AnSci Connection - September 2018

Notes from the Department Head

As we embark on the new adventure of Fall Semester 2018, it is fitting to recognize the changes that have taken place in the Department of Animal Science over the summer. First, and perhaps most obviously, you will note there is a new author of this column. In June I was handed the reigns to a department with wonderful faculty, staff, and students who are ready to make a difference for agricultural and companion animal stakeholders at the U and beyond. I look forward to joining in that mission. Thanks to Dr. Krishona Martinson for her interim leadership of the Department from January through June. Professor Martinson has returned to her faculty position in equine management and will continue to coordinate livestock efforts in Extension.

A bit about myself…I grew up on a small dairy farm in Meeker County, Minnesota. I earned my BS and MS degrees from this same Department of Animal Sciences which I now have the opportunity and entrusted responsibility to guide. I followed a PhD degree in Animal Genetics at Iowa State with a post-doc at USDA in Beltsville, Maryland, and two years working for Canadian Beef Improvement. I next spent 21 years at Purdue University, primarily as a dairy extension specialist but also with responsibilities in teaching and research. For the past four years I had the occasion to serve as Assistant Director of Extension in Purdue’s College of Agriculture. That certainly broadened my perspective on all of agriculture and afforded me the ability to connect campus and field staff with stakeholders around the state. I look forward to doing the same in Minnesota, and have visited each of the Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers at which faculty from our Department are located or are conducting research. I look forward to meeting more and more of our stakeholders and alumni in the coming months and years. This is an exciting time for Animal Science; precision technologies are advancing all kinds of agriculture, including animal agriculture, and career opportunities for our graduates are abundant.

There have been many other changes in the Animal Science main office over the summer. On July 24, we welcomed Kathy Krum as the new CFANS Finance Manager for Animal Sciences. She replaces the recently retired (August 3) Jackie Lee, who has provided financial services to Animal Science for many years. August 6 was the first day for our new Administrative Director, Brooke Nesbitt, who is coming to us from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she served as a curriculum director. Brooke replaces Dana Souther, who retired in March. On August 10, we bid farewell to Bonnie Rae, who provided clerical support for Animal Science Extension and many others for nearly 35 years, and we are actively working to return to full staffing. I only had the opportunity to work with Jackie and Bonnie briefly, but realized quickly that they were enormously important in the smooth operation of Animal Science. I now look forward to working with and learning with Kathy and Brooke. A special thanks also to Allison Kierth, the editor of this newsletter, who has taken on extra duty through my transition and during all these vacancies and now serves as primary source of institutional memory.

On a solemn note, it is with a heavy heart that I share the news that one of our students, Dylan Fulton, passed away last week. Dylan was an exceptional leader and student in our department. He will be sorely missed by our faculty, staff, and his fellow students. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and brothers in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity as they go through this difficult loss.

As a department we will continue to rely on each other and support each other through this difficult time. If you are a student or UMN employee struggling with this loss, know we have resources on campus to use at your discretion. Please know that my door is always open as well. 

I look forward to the opportunity to meet and learn about many more of you over the coming months. In the meantime, take care and be well.


Dr. Mike M. Schutz
Department Head
Department of Animal Science 

Teaching, Research, and Extension Highlights

Jackie Lee, CFANS Finance Manager

Finance manager Jackie Lee retired from the University in August after 34 years of service. She started in Patient Accounting at the Medical School, then moved to Sponsored Financial Reporting, and later worked in the College of Veterinary Medicine. When she joined Animal Science in 1998, she brought significant knowledge and experience in grants management. In 2000 she became the Collegiate Certified approver, and later added oversight of Food Science and Nutrition and Applied Economics. Over the years Jackie was actively involved in nearly a dozen University-wide committees including the Certified Approver Program Development Committee and the Recalibrating Risk Tolerance Committee.

Jackie has several trips with friends planned for the end of summer and early fall, the first to France.

Executive administrative specialist Bonnie Rae also retired in August. With just under 35 years of service in Animal Science, Bonnie had much knowledge of the department and University. In her early

Bonnie Rae, Executive Administrative Specialist

days, it was not unusual for faculty to provide handwritten articles for her to type for submission to scientific journals. Later, as her responsibilities expanded and as new technology came along, her work evolved to include website maintenance and desktop publishing. Bonnie’s plans in retirement include some traveling and enjoying life at a slower pace.


The department extends its sincere thanks and congratulations to both Bonnie and Jackie, with best wishes as they transition away from work at the University.

