issue focuses on “Animal breeding in the genomics era.”

    There are 11 feature articles in this issue, as well as a guest editorial and society news from the European Federation of Animal Science, the American Society of Animal Science, the Canadian Society of Animal Science, and the American Meat Science Association. View the Table of Contents for the January 2016 issue here.

    Interpretive summaries of several of the articles in the January 2016 issue will be available soon. All articles in the January 2016 issue are available online and free of charge.


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    Jan
    07
    In memory: Dr. Paul Noland, 91


    January 7, 2016 – Dr. Paul Noland, 91, a longtime professor of animal science at the University of Arkansas, died December 31, 2015, in Fayetteville. In addition to being an emeritus professor of animal science and department head, he was instrumental in establishing an animal research program between Panama, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

    In a university news release, Dr. Michael Vayda, dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, said: “Paul was not only a pioneer and excellent educator, but he was a neighbor and great friend. He helped the University of Arkansas become the first U.S. land grant institution in the country to establish a foreign agricultural mission with his work in Panama. His efforts in agriculture, extension, teaching and research are still evident today. His service went well beyond his roles as head of animal and poultry science. Our students benefitted tremendously from his expertise. He will be missed.”

    Dr. Michael Looper, head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Arkansas, and current ASAS President, spoke highly of Dr. Noland in the university news release: “He was the department head while I was a student in animal science and taught me animal nutrition. Dr. Noland provided 43 years of extraordinary service to the department, college and university. He exemplified all three principles of the land-grant mission. Dr. Noland lived a life of service to others, and his contributions to global animal agriculture will be appreciated for years to come.”

    Read more about Dr. Noland’s career, founding efforts in Panama, and memorial service details in this news release from the University of Arkansas.


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    Jan
    07
    2016 Southern Section Meeting is next month


    January 7, 2016 – The 2016 Southern Section Meeting is fast approaching. Please join us at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk on February 6 – 9, 2016. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists. Additional information may be found on the ASAS Southern Section Webpage and the SAAS website.

    A mobile conference app will be available soon!

    We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!


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    Jan
    07
    New content in NSE


    NSE
    New content has recently been posted in the Natural Sciences Education journal.

    The new content can be found in the “Research,” “K-12 Education,” “Graduate Education,” “Student Essays,” “Undergraduate Eduction,” and “New Media Received” sections. To access the new material, view the Volume 44, Issue 1, December 2015 Table of Contents.

    Natural Sciences Education is a cross-disciplinary journal on animal and natural sciences pedagogy. Articles are written by and for educators in the areas of animal science, ecology, natural resources, agronomy, the environment, entomology, and more. Read articles related to extension, universities, industry, administration, and grades K-12.


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    Jan
    04
    Ag Guide moves to new home


    January 4, 2016 – The following press release pertains to the transfer of ownership of the FASS Ag Guide, which is now available at the ASAS website.

    For Immediate Release

    ASAS Announces Release of Updated Ag Guide

    New year brings transfer of ownership of FASS Ag Guide. 


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