Alumni Newsletter : Alumni Newletter - Spring 2019

  1. Animal Sciences Alumni In The News

    Our Animal Sciences alumni are making the news!

    Information courtesy of CFAES Office of Advancement:

  2. Remembered

    Dr. Peter SpikeDr. Peter W. Spike, Ph.D., age 78, Emeritus Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and passionate Holstein dairyman, passed away Wednesday Morning, April 17, 2019 at Grady Memorial Hospital.

    His life not only centered on his faith and family, but also in educating and mentoring Ohio’s dairy youth.  He began his career in education at Michigan State University as an assistant professor and dairy Extension specialist. Over the next 30 plus years, he served as an area agent, Extension specialist, and associate professor with the dairy industry and animal sciences though The Ohio State University, retiring in 2004. Throughout his career, he was a teacher and friend to his numerous students and colleagues. During his tenure, he not only coached numerous successful 4-H and Collegiate Dairy Judging teams but also spent countless hours in service to dairy youth projects and events at the state and national levels. He contributed much to his professional field.

    The remainder of his obituary can be found here.

  3. 106 Undergraduates and Two Graduate Students Earn Animal Sciences Degrees

    On May 5, 2019, The Ohio State University awarded a record 12,213 degrees and certificates to the largest graduating class in university history. The Department of Animal Sciences awarded 106 undergraduate and two graduate degrees during the ceremony. The ceremony at Ohio Stadium included a graduating class size that was the largest for the fifth consecutive year.

    Animal Sciences Graduation Numbers:

    • 106 undergraduates
    • 94 from Ohio, 12 from out-of-state
    • 2 graduate students: 1 PhD, 1 MS
    • 88 female and 18 male undergraduates
    • 2 female graduate students
    • 102 BS in Animal Sciences
    • 2 BS in Meat Science
    • 2 BSN in Animal Sciences

    Dr. Tony Parker, associate chair, and Dr. Brooklyn WagnerDr. Tony Parker, associate chair, and Kirsten Nickles, MS



  4. Save the Date

    CHAIRE Annual Fundraising Event
    CHAIRE is excited to announce that Dr. Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker for the Annual Fundraising Event on September 30! Stay tuned to CHAIRE's website for more details to come regarding registration and opportunities to become a VIP.
  5. Scholarship Winners for 2019-2020 Academic Year

    The Department of Animal Sciences has awarded $117,150 in scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. Thank you to all of the alumni, former faculty and staff, and organizations who support our students! Below is the list of winners.

    Scholarship Name


    Seth Adams Scholarship Levi Cade
    Alpha Gamma Sigma Foundation-Clair E. Jones Scholarship Colin Berg
    Buckeye Polled Hereford Association Scholarship Alexandria Crist
    Charles B. Boyles Memorial Scholarship Olivia  Bianco
    William J. Brakel Endowed Scholarship Mary Logue
      Morgan Kessler
    CFAES Livestock Judging Team Scholarship Andrew Davis
      Quinton Langhals
    Columbus Feed Club Endowed Scholarship Amber Cleggett
      Hannah Tronetti
    COBA/Select Sires - Wallace Erickson Scholarship Amanda Schmitmeyer
    Myrtle Cook Cray and Raymond E. Cray Scholarship Claudia Tellman
    Wayne and Jand Dalton Scholarship Jarod Herron
    Harold E. Delong Memorial Scholarship Emily Derck
      MacKenzie Dore
    Dairy Farmers of America Agricultural and Human Ecology Scholarship Holly Schmenk
      Paul Bensman
      Taylor Blythe
    John Scott and Della Errington Memorial Scholarship Joesph Ford
      Tori Galbraith
    Bob Evans Farms Scholarship Alan Warner
    Bob Gano Scholarship Rossana Colletti
    George R. Johnson Award in Animal Sciences Caleb Rykaczewski
      Crystal Robinson
    James O. Grandstaff Memorial Scholarship Elizabeth Porteus
      Michael Wells
    Ralph H. Grimshaw Award Amanda Zanola
      Emily Nelson
      Jamie Dunaisky
    Robert L. Hocker Poultry Science Scholarship Allison Rapp 
      Claudia Tellman
      Jack Korenyi-Both
      Michael Trombetta
      Paige Doklovic
    Bernice C. Hum Animal Science Scholarship Fai Uetrecht
      Jennifer Nixon
    Edna and R. George Jaap Scholarship Emily  Niese 
      Michael Trombetta
    Lewis Jones Scholarship Annika Diaz
      Jenna Parker
    Harold E. and Florence R. Kaeser Scholarship Cameron  Hupp
      Sarah Lehner
    D. J. Kays Memorial Scholarship James Constantino
      Taylor White
    L. E. Kunkle Student Development Scholarship Brittney Wiseman
      Sarah Jarvis
    Jean and Agnes Lemmermen Endowed Scholarship Emily  Niese 
    Ralph S. Lovett Scholarship Evan Smith
      Tyler Elliott
    Thomas M. Ludwick Scholarship Laura Tavera
    L. P. McCann Memorial Scholarship Award in Animal Science Levi Cade
      Peyton Arden
    Earl and Wilma McMunn Scholarship Amanda Osborne
      Andrea Prowant
      Brietta Latham
      Emilia  Sgambati
    James R. Miller Agriculture Scholarship Bailey Ward
    The Miller Family Scholarship in Memory of J. Earl Miller Amanda Nall
    Bill Newland Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Animal Science Amelia Lively
    Ohio Agribusiness Association - Dairy Science Scholarship Deanna Langenkamp
      Jacob Simoni
      Lauren Almasy
    Rodney F. Plimpton, Jr., Memorial Scholarship in Animal/Meat Science Michael Anadell
    Greg and Becky Reinhart Scholarship Addison Colopy
      Brianne Flanagan
      Jenna Parker
      Katherine Chen
      Kylie Chronister
      Lauryn Cooper
      Mackenzie McNeely
    Schuyler M. Salisbury Memorial Scholarship Emilia  Sgambati
    Ralph "Dutch" E. Schramm Scholarship in Animal Science Matthew  Randolph 
      Crystal Robinson
      Josh Strine
      Kaci Ager
    Robert W. Terry Memorial Scholarship Emily  Niese 
      Holly Schmenk
    William Tyznik Equine Research Scholarship Autumn Fickel
      Tori Galbraith
    Von Price Scholarship Ashley Sindelar
      Hailey Jermolowicz
      Hunter Frobose
      Isabelle Schlachter
      Kaci Way
      Madeline Burns
      Megan Lintner
      Natalie Morelli
      Rachel Hofacker
    Michael L. Wagner Livestock Judging Team Scholarship Andrew Davis
      Hunter Frobose
      Mason Creager
    Robert Watson Scholarship Courtney Baker
      Madison Baker
      Natalie Morelli
  6. Weiss Inducted into JDS Club 100

    Professor William "Bill" Weiss, OARDC Animal Sciences, will be inducted into the third group of the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) Club 100. The JDS Club 100 was begun in 2017 to celebrate the 100th volume of the JDS and to recognize individuals who have authored or coauthored 100 or more papers in the journal. New members will be inducted into the JDS Club 100 each year as they reach this significant milestone. Only 7 members have previously been inducted.

