AnSci Connection - April 2015

♦ Notes from the Department Head ♦

Dr. Bill DaytonIt's April and students are back from Spring break. The end of the semester is only a few weeks away and students are working hard on classes. This has been a busy time in the Department. Many of our faculty and students 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. In the Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon held during the Midwest Animal Science meetings, the University of Minnesota team placed 1st in the quiz bowl, 2nd in the lab practicum, 3rd in the oral presentation, 6th in the written exam, and were high team overall out of 14 teams. Minnesota Royal, a community-building tradition held on the St. Paul campus since 1916, will be held during the week of April 13.

We are moving forward with our hiring processes. I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Kota Minegishi has accepted the Assistant Professor, Dairy Decision Analytics position in our department and will start his job at the University of Minnesota in August. We are also in the process of interviewing candidates for an Assistant Professor position in the functional genomics area, and we have begun recruiting applicants for an Assistant Professor in beef reproduction/nutrition that will be located at the North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids.

Our strategic planning process is moving forward. On March 20, we held a day-long retreat under the guidance of a professional facilitator to identify goals. The next steps will be to utilize information from the retreat to formulate a strategic plan to guide our department for the next 3-5 years.

The Gopher Dairy Club held its annual banquet a few weeks ago. It was very well attended and was a great success. The University also recently hosted the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association annual awards banquet which honors new and previous inductees into the Hall of Fame. I am pleased to announce that this year one of our faculty members, Dr. Les Hansen, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations Les!

We hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying our pleasant (so far) Spring weather. Hopefully we will get some rain this Spring to replenish our soil moisture. All of us here in the Department of Animal Science thank you for you continued support.


Dr. William R. Dayton
Department Head

♦ Faculty Highlights ♦

Faculty Highlights is expected to return next month.

♦ News & Announcements ♦

Congratulations to Trudeau and Wu

At the Midwest Animal Science Meetings in Des Moines, IA in March, Michaela Trudeau placed 2nd in the Undergraduate Student Oral Competition and Fangzhou Wu placed 3rd in the Graduate M.S. Oral Competition. Drs. Jerry Shurson and Pedro Urriola serve as co-advisors to Michaela and Fangzhou.

Congratulations to Michaela and Fangzhou for their hard work and achievements!

U of M AQ Team is High Team at Regional Contest

The University of Minnesota Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon Team competed March 15 and 16 in the regional Academic Quadrathlon (AQ) contest held in conjunction with the Midwest ADSA/ASAS meeting in Des Moines, IA. Team members were Sarah Marketon, Sara Roerick, Troy King, and Trevor Otte. The Animal Science AQ consists of four components conducted over two days: quiz bowl, lab practicum, written exam and oral presentation.

The University of Minnesota team placed 1st in the quiz bowl, 2nd in the lab practicum, 3rd in the oral presentation, 6th in the written exam, and were high team overall out of 14 teams. After competing in the regional AQ, team members attended educational sessions of the Midwest ADSA/ASAS meetings. The team will be representing the Midwest Region at the National AQ contest being held this summer in Orlando, FL.

The team was recognized during the Midwest Opening Reception. Dr. Tony Seykora serves as the team's advisor.

Academic Quadrathlon Team

AQ Team (L-R): Troy King, Sarah Marketon, Sara Roerick, and Trevor Otte.

Animal Science Scholarships Awarded

Fifteen upcoming Animal Science juniors and seniors were awarded $1000 Animal Science Departmental scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year. The scholarships were awarded based on scholastic achievement, leadership, and participation in departmental activities. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of private donors (noted below followed by scholarship recipients). Congratulations to all!

  • Dr. M. E. Ensminger Scholarship – Tatum Odland, Michaela Olson
  • Dr. Wilson G. Pond Scholarship – Troy King
  • Dr. Robert Touchberry Scholarship – Mary Liebenstein, Sarah Marketon
  • Leonard Wulf Scholarship – Thomas Duff, Matthew Hanson, Wyatt Smith
  • Dr. Robert M. Jordan Scholarship – Allison VanDerWal
  • Dr. Richard Goodrich Scholarship – Adam Munsterteiger
  • Dr. Don Otterby Scholarship – Eric Houdek, Lisa Janak, Johanna Knorr, Bret Otte, Katie Schmitt

Gopher Dairy Club Hosts Annual Recognition Banquet

The Gopher Dairy Club hosted its annual recognition banquet on Sunday, February 22, at the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis. More than 200 club members, parents and other family members, alumni, dairy industry leaders, and dairy media representatives attended the banquet.

