AnSci Connection - April 2017

Notes from the Department Head

Welcome to the April issue of AnSci Connection. Students are back from Spring break and the end of the semester is only a few weeks away. They are working hard on successfully completing classes as well as being involved in activities here on campus.

It has been a busy time in the department. The 101st Minnesota Royal Showmanship Contest took place during the week of April 17th and the Block and Bridle Club held its annual banquet on the last day of MN Royal (April 22). Many of our faculty and students recently attended the Midwest Animal Science meetings and/or the Midwest Poultry Federation convention where they presented their research, competed in academic competitions, and networked with other students, faculty and professionals. The Animal Science Department also recently hosted the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association annual meeting which honors new inductees in the Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame located in Haecker Hall. This event provides a great opportunity to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to animal agriculture.

The first annual Animal Science Showcase was a success attracting over 100 attendees. The event provided an opportunity for stakeholders, alumni and industry representatives to interact with faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students and to learn about research and teaching activities in the department. The program closed with the presentation of the first annual Golden Alumni Award to Dr. Merlin Lindemann (B.S. ’77 and PhD. ’81), a nationally and internationally recognized swine nutrition researcher, in recognition of his extraordinary professional accomplishments and contributions to animal agriculture.

We are proceeding with our process to hire a tenure-track Assistant Professor with research and teaching responsibilities involving the microbiome of food animals. Interviews are completed and a decision on who will occupy this important new faculty position will be made soon.

We hope you are having a good spring and we thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Department of Animal Science.


Dr. William R. Dayton

Department Head

Teaching, Research, and Extension Highlights

Animal Biotechnology (ANSC 3509) is a course for undergraduates seeking a broad understanding of animal biotechnology in a single semester. Read on to learn more about the 'Scarlet Macaw Protection Program' and it's connection to ANSC 3509.

Learn more about Dr. Shurson's recent travels and the work that he has done in Belize, Thailand, and South Korea. 

In mid-March Diane DeWitte joined the UM Extension Livestock team as an Educator specializing in swine, located at the Mankato Regional Extension office. Learn more about Diane and the experience she brings to her new position.

News and Announcements

More than 100 faculty, students, and fans of CFANS Animal Science attended the first "Connecting with U—Animal Science Showcase," April 11 in the St. Paul Campus Cargill Building. Click above to learn more about the day's events and highlights from the showcase.


Animal Science graduate student Marta Ferrandis Vila presented her research to the Experimental Biology 2017 held in Chicago, IL, April 22-26, 2017. Learn more about the conference and the research Marta presented on.

The Midwest Poultry Consortium is pleased to award 2017 Center of Excellence (COE) scholarships to University of Minnesota students Elizabeth Theis and Mariah Huberty. Learn more about the scholarships and the student recipients. 

The Nelson Scholarship is named in honor of Pete Nelson, who served the University of Minnesota as the Supervisor of Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science from 2007 to 2013. Click above to learn more about the Nelson Scholarship and graduate student Jordan Juckel.

On Monday, April 24th, 2017, the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science, on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, hosted the FFA State Meats Evaluation CDE. Read on to learn about the day's events. 

The Block and Bridle & Gopher Poultry Science Club Recognition Banquet was held April 22, 2017 in the North Star Ballroom. Click above to learn more about students, faculty, and partners that were recognized at the banquet.

Undergraduate students – 230 in total – from 37 colleges across North America traveled to Visalia, California for the 16th annual Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held March 30 to April 1. Read on to learn more about the Dairy Challenge and how the University of Minnesota's team earned a First Place award.


Congratulations to Dr. Sally Noll for receiving the Honorary State FFA Degree for her valuable contributions to the FFA and agriculture education.

Congratulations to graduate student Divek Nair! Divek just found out he was awarded one of the most prestigious Feeding Tomorrow Graduate Scholarship from the National IFT ($2000). Earlier this month, he also won a Minnesota State Section IFT Graduate Scholarship ($1000) and a Travel Grant to attend national IFT ($500). Divek is advised by Dr. Anup Kollanoor Johny

Congratulations to graduate student Blair Tostenson on passing his final defense! Blair is advised by Dr. Sam Baidoo.

Calendar of Events

May 17, 2017 – UMN Swine Extension- Pork Quality Assurance Plus training, Hutchinson, MN

Pre-register – or 1-800-537-7675

May 17-18, 2017  - 21st Annual Distillers Grains Symposium, Indianapolis, IN

May 30-June 1, 2017 - 32nd ADSA Discover Conference on Food Animal Agriculture: Dairy Replacement Heifers - Transitioning from Weaning through First Lactation, Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Itasca, IL

See full calendar here.