    Weiss will be inducted during the American Dairy Science Association's Annual Meeting in Cincinnati on June 24.

  7. Lee Receives Research Mentoring Award

    Dr. Chanhee LeeDr. Chanhee Lee, assistant professor, received an Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. The Office of Student Academic Success—Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (UR&CI)-- offers the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, to honor individuals who have demonstrated success in mentoring undergraduates in their research and/or creative inquiry endeavors. Annually, undergraduates are invited to submit nomination materials demonstrating how their research mentor has supported and inspired them to grow intellectually as a researcher, encouraged and enabled them to reach their future goals, and supported and encouraged them on a personal level.

  8. "Fitbit" Cattle Trial Conducted at Ohio State Beef Center

    CQUniversity Australia PhD candidate, Anita Chang, recently completed a trial at The Ohio State Beef Center, located at Don Scott Field. The trial, part of Chang's dissertation research, was focused on detecting parturition in beef cattle using accelerometer ear tags (essentially like a Fitbit for a cow). She utilized two accelerometers – one research grade and one that is commercially available, to determine if it was possible to measure the changes in behavior that is associated with calving.

    Calving is a key driver of productivity and profitability in both dairy and beef enterprises. During this critical period, however, a number of complications can occur, resulting in poor welfare outcomes for both the cow and calf, and reduced productivity and profitability for the farmer. Traditional methods of monitoring cattle for calving require skill and experience and is often time consuming.

    "MyEar tags utilized in the trial research is focused on using technology (like Fitbits) to detect calving activity and to infer the calf’s health from the mother’s behavior," said Chang. "In doing so, producers gain a greater amount of information on the status of their cows and calves so they can improve on both productivity and welfare outcomes."

    Chang's research is primarily focused on trying to detect calving in extensive, ranch-like environments where producers may not see their cattle on a regular basis. Much of the research that has previously been conducted investigating parturition, using sensor technology, has been conducted in a dairy environment.

    "Conducting research at The Ohio State University’s Don Scott Farm provided a more intensive cow management system, where I was able to get an in depth understanding of how beef cattle behave around calving," Chang said. "Because the animals were housed in pens, I was able to get the very fine details of beef calving behaviors, which is impossible to do in Australia on our research station, where just finding the cows proved a daily challenge."

    Chang's research is unique in that she is not only looking for health indicators of a calving cow, but also the health of the calf itself. She added, "We are looking for small details, like how vigorously Monitoring trial cattleand the length of time for which the mother cow licks the calf immediately after it’s born. A healthy cow might be licked by the cow for 5 minutes before it tries to get up to suckle, while a calf that is less vigorous might be on the ground for longer."

    In addition to Chang, additional researchers on the trial included Dr. Mark Trotter (Associate Professor, CQUniversity), Dr. Alvaro Garcia Guerra (Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State), Dr. Martin Mussard (Beef/Sheep Operations Manager, Ohio State) and Gregg Fogle (Sheep Center Manager, Ohio State). The collaborators hope to utilize the results from the trial in future research publications. Dr. James Kinder, professor in the Ohio State Department of Animal Sciences, is also an adjunct professor at CQUniversity and helped to facilitate the trial between the two universities.

  9. Thermal Processing Short Course

    The Ohio State University Thermal Processing of Ready-to-Eat Meat Products is a three-day short course, offered the first time in 2000, that covers all of the technical and regulatory aspects of cooking, chilling and post-package handling of ready-to-eat meat products.  As the responsibility for ensuring safe, ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products has shifted away from regulatory agencies to the meat industry, a better understanding of the critical factors involved in thermal processing was needed. The content of this course is presented by industry, regulatory, and academic experts. The course promotes and educates meat and food scientists to increase their understanding of food engineering and microbiological concepts, as they pertain to cooking and chilling of RTE meat products.  This course has been promoted internationally to quality control, technical service, as well as research and development employees working in meat companies who produce RTE meat products.  

    This year’s course, held April 23-25, 2019 at the Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, was the 17th edition and it was quite timely; the focus of this year’s course was meeting the new Appendix A and B Guidelines, that USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed for meat processors.  There were 48 participants attending, who represented 24 different companies and organizations, from across the USA and Canada.  There were 12 speakers presenting at this year’s course, from the USA, Canada and the Netherlands.

    To learn more about upcoming food safety courses, click here.

    There were 48 participants attending, who represented 24 different companies and organizations, from across the USA and Canada.

  10. Spring Poultry Judging Team Update

    The Ohio State Poultry Judging Team placed 2nd overall in the 72nd USPOULTRY Foundation Ted Cameron National Poultry Judging Contest. The contest, hosted by Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, took place on April 4th & 5th, 2019. The team placed 4th in the Breed Selection Division; 7th in the Production Division; 1st in the Market Products Division; and 2nd overall. Allison Rapp (Animal Sciences, sophomore) was the 4th high individual in the Breed Selection Division; 4th high individual in the Market Products Division; and 3rd high individual overall. Hannah Farr (Animal Sciences, sophomore) was the high individual in the Market Products Division and 8th high individual overall. Brittany Weller (AgriScience Education, junior) was the 3rd high individual in the Market Products Division. Other participating schools in the contest were Louisiana State University, Iowa State University, Mississippi State University, Kansas State University, Penn State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, and University of Wisconsin–River Falls.

    Back row (left to right): Michael Cressman, coach; Paige Andrews, Sherrodsville; Hannah Farr, Paulding; and Paige Doklovic (assistant coach), Mansfield.

    Front row (left to right): Michael Trombetta, Staten Island, N.Y; Allison Rapp, Xenia; Jesseca Fantauzzi, Monroeville; and Brittany Weller, Bellevue.

  11. Waterman Happenings

    photo courtesy of Bekah MellerOn April 26th the Waterman Dairy Farm hosted the Ohio FFA Dairy Cattle Career Development Event (CDE) Finals and provided three dairy cattle classes for evaluation. The Dairy Cattle Evaluation CDE tests students’ knowledge of the dairy industry through evaluation and selection of dairy cattle.


    photo courtesy of Bekah Meller



    The Buckeye Dairy Club hosted “Milk-A-Cow on the Oval” on April 18th. The event allows students on main campus to interact with Dairy Club members and learn about the dairy industry. The cow was provided by the Waterman Dairy Farm. The event was so popular, Ohio State News did a story about it!

  12. 2019 Buckeye Bonanza and Open House

    The 12th annual Buckeye Bonanza Horse Sale had a record year. The high seller was Nitas Last King (Hogan) at $6,200 and the sale horses (all bred, foaled, and raised at The Ohio State University) averaged $3,700! Proceeds from the sales of the horses go directly to the equine program so that it can continue to provide students with valuable educational experiences.