Graduate student Michaela (Mickie) Trudeau and assistant professor Dr. Pedro Urriola recently participated in the International Symposium on the Digestive Physiology of Pigs in Brisbane, Australia. This annual conference brings together global leaders in research on how digestive physiology can improve sustainability of pork production or solve health issues in humans using pigs as models. Mickie is working to find ways that antibiotics modify metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract and use these mechanisms to replace or decrease antibiotic use. Pedro is exploring how composition of the gastrointestinal metabolome affects feed intake and growth of pigs.

Pedro and Mickie were joined at the symposium by Talita Resende, a College of Veterinary Medicine graduate student working in collaboration with assistant professor Milena Saqui-Salces to understand how a major disease in pigs—ileitis—affects proliferation and differentiation of cells.

News and Announcements

On September 26, the department will formally recognize the accomplishments of Dr. Sally Noll by naming a conference room in her honor. In the 32 years since Dr. Noll joined the department as its first female faculty member, she has established herself as a highly respected researcher and educator specializing in the area of turkey nutrition and management. Her extension and applied research programs have benefited turkey producers by improving meat yield, and her collaborations with other scientists have led to improvements in turkey health and production systems through studies and extension programs on biosecurity, holding facilities, gut health, and the epidemiology of avian viral diseases. Her contributions have been recognized with numerous accolades from the Minnesota Turkey Growers, National Turkey Federation, Phibro Extension, American Feed Industry Association, and the Poultry Science Association. She was also honored with the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Campus-based Faculty, presented by University of Minnesota Extension

As an educator, Dr. Noll has trained poultry scientists who are employed by universities and industries across the country. She has advised numerous master’s and PhD students at the University of Minnesota and through her participation in the Midwest Poultry Consortium summer session at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also championed undergraduate opportunities in poultry science by serving for many years as faculty advisor of the Gopher Poultry Science Club. Throughout her tenure she has actively recruited and supported students and faculty in the fields of poultry and animal sciences.

Please join us in recognizing Dr. Noll’s contributions and achievements. All are welcome to attend the room dedication at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, September 26 outside of 430 Haecker Hall.

1:00 - 1:30 PM, Dedication Ceremony
1:30 - 2:00 PM, Reception & Light Refreshments

Kathy Krum, CFANS Finance Manager

The department is pleased to welcome Kathy Krum as the new CFANS finance manager with oversight of Animal Science, Food Science and Nutrition, and Applied Economics. Kathy previously worked in the University’s Sponsored Financial Reporting unit and has a strong financial background with a process-improvement and customer-service focus. She is a University alumna, with degrees in German and international relations.


The department also extends a warm welcome to new administrative director Brooke Nesbitt. Brooke previously spent 10 years at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she helped integrate clinical and foundational sciences curriculum and improve the clerkship programs for third and fourth year students. She also oversaw ongoing curriculum operations and budget for the clinical program. Brooke has a master’s degree in health education programming and is doing post-graduate work in adult education. She is a University of Wisconsin alumna and an unapologetic Badgers and Packers fan. 

Annually, the Gopher Dairy Club presents monetary awards on a competitive basis to new students (freshmen and transfer students). Income generated from the Gopher Dairy Bar at the Minnesota State Fair permits this financial support of new students.

The highest ranking individual receives the Douglas Siem Memorial Award of $2,000, and the other recipients receive awards of $1,500. The presentation of the monetary awards will take place at the 35th Annual Recognition Banquet of the Gopher Dairy Club on February 17, 2019, at the Radisson Roseville. Recipients are listed below with their hometowns and parent names.

$2,000 Douglas Siem Memorial Award

Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville, IA (Tom & Sara Kruse)

$1,500 Awards

Leif Annexstad, St. Peter, MN (Rolf & Jean Behrends Annexstad)

Matthias Annexstad, St. Peter, MN (Rolf & Jean Behrends Annexstad)

Ashley Hagenow, Poynette, WI (Bob & Lisa Hagenow)

Ellen Harth, Hinckely, MN (Harold Harth)

Carter Herbst, Foreston, MN (Lowell & Michele Herbst)

Isabelle Lindahl, Lindstrom, MN (Kevin & Tara Lindahl)

Isaac Nelson, Sleepy Eye, MN (Brian & Jill Marti Nelson)

Bailey Ruen, Lanesboro, MN (Eric & Kristi Brown Ruen)

Nick Seitzer, St. Peter, MN (Peter & Ann Seitzer)

Zach Uter, Howard Lake, MN (Steve Uter)

Kjersten Veiseth, Zumbrota, MN (Michel & Casandra Veiseth)

Once again in 2018, Gopher Dairy Club members will be presented with the largest number of scholarships awarded by National Dairy Shrine across all land-grant universities. U of M students have been awarded 14 of the 40 scholarships (35% of the scholarships) totaling $20,500 (44% of the funds). The scholarships will be presented to students at the annual recognition banquet of National Dairy Shrine, October 4, during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

Following the 14 scholarships of the University of Minnesota were Michigan State and South Dakota State University (each with 4 recipients), and UW-Madison (with 3 recipients). No other university had more than 2 recipients.