The Gopher Graduate Award recognizes a University of Minnesota graduate who has made major contributions to the dairy industry, and the 2015 recipient was Dave Lawstuen, Dairy Instructor, Northeast Iowa Community College at Calmar. Lawstuen was also a founding member of the Gopher Dairy Club when it was formed in 1982. His citation was presented by Pam Hendel, Regional Marketing Manager for Accelerated Genetics.

Alicia Thurk, a dairy producer from Villard, MN, received the club's Distinguished Service Award. Thurk has served as one of the coaches for the University of Minnesota's highly successful dairy cattle judging teams for the past 10 years. Her citation was presented by the club's Officer-at-Large Andrew Hetke, Ladysmith, WI.

The featured speaker was Bob Hagenow, Sales Manager of Vita Plus Corporation based at Madison, WI. The 12 recipients of National Dairy Shrine scholarships and the dairy cattle judging team members were recognized by the club's adviser, Dr. Les Hansen. Minnesota's two nominees for the Student Recognition Program of National Dairy Shrine were announced as Nick Reps, Utica, and Michael Schmitt, Rice. The dairy management challenge team was introduced by Dr. Marcia Endres. Also, numerous scholarship recipients were announced by Dr. Tony Seykora, including Mary Liebenstein, Dundas, as the R.W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science.

Laura Jensen, Comstock, WI, received the Douglas Siem Memorial Award of $2,000, which is presented annually to the highest-ranking applicant for the club's new student (freshman and transfer) cash awards. Last year's recipient of the Siem Award, Ethan Dado, Amery, WI, provided the oral citation reviewing Jensen's accomplishments. Six other new students for 2014-15 received cash awards of $1,500.

The Outstanding Rookie Award (student in the sophomore year) was presented to Crystal Siemers-Peterman, Cleveland, WI, and Cassie Olson, Black River Falls, WI, received the Outstanding Senior Award. The banquet concluded with a slide-show highlighting the club's annual senior trip to California. All expenses were covered and spending money was provided to the 28 seniors who traveled to California from January 2 to 12.

Dave Lawstuen, 2015 Golden Graduate Award
Golden Graduate Award recipient Dave Lawstuen, Dairy Instructor, Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar, and his wife Debbie.

Alcia Thurk, 2015 Distinguished Service Award
Distinguished Service Award recipient Alicia Thurk, dairy producer from Villard, MN, with club Officer-at-Large Andrew Hetke.

NDS Student Recognition Program award winners Nick Reps & Michael Schmitt 
The two nominees for the Student Recognition Program (seniors) of National Dairy Shrine were Nick Reps (left) and Michael Schmitt (right). Awards were presented to the two nominees by Judd Hanson, Genex Cooperative.

Laura Johnson, 2015 Douglas Siem Memorial Award recipient 
Ethan Dado, the 2014 recipient of the Douglas Siem Memorial Award presented the 2015 award of $2,000 to Laura Jensen.

 Mary Liebenstein, R.W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science
Mary Liebenstein was the R. W. Touchberry Outstanding Junior in Animal Science.

Outstanding Rookie, Crystal Siemers; Outstanding Senior, Cassie Olson
Outstanding Rookie was Crystal Siemers (left) and Outstanding Senior was Cassie Olson (right).

Gopher Dairy Club Elects New Officer Team

The new officers that comprise the executive team for the Gopher Dairy Club were elected at the club's monthly meeting on February 19. All are in their junior year and will be seniors in the upcoming academic year. They are:

  • President – Mary Liebenstein, Dundas, MN
  • Vice President – Nathan Donnay, Glencoe, MN
  • Treasurer – Eric Houdek, Caledonia, MN
  • Secretary – Rachael Rostad, Wanamingo, MN
  • Reporter – Christine Reitsma, Sauk Centre, MN
  • Officer-at-Large – Dane Thompson, Turtle Lake, WI

Dr. Les Hansen continues as the adviser for the Gopher Dairy Club. Congratulations to the new officer team for 2015-16!