    The Open House, held on April 13, 2019, was well attended. Visitors enjoyed sale horse preview activities and watched students demonstrate the skills they had been practicing in their Advanced Equine Behavior & Training Class.

    Once again, the Buckeye Bonanza Horse Sale auction was held online. Bidders were able to register through the Buckeye Bonanza website and virtually bid on the horse(s) of their choice.

    Continue to watch the Buckeye Bonanza Horse Sale Facebook page for details regarding next year's Sale and Open House.

    photo courtesy of Buckeye Bonanzaphoto courtesy of Buckeye Bonanza

  13. Students Selected for Sesquicentennial Student Scholar Leadership Program

    Three Animal Sciences students, Karaline Boso, Sarah Doner and Xamarie Ruiz, were selected to the Sesquicentennial Student Scholar Leadership Program. The three will each be awarded $2,500 scholarships and will learn to build the skills and fortitude essential to becoming engaged citizens through leadership development and ambassador opportunities.

    The trio are part of a group of 150 outstanding students who share an extraordinary passion for our university and will participate in a special leadership program as part of the 150th anniversary next academic year. You can read more about the program here.

  14. Three Students Awarded Pork Checkoff Scholarships

    Three Animal Sciences students were selected by a National Pork Board Committee for a Pork Industry Scholarship. The Pork Checkoff awarded 20 scholarships to college students from around the United States. The three students slected from Ohio State were: Lucas Buehler, Botkins, Ohio; Mikayla Shanks, McClure, Ohio; and Ariel Taylor, Medina, Ohio. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship. You can read more about the scholarship here.

  15. Animal Sciences Students Win Awards at MANRRS Conference

    Two Animal Sciences students received awards at the 2019 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) National Conference. Jenna Parker, first-year student from Piqua, OH, won 2nd place in the Undergraduate Oral Research Div II, with her topic, Not Everything with Wings was Meant to Fly: How Sanitary Products can Impact Women's Health. Amber Cleggett, first-year student with a minor in history from Cleveland, was awarded a John Deere scholarship for excelling in academics, extra-curricular activities, MANRRS and community involvement.

    Jenna ParkerParker’s research project focused on the use of biodegradable feminine products and their impact on the environment and women’s health in Guatemala. After earning her B.S. in Animal Sciences, she hopes to attend veterinary school or earn a master’s degree. According to Parker, “After attending this conference, I have decided that I want to work in government, specifically the APHIS portion of the USDA because I want animals and people to be happy and healthy.”

    Cleggett hopes to remain at Ohio State and attend veterinary school or earn a M.S. in Veterinary Public Health after earning her bachelor’s degree. “I chose Ohio State because it is not too far away from home, but far enough that I get to become more reliant on myself,” said Cleggett. “Ohio State also has any and everything that you could dream studying or be a part of, and having the wide variety of opportunities was very important to me.” Amber Cleggett

    MANRRS was formed at Michigan State University in the early 1980s to promote academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. The Ohio State chapter of MANRRS was formed in 1985 to increase the number of multicultural students studying sciences in the food system, agricultural, and environmental areas and to encourage scholarly achievement, leadership, advancement, and excellence in students.

    The MANRRS National Conference was held April 3-6, 2019 in Overland Park, KS. You can learn more about the Ohio State chapter of MANRRS here.

  16. Animal Sciences Recognition at CFAES Celebration of Students

    Photo courtesy of CFAES

    The Department of Animal Sciences students, organizations, faculty and staff were recognized in multiple categories at The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Celebration of Students Program. The celebration was held in the Archie Griffin Ballroom in the Ohio Union on April 4, 2019.

    The CFAES Celebration of Students is one of the most highly anticipated events of the academic year. It is a celebration of student excellence as well as a time to show appreciation for the contributions made by faculty, staff, and friends outside the college to improve the student experience. More than 600 guests attend each year, making it one of the largest student-run events on the Ohio State campus.

    The following were award recipients from Animal Sciences:

    1. CFAES Distinguished Seniors: Anna Garrett, Heather Pechtl, Ariel Taylor, Megan Whalin, and Emily Winson
    2. Rodney F. Plimpton Outstanding Young Faculty Award – Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor
    3. Outstanding Academic Advisor Award – Masa Williams, Equine/Livestock Program Specialist
    4. CFAES Internship Award for Animal Sciences – Jade Hettick (junior, Creston, OH)
    5. Student Organization Excellence Awards:
      • Leadership/Professional Development – Pre-Vet Club
      • Collaboration – Animal Science Community Alliance
      • Active Citizenship – Animal Science Community Alliance
    6. Newcomb Scholars (the top five students of each class based on GPA) –
      • Courtney Baker (senior, Big Prairie, OH)
      • Natalie Prischak (senior, Erie, PA)
      • Megan Whalin (senior, Stockport, OH)
  17. Steve Moff Inducted into Dairy Science Hall of Service

    Mr. Steve Moff was inducted into the Dairy Science Hall of Service on April 4, 2019. The event took place during the Celebration of Excellence recognition program hosted by the Department of Animal Sciences. The following is his induction citation.

    Mr. Steve Moff grew up in Mahoning County, Ohio where he took numerous dairy projects during his 10 years in 4-H and was a member of the 4-H dairy judging team. He graduated from Ohio State with a BS in Dairy Science in 1980, and he was a member of the OSU dairy judging team. He has been employed as a dairy program specialist with COBA Select Sires since his graduation from OSU. He has served in various capacities in the Ohio Holstein Association, Ohio State Fair dairy department, All-American Dairy Show, Ohio Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Spring Dairy Expo, Canfield Fair, and National Holstein Association. Comments from letters for his nomination include statements such as “’Steve is a joy to work with, efficient and upbeat’. He is always willing to serve our members and all of the dairy community.”; “…transparently displays honesty, dedication, commitment and pride …”; and “I cannot think of a time when he has NOT given to the dairy 4-Hers of Ohio”. Steve and his wife, Jane, have three children, Neil, Brian, and Heidi, all of which are graduates of Ohio State. The recognition provided as a recipient of the Dairy Science Hall of Service Award acknowledges Steve’s many contributions to the dairy industry and the development of youth in Ohio.Mr. Steve Moff

  18. Dr. Danny Fox Inducted into Animal Science Hall of Fame

    Dr. Danny Fox was inducted into the Animal Science Hall of Fame on April 4, 2019. The event took place during the Celebration of Excellence recognition program hosted by the Department of Animal Sciences. The following is his induction citation.

