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DAS Personnel Recognized at ADSA Meeting

Posted: August 12, 2009

Four individuals from Penn State's Department of Dairy and Animal Science received recognition at the annual American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) meeting in Montreal, Quebec.

The presentations were made at the joint annual meeting of ADSA, the Canadian Society of Animal Sciences (CSAS) and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS).

ADSA's awards program honors selected members for their outstanding professional accomplishments; identifying and recognizing those individuals who have made important and distinguishing contributions to the profession.

Honored were the following:

  • Dale Olver, who received the teaching award sponsored by Land O'Lakes and Purina Feed LLC
  • Jud Heinrichs, Ph.D., forage award sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred
  • Geoffrey I. Zanton, Ph.D., graduate student published paper award, sponsored by Alltech, Inc.
  • Daniel Rico, third place recognition for graduate student poster, sponsored by Land O'Lakes and Purina Feed LLC

In addition to these individual awards, Penn State's Dairy Science Club excelled at the ADSA meeting, being selected as the Outstanding Dairy Science Club on the basis of their wide variety of activities and leadership development. In addition, the Penn State Dairy Quiz Bowl team placed first in the academic quiz bowl.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science, said, "I am elated by this recognition of our undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty. These awards are an impressive testament to their hard work and dedication, talent, and contributions to the dairy science profession."

Olver, instructor in dairy and animal science, has been teaching since 1989, and his dedication to excellence in teaching undergraduates is matched by his strong commitment in mentoring and retaining first-year students. With colleagues he was instrumental in creating an "Introduction to Penn State Dairy Science," a course designed to help incoming students feel more connected with the dairy program and each other. He teaches Animal Science 201, an introductory course with an enrollment of over 100 students each semester. Olver is also an instructor or major co-instructor in six other courses offered by his department or the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Olver is a co-adviser to the Dairy Science Club, which was selected as the Outstanding Chapter twelve years and runner-up seven years during his twenty-year tenure. He also coaches Penn State's dairy judging team and has provided leadership to the PA Junior Dairy Show

He received Penn State's Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award in 2004 and the 2003 CAS Alumni Society Excellence in Advising Award. In 2006 he was the first recipient of the Hoard's Dairyman Youth Development Award presented by ADSA. Heinrichs, professor of dairy and animal science, was recognized for his research in forage feeding management.

A native of Sullivan County, NY, Heinrichs grew up on a small Holstein farm and received his B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in dairy science from Ohio State University. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Protein Utilization from Forage Feeding Systems for Dairy Cattle.

Heinrichs was appointed to the faculty at Penn State in 1982 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1988 and to Professor in 1994. His appointment at Penn State has been split between extension and research in dairy nutrition and management. His applied research has led to improvements in management practices for dairy forage nutrition and replacements that have been incorporated on many farms across the nation and around the world.

With his strong interest in dairy forage research, he has been involved in several forage management research investigations that complement his heavy extension emphasis in this area. He has conducted a variety of dairy forage and feeding workshops in PA for 25 years and has been involved in several pre- and post-harvest studies aimed at improving the quality of various forages. Most recently he has conducted research related to forage use and rumen digestion of feeds for growing dairy heifers and conducting basic and applied research on the effects of forage quality and amount in the diet for growing dairy heifers.

Heinrichs is currently on sabbatical leave at the University of Bologna Italy, Animal Nutrition group at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is studying peNDF requirements of lactating dairy cows with an emphasis on the particular diets fed to cows producing milk for Parmigiano Reggiano production. These diets must contain all dry feeds (no silage or liquid supplements).

Zanton's paper, "Analysis of nitrogen utilization and excretion in growing dairy cattle," was published in the April 2008, Journal of Dairy Science. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in dairy and animal science from Penn State, under the direction of Heinrichs. His research focused on novel high concentrate, limit-feeding strategies for dairy heifers and spanned investigations of nutrition, growth and development and milk production. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Penn State, with Heinrichs. Zanton is the second of Heinrichs' graduate students to be recognized, and the third from Penn State since the award was instituted.

Rico just finished his Master's Degree, with Gabriella Varga, Ph.D. as advisor, focusing on the use of glycerin from biodiesel industries in diets for dairy cows. He is continuing his education towards a Ph.D. degree with Dr. Kevin Harvatine as advisor. Rico is a 2007 graduate of the University of Colombia, South America.

The joint annual meeting of the three associations offers an exchange of the latest in scientific research, professional development and networking, with outstanding symposia and presentations highlighting the conference.

Sally Brown Bair, Dairy and Animal Science News Writer