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Infographic: Conceptualization and implementation of the Fiber Utilization and Cell Wall Constituents Symposium

By: W B Smith, S A Wyffels, O J Gekara


In 1991, researchers in animal and plant sciences met at the International Symposium on Forage Cell Wall Structure and Digestibility in Madison, WI (Front Matter, 1993). At that meeting, seven sessions were organized, representing some of the biggest names in forages and ruminant nutrition, to discuss and debate the cell wall, its role in ruminant nutrition, and the advances made in the science of forage nutrition. Out of that meeting was born Forage Cell Wall Structure and Digestibility (Jung et al., 1993), a seminal text on the subject. Since that time, many researchers have tasked themselves with building upon the basis set by these researchers. However, to the best of our recollection, no other conference or symposium has been organized to provide an update of events in this field. Thus, given the vital role that cell wall structure plays in the nutrition of herbivorous species, we (the Forages and Pastures Programming Committee) proposed a session to revisit this topic. The resulting Forages and Pastures Symposium brought together a set of four presentations (Callaway et al., 2022Fahey, 2022Foster, 2022Tedeschi and Vieira, 2022), each directed at updating the animal science community on advances made since that pivotal symposium.

Read more in the Journal of Animal Science.