    Dr. Danny Fox is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. He was born and raised in northwest Ohio and received his B.S. in Animal Science in 1962 from The Ohio State University.  After operating and managing the family farm in Williams County for 5 years, he returned to OSU Animal Science and received M.S. (1968) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in Ruminant Nutrition.  At Cornell University since 1977, Dr. Fox conducted research and Extension programs in beef and dairy cattle nutrition and taught courses in beef and dairy cattle nutrition and nutrient management.  Before joining the Cornell faculty, he held positions as beef cattle Extension feedlot specialist at South Dakota State University and beef cattle feedlot nutrition research and Extension at Michigan State University.  

    Dr. Fox’s 35 year career in ruminant nutrition research focused on the development of data, methods, mathematical models, and computer software to more accurately predict cattle nutrient requirements and nutrients derived from feeds with wide variations in cattle types, environments, and feeds and the composition of their carbohydrate and protein fractions.   At Cornell from 1977 until retiriDr. Danny Foxng in 2005, Dr. Fox organized and led a team of faculty, graduate students, and research support staff that developed, evaluated and implemented on farms with microcomputers the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) for evaluating and formulating rations for beef and dairy cattle. In 1992 Dr. Fox was asked to serve on the National Research Council (NRC) committee to revise the NRC (1984) nutrient requirement recommendations for beef cattle and to develop a computer model for application of their recommendations, which was based on the CNCPS. Subsequently, many components in the NRC (1996) model were used in the development of the 2016 National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine Beef Cattle nutrition model.

    Beginning in 1977 and until he retired in 2005, Dr. Fox’s team developed the Cornell Value Discovery Program (CVDS) for sorting and tracking cattle according to days predicted by the CVDS model to reach the target grade, and to allocate pen feed consumed to individuals in the pen to allow mixed ownership. Over 10 million head of feeder steers and heifers have been sorted on arrival in feedlots into pens according to CCS and CVDS predicted days to reach the target quality grade, with an average increase in returns of $10 - $15 per head.

    From the early 1990’s until he retired, Dr. Fox’s modeling program became more focused on integrating knowledge about crops, soils, and animals on dairy farmsDr. Danny Fox to improve their sustainability by reducing feed costs and excess nutrients that impact water quality. He organized an inter-disciplinary team of scientists at Cornell (crops, soils, engineering, economics, and water resources) and dairy farmers in the state to develop and implement the Cornell University Nutrient Management Planning System (CUNMPS). In case studies on dairy farms, implementation of precision feeding with the CUNMPS reduced nitrogen and phosphorus excreted an average of 1/3, while increasing milk production 2-4 lb./day and reducing feed costs $50 to $150/lactating dairy cow/year.

    Dr. Fox’s research resulted in more than 330 publications, invited presentations at more than 150 conferences, and training of 61 graduate students. His research led to requests to serve on various national committees, including several of the NRC and Council on Agriculture Science and Technology (CAST).  He conducted many workshops on describing and using the models described in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and Western Europe, and consulted with numerous commercial companies on the application of the CNCPS and CVDS models in their cattle nutrition and management software.

  19. 2019 Celebration of Excellence

    The Department of Animal Sciences held the Celebration of Excellence on April 4, 2019 at The Fawcett Center. Highlights included scholarship and ASAS recognition. Additionally, a new tradition, a "Senior Pinning" ceremony, was held honoring all of the graduating seniors in attendance.

    Groups of juniors and seniors received undergraduate recognition from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS). To receive ASAS recognition, students must be: enrolled in a four-year curriculum of animal sciences, ranked scholastically in the top 10% of the junior or senior classes, have good moral character, and intend to pursue a career in animal science.

    The following are senior rank ASAS recipients:

    •Kaci AgerAnimal Sciences seniors in attendance
    •Madison Baker
    •Courtney Baker
    •Katherine Chen
    •James Constantino
    •Lauryn Cooper
    •Annika Diaz
    •Tarshangi Dixit
    •Jamie Dunaisky
    •Zachary England
    •Brianne Flanagan
    •Cameron Goldston
    •Heather Kaplan
    •Jessica Koker
    •Sidney Long
    •Ashley MandelDr. George R. Johnson Award winner Courtney Baker
    •Emily Nelson
    •Abby Orellana
    •Heather Pechtl
    •Andrea Prowant
    •Caleb Rykaczewski
    •Isabelle Schlachter
    •Emilia Sgambati
    •Kaylee Shrock
    •Meghan Smith
    •Madelyn Spooner
    •Claudia Tellman
    •Rachel Van Bramer
    •Megan Whalin
    The following are junior rank ASAS recipients:
    •Anastasia Alkhimovitch
    •Ningzhu Bai
    •Madelyn Eggeman
    •Rebekah Fries
    •John GilsonWaldock Brothers Award winner Ariel Taylor
    •Brook Hair
    •Sierra Kilbert
    •Rachel Kopniske
    •Carley LaDu
    •Brietta Latham
    •Miranda Lauchard
    •Amanda Nall
    •Madison Pinkerton
    •Joshua Strine
    •Sydney Sweet
    •Andrew Toth
    •Cameron White


    Individuals honored for Outstanding Student Awards were:

    • Dr. George R. Johnson Scholarship Award (Senior or Junior with the Highest GPA)
      • Courtney Baker
    • Waldock Brothers Award (Outstanding Senior in Animal Sciences)
      • Ariel TaylorL.E. Kunkle Award winner Alex Tebbe
    • L.E. Kunkle Award (Outstanding Graduate Student in Animal Sciences)
      • Alex Tebbe

    The final portion of the program was dedicated to individuals who have dedicated their careers to the improvement of animal and meat sciences. The Animal Science Hall of Fame induction ceremony honored Dr. Danny Fox, while the Dairy Science Hall of Service induction ceremony honored Mr. Steve Moff.

  20. CFAES Receives Grant from Monsanto Fund

    FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO – County farmer Connie Smith, directed $2,500 to The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer. As part of their mission the organization will use the funds to support the Department of Animal Sciences Meat Lab and the Buckeyes in Your Corner student outreach program.  The grant will help purchase supplies for the Meat Lab that will be used in the production of meat products by students, in both classes and research projects.  In the Meat Lab, students learn how to produce a variety of meats and products for final display.  They must include proper labeling, a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) safety plan, and a marketing and advertising plan in their final presentations.  The grant will offset the costs of maintenance expenses to operate the meat lab, including refrigeration, equipment repair, and parts. 

    The grant will also help the Buckeyes in Your Corner program, a departmental initiative to support mental health.  This program is part of a series that focuses on a different topic each semester.  The Animal Science Community Alliance (ASCA) plans an activity each month throughout the academic year to incorporate networking, fun, and stress management education in a safe, relaxed environment.   The activities for 2018-2019 included a mix and mingle with doughnuts and coffee, an overview of counseling and consultation services available on campus, yoga with student testimonials, a movie and pizza night, and a crafting station to help minimize stress during finals week.  ASCA also gives other student clubs the opportunity to plan one of the monthly events.  The BIYC Winter Mixer2019 spring session hosted by the Meat Judging Team and the Meat Science Club, which includes a free dinner for the students, is titled “How to Manage Your Stress.”  The program will include a group of student and faculty panelists from different backgrounds who will share their ideas, experiences, and personal stories on the various types of stress facing college students today, and will discuss how to best handle these difficult situations.  Assistant Professor of Meat Science, Dr. Lyda Garcia, is the faculty advisor for this valuable discussion series.