Executive Officers of the Gopher Dairy Club
Gopher Dairy Club Executive Team: Back row (L-R) Nathan Donnay, Eric Houdek, Dane Thompson; front row (L-R) Christine Reitsma, Mary Liebenstein, Rachael Rostad.

Rugg to Speak at Animal Science/Block & Bridle Club Banquet

Brad Rugg, U of M Extension Program Leader for the Center for Youth Development, is this year's featured speaker at the Animal Science Department and Block & Bridle Club annual recognition banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Also, the Animal Science Department will be recognizing achievements within the department including Outstanding Graduate Student awards, ASAS Scholarship award winners, the General Livestock Judging Team, and the Animal Science Academic Quadrathon Team. Block & Bridle recognitions will include Outstanding Service and Faculty awards as well as the Outstanding Rookie and Senior awards.

The banquet will be held in the Northstar Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center, on U of M St. Paul Campus. A social with cash bar will open at 5:00 p.m. followed by the banquet at 5:30 p.m.

Conveniently, the banquet is on the same day as the Minnesota Royal Showmanship Contest at the Livestock Pavilion on campus. The Showmanship Contest will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the afternoon.

Department of Animal Science faculty, staff, and graduate students should RSVP to Kim Reno (624-3491 or by Monday, April 13. Faculty, staff, and graduate students along with their significant others may attend the banquet at no charge thanks to a generous sponsorship donation from Cargill. Additional tickets may be purchased at $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Minnesota Royal Includes Alumni BBQ

In 1916, a tradition began on the St. Paul Campus; 99 years later the tradition continues as we prepare for the 2015 community-building, campus-wide event known as Minnesota Royal. Minnesota Royal is a week full of events that unite students, faculty, community members, and alumni in celebration of fun and agriculture at the University of Minnesota.

Minnesota Royal events include Skits, Scavenger Hunt, Knowledge Bowl Contest, Royal Run, Milk Maid, an evening with the Johnny Holmes Band, and the Animal Showmanship Contest. In addition, alumni are invited to the Alumni BBQ on Saturday, April 18, 12:00-2:00 p.m. Catch up with former colleagues, re-live memories, and watch and meet some of the current Minnesota Royal participants in the Animal Showmanship Contest while enjoying a free BBQ meal.

For more information, please contact one of the Minnesota Royal Alumni Relations Chairs, Olivia Drehmel ( or Philip Horsager (

Follow Minnesota Royal on Facebook.

Block & Bridle Pig Sale is April 19

Block & Bridle Pig Sale logoThe 9th Annual University of Minnesota Block & Bridle Club Pig Sale will be held on April 19, 2015, in the Livestock Arena at 1888 Carter Avenue, U of M St. Paul Campus. The club will be selling 50 to 60 head which includes Yorkshire, Durocs, and crosses. Barrows and gilts were born between January 30 and March 8, 2015. All pigs will be provided by the University of Minnesota Swine Teaching facility, and sired by top A.I. sires including Top Shot, Reachin' High, Monument Circle, Takin' Names, and Mojo.

Viewing starts at 11:00 a.m., the White Board Auction will be at 1:00 pm., the sale concludes at 2:00 p.m. (door prizes will be announced), and load out begins at 2:30 p.m. A lunch of hotdogs, beans, chips and beverage will be available for $3.00 per person.

For more information, please contact Adam Munsterteiger (320-310-5752 or or Kyle Rozeboom (651-895-6651 or

Learn About the Agriculture Industry at Ag Awareness Day

What role does agriculture play in your life? Learn more about the various aspects of the agriculture industry and where food, fiber, clothing and fuel comes from at the 6th Annual Ag Awareness Day on April 21, 2015 (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.). The event will be held on Northrop Auditorium Plaza, U of M East Bank Campus.

