Animal Science 2019 Awards & Recognition

The American Society of Dairy Science published their most-cited manuscript

The American Society of Dairy Science published their most-cited manuscript metrics for the past year. Jose Santos was recently recognized for his highly-cited paper, “Carryover effect of postpartum inflammatory diseases on developmental biology and fertility in lactating cows”. Authors included, E.S. Ribeiro, G. Gomes, L.F. Greco, R.L.A. Cerri, A. Vieira-Neto, P.L.J. Monteiro Jr., F.S. Lima, R.S. Bisinotto, W.W. Thatcher, and J.E.P. Santos. Eduardo Ribeiro obtained his PhD in our Department and this paper was part of his graduate work with Jose. Also, Bill Thatcher, from our Department served as a co-author. Congratulations Jose and Team for this outstanding recognition of your research accomplishments!

Beef 706 Program

The Department hosted the Beef 706 Program this week lead by Todd Thrift and supported by a number of faculty in our department. This really is an amazing beef education program that I hope we can continue in the future. I asked Todd Thrift, who organized the program, to give me some highlights to explain the program …… Beef 706 is a checkoff funded program to help producers understand the feedlot, packing, retail and consumer side of beef production. 30 cattle from participating ranches were fed at the BTU harvested at the meat lab and 5 of those were fabricated by teams of cow calf producers who participated in the program. 25 total ranchers with a total of more than 25,000 cows participated in the 3 day program. Discussions were had on tenderness, carcass grade, determining palatability, selection for carcass traits, packer and feeder profitability, etc. The credit for this program should go to all of the people who helped pull it off. Drs. Hersom, Scheffler, West, Johnson, Harsh all delivered presentations and were instrumental in pulling it off. Tommy and Byron, from meats went WAY over the top to facilitate this program. Thanks to all of the meat lab crew who worked triple time to make it happen. The meats graduate students Morgan, and Clay were a huge help as well as Kyle. Allyson coordinated the vans and drivers. Kylie Philipps did all of the prep work and data crunching behind the scenes and was a huge help to pull this off. Jesse fed the cattle and was a critical part of the program from start to finish including several presentations and hosting us at the BTU.

International Collaborative Mini-Symposium

The Department hosted an International Collaborative Mini-Symposium this week. In effort with GUABI (a division of Alltech in Brazil), UF faculty accommodated about 20 visiting veterinarians, animal scientists and horse breeders from Brazil that are interested in learning about our current research programs and the livestock industry in Florida, as well as developing collaborative ties between the two entities. Drs. Wickens and Brooks along with the valued assistance of Laura Patterson are to be congradulated!

Gay Hale

This month, One Health recognized Gay Hale, Research Administrator from our Department for her help guiding the One Health Center through grant budgets. They really appreciated her patience and mentoring. Congratulations Gay and thank you for the work you do.


The 2019 Beef Cattle Short Course was held May 8-10. A big Congratulations goes out to Matt Hersomand the 2019 BCSC Planning Committee. It was a large success. This year’s theme was “Connecting the Dots, Calf to Carcass”. Several outstanding presentations were offered in the Straughn Center and a full afternoon in our Department’s meat laboratory. Dr Arthington heard numerous people comment how much they enjoyed this year’s event. Two evening receptions were also hosted with Wednesday at the BTU and Thursday at the HTU. Both were well attended and offered great beef and social time.


The 2019 Spring CALS Graduation Ceremony was held in the O’Connell Center this past Saturday. The CALS Dean Office did a great job organizing the event. Saundra TenBroeck, Tracy Scheffler and Jason Scheffler served as Marshalls. CALS Admin organized and executed an impressive event. In particular, our Department’s own Dr. Joel Brendemuhl (Assoc. Dean CALS) delivered the College’s remarks. He did a great job. It was my first undergraduate commencement ceremony since my own. This one was much more fun! Congratulations to all our Animal Sciences graduates and Thank You to Tracy, Jason, and Saundra for your efforts!


Two additional faculty in our Department participated in this past year’s University of Florida Multicultural Mentorship Program. Carissa Wickens (pictured left) mentored Nohelle Lewis (pictured right), who is completing her first year in our Department. Sally Williams mentored Saron Belay, who is considering a career in engineering. Both Carissa and Sally commented on how rewarding this experience has been for them. I’m sure it was rewarding for their mentees. Thanks for all you’re doing in this program. It reflects well on you, the mentoring program, and the faculty of our Department.


We had other important recognitions at last week’s 2019 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet. Amie Imler (pictured left) was recognized for her outstanding efforts in student advising by the Advisee of the Year Award.In addition, Sophia Galvez (pictured right), who is an IFAS research intern in Jason Scheffler’s lab, was recognized by the Larry J. Connor Medal of Excellence.


Dr. Arthington is happy to announce that Albert DeVries will be appointed Associate Department Chair for Animal Sciences. Albert was recommended to me by several faculty, which is evidence of the respect he has in our Department. In addition, Albert has a unique faculty appointment in all 3 mission areas. He also advises a student club. Albert brings further value to this role through his strong relations to the Florida dairy industry. Albert has agreed to serve in this new capacity and Dr. Payne has approved his appointment to the role. Albert’s responsibilities will evolve over the next several months as we begin working more closely together. Thank you Albert!