    Celebrating its 10th year, America’s Farmers Grow Communities partners with farmers to support nonprofit organizations strengthening rural communities. The program offers farmers the chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit of their choice. It has awarded more than $33 million to over 8,000 nonprofits across rural America.

    “A better life is Bayer’s goal. Farmers are invested in their communities, they root for their neighbors, and they know when and where there is a need,” said Al Mitchell, Vice President Corporate Engagement, Bayer. “Farmers are one of America’s best resources, which is why Grow Communities partners with them to direct donations to the organizations they are passionate about and that make a positive impact and a better life in communities.”

    To learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, visit or follow on Facebook at Vet School Panel

    About America’s Farmers

    Started in 2010, the America’s Farmers programs, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, have been dedicated to partnering with farmers to strengthen rural communities. The programs provide funding for ag scholarships, nonprofit donations and school STEM grants. Since inception the fund has awarded over $50 million to rural communities. For more information visit

    About the Monsanto Fund

    The Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Bayer employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

    For More Information Contact:

    Lyda Garcia

    or Marietta Benage

  21. Department Has Five 2019 CFAES Distinguished Seniors

    The Department of Animal Sciences was honored to have five of the 25 CFAES Distinguished Seniors. Seniors Anna Garrett, Heather Pechtl, Ariel Taylor, Megan Whalin, and Emily Winson were awarded the honor.

    “The Distinguished Senior Award is the most prestigious undergraduate award in CFAES, recognizing the top graduating seniors from each of the academic units on the Columbus campus,” said Steven Neal, CFAES professor and associate dean for academic programs.

    All 25 award winners were honored at the 2019 CFAES Distinguished Senior Awards Dinner at the Ohio State University Fawcett Event Center on March 27, 2019. The CFAES Distinguished Senior Award honors academic, disciplinary and professional excellence.

    Anna GarrettAnna Garrett is an animal sciences major from Cincinnati. Through her honors research projects, she first studied the impact Goddard’s Law has on animal cruelty cases, then aided in the construction of behavior ethograms in dairy cattle chronic pain research.

    “Anna is the picture of a well-rounded student who has made the most of her undergraduatetime,” wrote her nominator, Mariette Benage, student success coordinator in the Department of Animal Sciences “Her passion for animal welfare has driven the experiences she’s chosen while at Ohio State, and her two independent research projects through the College of Veterinary Medicine demonstrate her forward thinking as an innovator, wanting to make an impact in the industry.”

    Garrett has been heavily involved in the animal welfare judging team where she researches welfare issues, production practices, and ethical considerations before evaluating welfare scenarios, providing reasons that defend her choices. She’s been very successful on the team, winning the annual Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging/Assessment Contest in 2017 and placing in the top three in 2018.

    “She is a stellar student, has a tremendous work ethic, and automatically becomes the leader in group projects. Outside the classroom, Anna has a passion for serving others,” Benage noted.

    As a member of the Animal Science Community Alliance (ASCA), Garrett has served as a teaching assistant and mentor and has been very involved in leading the Science Club at Cristo Rey High School, a college preparatory school for low-income minority students. This biweekly commitment gives her the opportunity to show the students support and to encourage them to pursue their love for science.

    Garrett has also made an impact through the OSU Animal Welfare and Behavior Club. Taking on leadership roles as its secretary and vice president has allowed her to create professional development activities for members of the club and the community. After a life-altering trip to South Africa, she joined the CFAES Voyagers team to advocate for international experiences.

    As a departmental recruiter for the Department of Animal Sciences, Garrett’s passion for animal science and OSU is evident as she provides tours to prospective students, leads hands-on events, and communicates with admitted students through emails, postcards, online chats, and phone calls.

    After graduation, Garrett plans to pursue an Ohio State master’s of public health degree with a specialization in veterinary forensic science before continuing on to veterinary school.

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    Heather PechtlHeather Pechtl is an Animal Sciences major from Mundelein, Illinois.

    “From her very first semester, Heather has truly seen the world as her classroom,” wrote her nominator, Mariette Benage, student success coordinator in the Department of Animal Sciences “Knowing we live and work in a global industry, she grasped two different opportunities to study abroad in Nicaragua and Spain. During her travels, she had the opportunity to explore the animal and agricultural industries and their impact on the culture, society and economics of those countries.”

    Petchl also gained an appreciation for how history, government, geography, and infrastructure can impact cultural development and the use of land and animals within our societies. After touring a family farm in Nicaragua and connecting with the family, she pursued an opportunity to complete an independent research project with her own experimental design studying the impacts of human-animal interactions and societal factors on the welfare of animals on their farm. She even learned to speak Spanish fluently enough to converse with the family over Skype.

    After finishing the project her second year, Petchel began two new research experiences in the department, which she is continuing to complete for research distinction.

    “I am truly amazed and inspired by the courage, initiative and drive Heather has in pursuing what she is most passionate about studying: animal welfare. In fact, Heather helped get the Animal Welfare and Behavior Judging Team off the ground in her tenure here, which has placed in the top three at several regional competitions,” noted Benage.

    Petchl is a leader and as a member of the Animal Welfare Club, the Animal Science Community Alliance (ASCA), provides tours to prospective animal sciences students, and communicates with admitted students through emails, postcards, online chats, and phone calls. She co-chaired a committee to plan and implement the largest CFAES student event, the Back 2 School Bash, managing a $25,000 event budget and creating the nearly 100-page audit for reimbursement.

    In addition, Petchl is a Morrill Scholar mentoring at-risk youth, has participated in BuckeyeThon, served as a trip-lead for Buck-I-Serv, and served as a teaching assistant and course mentor. She was also involved in a new program ASCA created with a Columbus college preparatory high school, Cristo Rey, to offer a science club with engaging hands-on activities.

    “She is extremely selfless and truly embraces diversity and appreciates people for who they are regardless of background or status; she is compassionate to all, which is one of the many reasons why Heather was one of 24 students inducted into our prestigious SPHINX Senior Class Honorary this past spring,” wrote Benage.

    After interning with Humane Farm Animal Care, Pecthl was offered a full-time position. After graduation, she plans to work with the organization for two years while obtaining a master’s in animal welfare, ethics and law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Afterwards, she intends to pursue a PhD in animal welfare and behavior.

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    Ariel TaylorAriel Taylor is an Animal Sciences major from Medina, Ohio. Taylor’s efforts in creating, launching and coordinating the efforts of the Best Food Forward team resulted in her recognition as a Stamps Leadership Scholar, given to five Eminence students based on leadership qualities and dedication to service.