Ag Awareness Day features interactive booths, live farm animals, Minnesota agricultural industry exhibits and educational displays as well as activities for children. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with industry representatives and Ag Education Club members.

Ag Awareness is supported by a grant from the CHS Foundation. Katie Schmitt (Animal Science major) and Greta Thormodson (Ag Industries & Marketing major) serve as co-chairs for the event committee.

Follow Ag Awareness on Facebook

Gopher Dairy Camp Registration is Open

Gopher Dairy Camp graphicGopher Dairy Camp is a fun and unique 3-day workshop for teens (grades 6 through 11) who have a desire to improve their dairy cattle skills including calf selection, showring preparation, and showmanship. Camp activities include dairy fitting and showmanship workshops, dairy showmanship contest, the Gopher Gold auction, dairy foods workshop, and an awards banquet. Throughout the camp, a number of social mixers are offered including the opportunity to see the Minnesota Twins take on the Kansas City Royals at Target Field and a tour of TCF Bank Stadium, home of Golden Gopher football!

The 2015 camp will be held June 7-9 on the U of M St. Paul Campus. Registration is currently open. Registration forms are due May 22, 2015. The fee is $60 per camper and limited to the first 100 registrants –  register early!

The camp is hosted by the Gopher Dairy Club in cooperation with the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Project Committee. For more information, see the Gopher Dairy Camp brochure or visit the camp website at

Questions? Contact Rachael Rostad at 507-421-4680 or

Precision Technologies & Equipment is Focus of Upcoming Dairy Conference & Expo

Precision Dairy 2015 is the place to see first-hand what companies have to offer in the field of precision technologies and equipment. This exciting conference and expo will be held at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN, on June 24 and 25, 2015.

The conference will feature Producer Showcases, Industry Updates, and a Trade Show as well as three plenary sessions. On the morning of Day 1, the plenary session will be presented by Dr. Henk Hogeveen from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. The afternoon plenary session will be presented by Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, University of Kentucky. Dr. Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota, will present the plenary session on the morning of Day 2.

Registration fees are $50 for Producers and University of Extension Personnel and Students, and $150 for Industry. Registration includes admittance to the Trade Show, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and a reception with cash bar. Please register to attend online at

Thank you to the Platinum Sponsors of Precision Dairy 2015: Afimilk, AgStar, AMS Galaxy USA, DeLaval, Lely, and Platinum Media Sponsor, Dairy Herd Management.

Precision Dairy 2015 is organized by the University of Minnesota and University of Kentucky. Visit the Precision Dairy 2015 website for more information or contact Marcia Endres ( or Jeffrey Bewley (

A Toast to Every Season

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is holding their annual celebration in McNamara Alumni Center on April 17, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. "A Toast to Every Season" is a night of toasts, good cheer and gourmet hors d'oeuvres to celebrate the changing climate that alumni create in our community. This year's program will feature hazardous weather expert and alumnus Kenny Blumenfeld. The event is a way to celebrate the end of the academic year, to say "thank you" to volunteers, staff, faculty, alumni or friends who have done outstanding work in the past year, and to cultivate new relationships.

Tickets for the event are $65 for Alumni Association Members, $70 for Non-members, or $650 for a table of 10.

Anyone in CFANS who is interested in purchasing tickets as part of the CFANS group, please complete this form and include the number of tickets you would like and the EFS account that should be billed and the order will be submitted for you. NOTE: There will be no tickets issued for this event – just the names of the guests are needed for the guest list. Any questions should be directed to Holly Klinger at 612-624-0822 or

Volunteers Needed for CFANS Commencement 2015

CFANS commencement will be held this year on Friday, May 15, at 7:00 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium. Volunteers  are needed for a variety of commencement activities such as student registration and lineup, faculty lineup, taking photos, etc. Serving as a commencement volunteer is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with CFANS students. Volunteers will need to arrive by 5:30 p.m. 

