Open forums are scheduled for three finalists who have applied to be the next chair of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. Maynard Hogberg, the current department chair, announced his plans for retirement last year. He has served as chair since 2003. Prior to coming to Iowa State, Hogberg served 18 years as chair of Michigan State University's Department of Animal Science. He earned all his degrees at Iowa State: a doctorate in animal nutrition in 1976, a master's degree in animal science in 1972 and a bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1966.
The three finalists and dates of their open forums are:
- Mark McGuire, professor of lactation physiology at the University of Idaho, March 7
- James Reecy, professor of animal science at Iowa State University, March 11
- Andre-Denis Wright, professor of animal science at the University of Vermont, April 4
All the open forums are scheduled for 10 a.m. in Room 1204 Kildee Hall on the ISU campus at Ames, and are open to the public. The finalists will discuss their leadership style and vision for the department.
McGuire is an Illinois native who joined the University of Idaho in 1995 and has served as the head of its Department of Animal and Veterinary Science since 2013. He earned a doctorate in animal science from Cornell University in 1994, a master's degree in dairy science from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1987 and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in dairy science 1984.
Reecy joined ISU in 1999 and has served as director of the ISU Office of Biotechnology since 2009. Reecy earned a doctorate in animal science from Purdue University in 1995, a master's degree in animal science from the University of Missouri in 1992 and a bachelor's degree in animal science at South Dakota State University in 1990.
Wright joined the University of Vermont in 2009 and served as director of the Vermont Dairy Center of Excellence since 2010. He earned a doctorate degree in zoology at the University of Guelph in 1998, a master's degree in zoology at the University of Guelph in 1993 and a bachelor's degree in biology at Saint Mary's University in 1988.
Animal Science Department head praises new research program
In other animal science news, Maynard Hogberg, chair of ISU's Animal Science Department, is praising the new competitive grants program in the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. He says it addresses critical issues impacting animal agriculture and will help counter the shortfall in federal investment in animal science research.
Hogberg also serves as president-elect of the National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science, or NAAAS, the organization that proposed the grants program last year. He says national and state animal agriculture organizations and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities worked with NAAAS to support inclusion of the new program in the farm bill.
"The federal investment in research for the animal sciences has been declining for many years. This new competitive grants program provides the opportunity to step up investments in animal research to be more proportional with animal agriculture's economic contributions," Hogberg says.
Livestock contribute more to total farm income than you may realize
Livestock and poultry sales account for 40% of all farm income, according to the NAAAS. When feed crops consumed by livestock are included, the contribution to farm income is 60%.
The new program is part of the Continuing Animal Health and Disease, Food Security and Stewardship Research, Education and Extension Programs and is authorized for $25 million per year over the life of the farm bill. Research will focus on the priority areas of food security, health and stewardship. NAAAS is dedicated to improving overall federal funding for animal agricultural research. It is comprised of animal, dairy, poultry and veterinary science departments from colleges and universities across the U.S. as well as national and state organizations involved in animal agriculture and animal science.