    Taylor’s nominator, Mariette Benage, student success coordinator in the Department of Animal Sciences, wrote “Admitted to Ohio State as an Eminence Fellow, the expectations for Ariel were high and she’s lived up to the hype. In her first year, she spearheaded the creation of Ohio State’s first student-run food cooperative, Best Food Forward. This non-profit provides increased access to healthy, fresh produce while promoting local sustainability, which feeds directly into her passion for agriculture.”

    Taylor served as a two-time president of the Animal Science Community Alliance (ASCA), chaired the planning committee for the Department of Animal Sciences’ largest event, the Winter Mixer, and took advantage of education abroad opportunities in New Zealand and Chile. She has been a teaching assistant and mentor to animal science students, served on the planning committee for the CFAES Back 2 School Bash, and was selected as one of 24 students to be part of SPHINX Senior Class Honorary.

    “Her passion for animal welfare has driven the experiences she’s chosen while at Ohio State, and her two independent research projects through Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine demonstrate her forward thinking as an innovator, wanting to make an impact in the industry,” Benage noted. “She connected with a nutritional immunologist to design and conduct a neonatal piglet intestinal health research project, which turned into her honors research thesis.”

    As a departmental recruiter for the Department of Animal Sciences, Taylor provides tours to prospective students, leads hands-on events, and communicates with admitted students through emails, postcards, online chats, and phone calls. She also helped create a science club and interactive activities for Cristo Rey, a new Columbus high school for at-risk youth.

    Taylor’s passion lies within food supply medicine, safety, and security and many of her collegiate experiences have been within the overlapping fields of animal and human health.

    After graduation, she will attend The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine with the goal of becoming a swine veterinarian. After a chance meeting with the CEO of Smithfield at a conference, she was invited to complete an internship with them in hog production. She made such an impression during her internship, that Smithfield has pursued her to be part of its team once she graduates from veterinary school.

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    Megan WhalinMegan Whalin is an animal sciences major from Stockport, Ohio. As director of volunteering for the OSU Buckeye Food Alliance, Whalin’s work benefited the community by ultimately providing greater access to food by OSU students who face food insecurity. As a Morrill Scholar, she became a mentor for first-year Morrill Scholarship Program students and encouraged them to become involved in diversity and inclusion on campus.

    "Megan is one of those students that excels in so many categories, wrote her nominator, Maurice Eastridge, professor and Extension dairy specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences. “She is a stellar student, has a tremendous work ethic, and automatically becomes the leader in group projects. Outside the classroom, she has a passion for serving others,” he noted.

    Whalin has worked with various organizations to promote food security for the OSU campus and Columbus-wide community. She delivered snack packs to Head Start programs through Buckeyes Against Hunger and worked to prepare a garden for the Columbus refugee community though Students for Refugees. She enhanced the educational experiences of Columbus children by tutoring in a Students for Refugees after-school program, and volunteered at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and OSU’s on-campus food pantry through the Buckeye Food Alliance.

    “Her global understanding of agriculture and world culture greatly expanded during her CFAES years with Study Abroad trips to Nicaragua, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland,” Eastridge wrote. “Her college experience continues to be so much more than bettering herself, but also giving of herself in bettering the lives of others, regardless of age.”

    She has been active in the Buckeye Dairy Club, conducted research on ewes during gestation at OSU’s Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, worked at the OSU Swine Center to learn about other food animal species, and worked as a veterinary assistant at two veterinary hospitals.

    After graduation, Whalin plans to attend the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, with an interest in ambulatory food animal medicine.


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    Emily WinsonEmily Winson is an animal sciences major from Port Clinton, Ohio. Winson served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for both the Animal Biosciences Laboratory and the Introduction to Animal Sciences Laboratory. Passionate about building community, she is a member of the Animal Sciences Community Alliance (ASCA) where she was involved in multiple facets of the organization, helped to plan Back2School Bash for nearly 1,000 CFAES students, staff, faculty, and administrators, and mentored/recruited high school students.

    Mariette Benage, student success coordinator in the Department of Animal Sciences and Winson’s nominator, wrote, “Emily truly represents the three pillars of the land grant mission: education, research and extension. Education is a true passion for this Health Science Scholars student. She enjoys learning for the sake of learning, and savors the opportunity to foster a learning environment among her peers.”

    Winson also mentored potential Cristo Rey first-generation college students through the college application process while helping them understand special programs and scholarships they’re eligible for to make their collegiate experience more affordable.

    “Emily has been an instrumental member of ASCA and led engaging hands-on activities for a science club at Cristo Rey Columbus High School, a college preparatory school for low-income minority students. She has led the club in dissecting sheep hearts, creating a genetically diverse population via gummy bears, and electromyography competitions just to name a few,” Benage noted.

    As a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, she served as a recruitment guide for two years and assisted with membership and retention for the Panhellenic Community. Additionally, Winson rode on the OSU Hunt Seat Equestrian Team for two years, participated in BuckeyeThon, was a member of the Health Sciences Scholars Program, worked with Habitat For Humanity in Birmingham, Alabama, and studied abroad on the European Dairy Industry trip.

    She also completed three internship experiences, one of which was at the Center for Courageous Kids in Kentucky where she worked as a counselor for campers battling serious illnesses or handicaps.

    Winson also found time to be involved in research. As a research assistant in a poultry gut health and immunology laboratory, she researched ways to better the health of commercial broiler chickens. Her project has been submitted to a journal for publication, and she presented her research at the International Poultry Scientific Forum which will give her an opportunity to graduate with research distinction.

    Upon graduation, Winson plans to run from San Francisco to Boston with a group of 20 college-aged students to raise money and awareness for young adults with cancer for the Ulman Foundation. The trip will last 49 days and Winson has pledged to raise $4,500 for the cause. In Fall 2019, she will begin her first year at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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  22. Animal Sciences Students Win Awards at Denman Research Forum

    Three Animal Sciences seniors were selected for awards at the 24th Annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, held on February 20th, 2019. Heather Pechtl placed second and Alyson Linton placed third in the Conservation and Development category. Megan Whalin's video submission was selected as one of the four Outstanding Video Submissions. The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum showcases the very best research and creative activities of Ohio State undergraduates; participation is limited to just over 200 seniors graduating during the calendar year. Students submit their projects and must be selected for participation. You can read more about each participant below.