Antonio Faciola was recognized twice this week for two honors; (1) His former students, Alexandra Bergen and Carol Hayes (both ANS majors) recognized him for his teaching efforts in Principles of Animal Nutrition. The recognition took place at their Professor Dinner on April 9 at Kappa Kappa Gamma, which recognizes outstanding professors who made a positive impact on students, and (2) Antonio was recognized for his participation in the University Multicultural Mentor Program. In this capacity, Antonio served as a mentor to first-year minority students on campus. The recognition took place on Monday at the Touchdown Terrace in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This year he mentored Andrea Iturrino-Cotto, a Biology major originally from Puerto Rico. Congratulations Antonio for your well-deserved teaching recognition and for your time and commitment participating in this mentoring program.


The AMCB Program hosted its It was the 17th Annual Symposium of the AMCB. The Distinguished Lecturer was Brian T. O’Neill of University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He talked about the role of insulin and IGF1 in muscle growth. There were 23 papers presented by students in the AMCB and Animal Sciences.


The Department was well represented at the 2019 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet. This recognition will be a two part series with the rest coming next week. Two of our seniors were selected among the finalists for the J. Wayne Reitz Medal of Excellence – Outstanding Senior Awards. This award is one of the highest recognitions that a graduating CALS student can receive. Three Finalists are recognized and our own Cassidy Dossin and Kylie Philipps were among this list and Kylie was selected to receive the 2019 Outstanding Senior Award. Congratulations Cassidy and Kylie!


arena - ropin in the swampBlock & Bridle hosted a roping event last Saturday, April 2, 2019, at the HTU. John Arthinton, the Department Chair for Animal Sciences, visited in the morning and it was packed full of attendees and participants. The B&B Club and faculty advisors worked until after 3:00am to wrap things up. It was a great success. A big THANK YOU goes out to Joel McQuagge, Saundra TenBroeck, and Jason Scheffler for their hard work. Helping to advise our student clubs takes a lot of extra effort above and beyond normal faculty appointment responsibilities.


K. C. Jeong’s PhD student, Zhengxin Ma, was awarded Best Doctoral Dissertation from IFAS. This is the 3rd Department of Animal Sciences graduate student who has received the award in the last 3 years. This is a tribute to the great graduate program we have.
Congratulations KC and Zhengxin!


Francisco Peñagaricano and Jose Santos were awarded a subcontract with Michigan State University from the Foundation of Food and Agriculture Research. Total award was $1,000,000 and UF Award was $400,000. “Improving dairy feed efficiency, sustainability, and profitability by impacting farmer’s breeding and culling decisions”

Francisco Peñagaricano, Jose Santos and Rafael Bisinotto (Veterinary Medicine) were awarded a subcontract with University of Illinois from USDA-NIFA. Total award was $500,000 and UF Award was $240,000. “Integrating host genome and rumen microbiome to improve milk production efficiency in dairy cattle”.

Four Animal Sciences faculty teamed up (Raluca Mateesca, PI, Samantha Brooks, Francisco Penagaricano and Pete Hansen) on a recent successful USDA-NIFA award entitled “Educating the Next Generation of Scientists in Animal Genomics”. The grant supports 3 PhD Fellowships, starting Fall 2019.


Please congradulate our Beef Teaching Unit Manager, Jesse Savell, who was recognized by the UF/IFAS Superior Accomplishment Award in the administrative/supervisory category. In recent years, Jesse has been instrumental in much of the success we all see at the BTU. He provides excellent support to students, faculty, and stakeholders. His efforts increase both the productivity and reputation of our Department in the University, community, and state. Pictured below is Jesse with his new bride, Kelsey. I learned that Jesse and Kelsey were married last week. Congratulations! Also pictured, is Amie Imler, lecturer in our Department, who was honored last year by the same committee. It is certainly a nice honor to be recognized by your peers for the great work you do.


What a team! Three of our faculty were awarded NIFA Grants this month in amounts totally $1.5 M. This is an exceptional accomplishment and illustrates recognition of the great work being conducted in the Department. These awards don’t come easy and in most cases involve investments in initial data, previous submissions, and critical collaborations. Please take moment and share your congratulations when you see them around the Department.

KC Jeong – Nanoantibiotics
Jimena Laporta – Unraveling changes in mammary gland development due to heat stress
Emily Miller-Cushon – Social welfare and long-term welfare of dairy heifers


Faculty in the Animal Sciences Department were particularly successful in obtaining support this year from the Research Dean’s Equipment Matching requests. This program seeks to provide matching support for research equipment. Our faculty were successful in obtaining support for both high-tech instrumentation and application-oriented equipment upgrades. Much of the support covers multiple faculty program needs. Although the faculty member leading the request is listed below, multiple faculty contributed. Please take moment and share your congratulations when you see them around the Department.

  • Luiz Ferraretto – Kemper silage chopper head
  • Reluca Mateescu – Crowding tub, working chute, and feed bin for Santa Fe
  • John Driver – Attune NxT flow-cytometer

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Posted: May 29, 2019

Category: Events, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Awards And Recognition

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