Kildee Graduate Study (1 awarded)
Gabriella Sorg, Hastings, MN (1st -- $3,000)

Kildee Undergraduate Study (1 awarded)
Trent Dado, Amery, WI (1st -- $1,000)

Senior Recognition (8 awarded)
Gabriella Sorg, Hastings, MN (1st -- $2,000)
Laura Jensen, Comstock, WI (2nd -- $1,500)

Junior Merit (6 awarded)
Haely Leiding, Fountain, MN (1st -- $1,500)
Kayla Leiding, Fountain, MN ($1,000)

Sophomore Merit (4 awarded)
Emily Annexstad, St. Peter, MN (1st -- $1,500)

Freshmen Merit (5 awarded)
Maddie Zutz, Valders, WI ($1,000)

McCullough Incoming Freshman (2 awarded)
Ashley Hagenow, Poynette, WI (1st -- $2,000)

Iager 2-year College (2 awarded)
Kaleb Kruse, Dyersville, IA ($1,000) -- transfer to the U of M

DMI Education & Communication (6 awarded)
Emily Annexstad, St. Peter, MN (1st -- $1,500)
Haely Leiding, Fountain, MN ($1,000)

DMI Milk Marketing & Dairy Products (5 of awarded)
Morgan Krause, Buffalo, MN (1st -- $1,500)
Brooke Roberts, Whitelaw, WI ($1,000)

In addition, National Dairy Shrine administers a scholarship program for the Klussendorf Association that recognizes collegiate students for their show-ring accomplishments. A member of the Gopher Dairy Club received one of the 7 scholarships from this program.

Klussendorf/McKown (7 awarded)
Tanner Morrison, Peterson, MN ($1,500)

This additional scholarship brings the total monetary awards to $22,000 awarded to members of the Gopher Dairy Club in 2018 by National Dairy Shrine.

Apply for to be a mentor for the CFANS Mentor Program! Your career insights will open a world of possibilities for a student studying food, agriculture or natural resources at the University of Minnesota!

As a mentor you will:

  • Be invited to an engaging kick-off event to meet your mentee
  • Connect with your mentee during monthly meetings
  • If possible, host your mentee at your workplace for a half-day of insights

Learn more and apply at Applications are due September 24th.


Graduate Student Spotlights

Claire Peichel is originally from River Falls, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Minnesota where she earned a degree in Food Science. During her undergraduate program, she started research in Dr. Anup Kollanoor Johny's lab where she became interested in microbiology. She switched from Food Science to Animal Science to continue in Dr. Johny's lab for her master's degree. Claire expects to graduate in Spring 2019, and is currently working on using essential oils as alternatives to antibiotics in poultry products.


Congratulations to Georgina Cousillas (Ph.D) for passing her final defense. Georgina was advised by Dr. Brian Crooker. 

Congratulations to Michelle DeBoer (Ph.D) for passing her final defense. Michelle was advised by Dr. Marcia Hathaway and Dr. Krishona Martinson.

Congratulations to Brittany Shonka-Martin (Ph.D) for passing her final defense. Brittany was advised by Dr. Les Hansen and Dr. Brad Heins.

Congratulations to Amanda Palowski (M.S.) for passing her final defense. Amanda was advised by Dr. Chris Faulk and Dr. Jerry Shurson.

Congratulations to Audrey Walter (M.S.) for passing her final defense. Audrey was advised by Dr. Jerry Shurson and Dr. Pedro Urriola.

Congratulations to Edward Yang (M.S.) for passing his final defense. Edward was advised by Dr. Jerry Shurson and Dr. Pedro Urriola.

Calendar of Events

Sept 19 & 20 – Minnesota Nutrition Conference, Mankato, MN 

Sept 26 – Sally L. Noll Conference Room Dedication Ceremony, St. Paul, MN 

Sept 26 – Ag, Food, and Business Career Fair, St. Paul, MN 

Oct 4 – Homecoming 2018 Corn Roast, St. Paul, MN 

Oct 5 – Homecoming Parade - Join the CFANS Parade Unit, Minneapolis, MN