    Heather Pechtl Click to enlarge poster Heather Pechtl is a senior from Mundelein, Illinois specializing in Animal Biosciences with a minor in Psychology. Her research project, supervised by Dr. Chanhee Lee, studied a ruminant feed additive that seeks to reduce methane emissions. Heather had previously presented this project at the Autumn Undergraduate Research Forum. She plans to pursue a PhD in animal welfare and behavior.
    Alyson Linton Click to enlarge poster Alyson Linton is a senior from Eastpointe, Michigan specializing in Animal Biosciences. Her research project, supervised by Drs. Daniel Clark, Sandra Velleman and Sheila Jacobi, examined how supplementation of polyunsaturated fatty acids affects satellite cell development and therefore impacts muscle growth/development. Alyson hopes to work for a government or reseach organization.
    Megan Whalin Megan Whalin is a senior from Stockport, Ohio specializing in Animal Biosciences. Her research project, supervised by Dr. Alejandro Relling, investigated the effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) supplementation on fetal brain and liver, and adult brain fatty acid profile after PUFA supplementation, and their effect on cognitive behavior for these animals.  Megan plans to attend veterinary school.
  23. Ayars Provides Keynote Speech at All-Breeds Convention

    Recently, Dairy Extension and Teaching Specialist, Bonnie Ayars, provided the keynote speech for the 2019 Minnesota All Breeds Dairy Convention. Ayars spoke during the All-Breeds Banquet about "true grit".

    Ayars has previously been honored as the Ohio Agriculture Woman of the Year, the World Dairy Expo Woman of the Year, and earned the Hoards Dairyman Distinguished Service Award to Youth. She and her husband, John, have been inducted into the Ohio State Dairy Science Hall of Service and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame. They were also awarded the American Guernsey Association’s Distinguished Service Award. John and Bonnie, along with sons Lucas and Eli, own and operate Ayars Family Farm, which has been a family farm since 1972. Bonnie's responsibilities for Ohio State include assisting with dairy science courses and serving as coach of the Ohio State Collegiate and Ohio 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging teams.

    The Houston County Holstein Club hosted the 2019 Minnesota All Breeds Dairy Convention on March 1-2, 2019 at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, Onalaska, WI. The theme of the convention was “7 Breeds by 7 Rivers.” Around 140 people were in attendance throughout the convention.

  24. Krauss Dairy Center Honored for Quality Milk Production

    OARDC/Krauss Dairy Center was recognized by the National Mastitis Council for quality milk production at its Feb. 1, 2019 Awards Luncheon, held in conjunction with the NMC 58th Annual Meeting in Savannah, Ga. Krauss was recognized as a Gold NDQA (National Dairy Quality Award) Winner. Overall, 41 dairies were honored in Platinum, Gold and Silver categories. Farms were nominated by professionals, such as dairy plant field staff, veterinarians, Extension specialists and dairy herd improvement supervisors, who serve the dairy industry. NDQA judges considered many criteria when reviewing finalists’ applications. In addition to milk quality indicators, such as somatic cell count and standard plate count, judges looked at specific details about each operation, including milking routine, cow comfort, udder health monitoring programs, treatment and prevention programs, strategies for overall herd health and welfare, and adherence to drug use and record keeping regulations.

  25. Agersens to work with Ohio State to test eShepherd in US beef and dairy industries

    Agersens and the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that paves the way for the two organizations to implement research trials to determine the efficacy and economics of the eShepherd system for local conditions.

    eShepherd is a smart collar system for livestock, enabling cattle producers to create “virtual fences” and use their smart device to remotely fence, move and monitor their livestock around the clock from anywhere in the world.

    Ian Reilly, CEO of Agersens, said the team at The Ohio State University had the expertise and knowledge the company needed to better understand local cattle and dairy markets and determine how virtual fencing technology can help Ohio farmers get the most out of their land and livestock.

    “eShepherd is set to revolutionize livestock management by unlocking value from the digital transformation of the American beef and dairy industries and will make farming more efficient, more manageable and less labor intensive,” said Mr. Reilly.

     “Farmers in Ohio understand that improved grazing control creates more productive, profitable properties and are eager to adopt technologies that enable controlled grazing without the associated time constraints and labor costs.”

    This latest MoU comes on the heels of similar Memorandums struck with the University of Idaho and Kansas State University last year, as well as an extended collaboration agreement with the CSIRO formalized last November.

    Land-Grant Universities in the United States have a unique role in providing farm extension services through their agricultural education mission for agricultural producers. In contrast such services are typically offered by Australian state government agriculture departments and Research and Development Corporations.

    “Ohio State will be seeking to add eShepherd to their kit of extension service technologies that can help farmers increase their efficiency and maximize productivity,” Mr. Reilly said.

    Dr. John Foltz, Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State, recognizes the technological and economic opportunities that eShepherd brings to Departmental research faculty and livestock producers in Ohio.

    “The virtual fence is an exciting technology, which we hope to utilize in numerous research projects to understand its potential as a livestock management tool,” said Dr. Foltz. 

    “It appears to have some very unique capabilities and also generates large amounts of precision livestock data, which will be valuable to our research scientists.”

    The transformative eShepherd technology uses a GPS-enabled, solar-powered smart collar containing a CSIRO-developed algorithm and an audio cue to train cattle to stay within their prescribed  eShepherd technology uses a GPS-enabled, solar-powered smart neckbandvirtual boundary.

    The ability of the GPS-enabled collars to monitor and move the herd in real-time using mobile technology appealed to Animal Sciences Associate Chair, Dr. Anthony Parker.

    “The position of the cattle can be observed in real-time from the office on a tablet or computer.  The technology has many practical applications for cattle producers in Ohio from avoiding riparian, protected or overgrazed areas to moving cattle over a landscape to ensure an even grazing pressure,” said Dr. Parker.

    “The e-Shepherd technology fits within existing research being undertaken at The Jackson Agricultural Research Station and the Eastern Agricultural Research Station with global positioning systems to better understand cattle behavior.” 

    The eShepherd virtual fencing technology was patented by the CSIRO and licensed exclusively to Agersens worldwide. The business has already received orders for thousands of eShepherd collars in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and the UK.





    Media enquiries: Agersens

    Amanda Cirillo

    Pesel & Carr (on behalf of Agersens)


    P +61 3 9036 6900


    Media enquiries: The Ohio State University

    Amber Robinson

    Ohio State University


    P 614-688-1083

  26. Harstine & Cruppe Honored at CFAES Alumni Awards

    The CFAES Alumni Society selected two Animal Sciences alumni for awards at the 2019 CFAES Alumni Awards Program. Dr. Bo Harstine, MS '13 and PhD '16 both in Animal Sciences, was selected for the Young Professional Achievement Award. Dr. Leandro Cruppe, MS '11 and PhD '15 both in Animal Sciences, was selected for the International Alumni Award. Both Harstine and Cruppe were nominated by Dr. James Kinder, professor, and Dr. Michael Day, currently the Chair of Animal Science at the University of Wyoming, who was their advisor. The Alumni Awards Luncheon was held Saturday, March 2nd at the Fawcett Center. 

    Click on the name below to learn more about each of our honorees:

    Dr. Bo Harstine

    Dr. Leandro Cruppe

    Dr. Bo Harstine

    Dr. Bo Harstine is originally from Dundee, Ohio. He earned his B.A. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. He earned his MS (2013) and his Ph.D. (2016) in the Department of Animal Sciences with a concentration in Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology of Cattle; Dr. Michael Day was his advisor. Harstine is currently the Director of Research for Select Sires Inc. in Plain City, Ohio.

    Why/how did you select your area of study for your graduate program?

    I grew up on a dairy farm in Northeastern Ohio. I loved science and thought that a career in human or animal medicine would fit my interests, so I attended Washington & Jefferson College to pursue a biology degree in preparation for medical or veterinary school. Towards the end of my undergraduate education, I realized that I wanted to be able to work in agriculture, but that being a doctor or veterinarian probably wasn’t going to be the right career fit. Luckily, I did a summer research internship at Select Sires in Plain City, Ohio. I loved the laboratory work in an agricultural setting, so the decision to pursue graduate degrees in Animal Science was easy after that.

    Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?

    After eBo Harstinexpressing interest in attending graduate programs to study animal reproduction, Select Sires indicated that they were willing to jointly fund a graduate research associateship with a university research program. Dr. Mike Day’s lab in Ohio State’s Department of Animal Science was the perfect fit. An interesting fact: two of my current Select Sires coworkers were already working under Dr. Day in the lab at that time. Who knew we’d all end up working together?

    Did you start in Animal Sciences? If not, where did you start and why did you make the switch?

    I went to a college (Washington & Jefferson College) that didn’t even have an Animal Sciences Department! Now, reflecting back on my educational path, I’m so glad that I chose to return to my roots in agriculture and the dairy industry. By growing up on a dairy farm, I already knew that some of the smartest, kindest, and most resilient people worked in food production. That’s why ended up coming back full circle: the ability to be a scientist, yet still be on farms and interact with producers, has been a blessing, and I really enjoy what I do.

    How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?

    I was fortunate to have an optimal graduate school experience. Foremost, I made it a priority to experience as much University research and academic culture as possible. I lectured for courses within the Animal Sciences Department as a TA, attended and presented at as many academic conferences as possible, performed research projects abroad, served on graduate-related administrative committees, and took classes across many Departments at OSU. I have to mention that none of this would have been possible without the mentorship of my graduate advisor, Dr. Mike Day, and the Graduate Assistanceship established between his research program and Select Sires. The research and coursework I completed at OSU, in conjunction with my interactions to ag industry through Select Sires, solidified my desire to want to be an industry scientist.

    Which classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Which was your favorite and why?

    A course I took towards the end of graduate school stands out: Genomics in the Molecular Genetics Department. That course had a strong base of fundamental molecular biology, but also translated very well to real-life examples. I learned a lot about genomics, as well as gene editing techniques, both of which are heavily used in the agricultural and cattle industries today. Within the Animal Sciences Department, the Research Seminars were perfect times to learn about and discuss designing scientific research, critiquing results, and being a critical thinker in general.

    What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?

    I made great, lifelong friends during graduate school at Ohio State. There are too many fun memories to choose only one! Tailgating for football games in Plumb Hall, watching Red, White, and Boom  fireworks on the roofs of office buildings, working in the middle of the night on research projects with lab mates, watching friends get their dream jobs upon graduation. Sure, some of those activities weren’t necessarily ‘sanctioned,’ but we had so much fun!

    What positions have you held since graduating and where have you worked?

    I started working as a Research Associate at Select Sires following graduation. I was fortunate to be promoted to Director of Research last year. Some people are surprised that someone as early in their career as me was offered that position, but I’ve been working hard to prove that I’m up to the task!

    As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?

    Being able to visit other countries to learn about global agriculture and to experience different cultures has been wonderful and eye-opening. Along the same lines, interacting with international visitors to Ohio is always a treat.

    What advice would you give to a current student?

    Be sure that you’re pursuing an education (and subsequent career) that you’re passionate about. If possible, take a few classes in areas outside your major to see if anything else might be a better fit. Also, do [paid] internships during summers or other free time. I repeat that advice to undergraduate students often!

    Anything else you would like to share?

    I have to thank my family and mentors for supporting me along the way. When you’re busy pursuing school or working hard early in your career, the support from family, friends, and mentors helps make it all more manageable and enjoyable.


    Dr. Leandro Cruppe

    Dr. Leandro Cruppe is from Jundiai, a city in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He earned his DVM from the Veterinary School at Sau Paulo State University. He earned his MS (2011) and his Ph.D. (2015) in the Department of Animal Sciences; Dr. Michael Day was his advisor. Cruppe is currently in Research, Development, and Marketing for Select Sires Inc. in Brazil.

    Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?

    Exclusively due to Prof. Michael l. Day

    Leandro CruppeDid you start in Animal Sciences? If not, where did you start and why did you make the switch?

    In Brazil, we go straight from high school to the Vet School (5-year program), no need for a bachelor's program.

    How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?

    Several collaborative research projects between OSU and Select Sires helped me find my job. With that research, I got close to several departments at Select Sires and Select Sires found a position that I could take over

    Which classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Which was your favorite and why?

    • Stats with Norman St.Pierre at Animal Sciences
    • Ruminant Nutrition with Steve Loerch and Francis Fluharty (Favorite due to the Professors!!!)
    • Lactation Physiology with Kristy Daniels

    Which professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education and why?

    • Dr. Michael L. Day = changed my life and made me a better person; I'm not quite as good as him, but I'm much better than what I was. He helped to improve me me not only in academia, but I became a better man.
    • Dr. Martin Mussard = helped with 100% of my projects and from him I learned all the techniques related to reproduction physiology. He is a good friend.
    • Greg Fogle = my first friend in the US, he was there always when I needed help and always ready for a beer when needed!
    • Dr. Steve Loerch = made me see the world differently and from him I learned to question more of the available research.

    And a special thanks to all my friends from Dr. Day’s lab: Fernanda Abreu, Lucas Souto, Martin Maquivar, Martin Mussard, Lucas Helser, Matt Utt and Bo Harstine.

    What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?

    Several, I just can’t choose a specific one. But I used to enjoy a lot of my time at Belle Valley Research Station (OARDC) with Wayne Shriver and his crew.

    What positions have you held since graduating and where have you worked?

    I have worked exclusively for Select Sires Inc. in Brazil

    Please share any professional awards or honors you have received over the years since graduating:

    Gamma Sigma Delta; Professional Agricultural Society. Outstanding Graduate Student Achievements in 2010-2011Leandro Cruppe with his family

    As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?

    Being the Reproduction and Genetics Team Leader for the JBS/JBJ Group in Brazil; Brazil has the biggest beef cattle industry in the world.

    What advice would you give to a current student?

    Listen to your Professor – Be his/her friend – Enjoy every moment with your advisor, this attitude will make your life's the easiest pathway to success.

    What impacts did the Department of Animal Sciences have on your personal and professional life?

    All the experiences that the Department of Animal Sciences offered during my stay at OSU made my family proud of me and made me be proud of my family and friends.

    Anything else you would like to share?

    I learned to enjoy and learn from all the good and bad leaders that are presented in our lives. They all have a lot to teach/offer to us. Filter, digest and use it.