CFANS is using VolunteerSpot (the leading online signup and reminder tool) to organize commencement volunteers. Follow these three easy steps to sign up:

  1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot.
  2. Enter your email address (no need to register an account on VolunteerSpot).
  3. Sign up and choose your spot - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to enter your email address on VolunteerSpot, please contact Michelle Overtoom at; she can sign you up manually.

Undergrads: Take the SERU Survey Today!

Every spring, the University of Minnesota asks all undergraduates to take the comprehensive Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey. This survey is the primary tool for the University of Minnesota and colleges to collect feedback from students about their experiences with faculty, classes, programs, departments, services, campus climate, etc., and a key way for University of Minnesota students to have a voice.

The University of Minnesota needs as many students as possible to take the SERU so the data can be analyzed and results applied to the development of policies and programs, including CFANS programs. CFANS Associate Dean Mike White would like to start using SERU data in the Annual Progress Reports that every CFANS major is required to submit to the Vice Provost's office each year. For that to be feasible, CFANS student participation needs to increase.

Learn more and take the SERU here. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the survey. Answers are anonymous. Students can start, save, and finish later if preferred. The SERU survey opened March 23rd and closes in early to mid June. All CFANS students who take the SERU by May 1st will receive a certificate for a free ice cream cone from the St. Paul Student Center. This is CFANS-produced ice cream!

♦ Graduate Student Profile ♦

Michelle Schultz

Michelle SchultzMichelle Schultz is pursuing a Master's Degree in Animal Science under the direction of Drs. Marcia Hathaway and Krishona Martinson. Michelle is focusing on two separate areas of study in relation to equine nutrition. She is preparing to finish the second half of a warm season grass study this coming summer. This study focuses on horse preference, nutritive value, and yield of various warm season grasses used for horse grazing. Under Dr. Marcia Hathaway, Michelle is researching the dietary amino acid requirements in horses using cell culture.

Michelle grew up in Minnesota and began competing in horse shows at the age of 16. After graduating high school, she traveled with her horse to Columbia, Missouri, where she attended Stephens College to pursue a degree in Equestrian Business Management with a Biology Minor. While in Missouri, Michelle competed with the Stephens College Equestrian Center and earned a Pinto Congress Championship in Amateur Western Pleasure. After graduation, Michelle took some time off to work as a wrangler at The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch in Shell, Wyoming, and transitioned to an assistant horse trainer at a reining barn before she began pursuing her Master's Degree.

Outside of school, Michelle enjoys horseback riding, running, hiking, swimming, relaxing at her cabin and playing with her animals. She also loves the outdoors and will spend as much time outside as possible when the Minnesota weather allows it.

♦ Congratulations ♦

Dayane da Silva and husband Airton Serra are happy to announce the birth of their baby girl. Lívia Labao Serra was born on February 15, 2015. She was 19 inches and 8.4 pounds at birth. See photo.

♦ Calendar of Events ♦

- April -

1 - Certification Classes: PQA Plus (9:00 a.m.-Noon) / TQA Training (1:00-4:00 p.m.), Rice Lions Bldg, Rice, MN. Classes are free but pre-registration is requested; email or call 1-800-537-7675.

1 - SowBridge "PEDv: What is New and What Have We Learned" - Bob Morrison, U of M. Look for more information on the U of M Swine Extension website: Contact: Sarah Schieck, 320-589-1711 or

2 - PorkBridge "Controlling Pests - Insects & Rodents" - Roger Moon, U of M; John Beller, Beller Biosecurity Strategies, Inc. Look for more information on the U of M Swine Extension website: Contact: Sarah Schieck, 320-589-1711 or

6 - Dairy Producer Series: Emergency/Disaster Preparedness at the Dairy, State Bank of New Prague, New Prague, MN.

9 - Dairy Producer Series: Dairy by the Numbers, McLeod County Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, MN.

13-18 - 99th Minnesota Royal, U of M St. Paul Campus. Minnesota Royal on Facebook.

17 - U of M Alumni Association Annual Celebration: A Toast to Every Season, McNamara Alumni Center (5:30 p.m.).

18 - Alumni BBQ (12:00-2:00 p.m.) in conjuction with Minnesota Royal, Northstar Ballroom, Student Center, U of M St. Paul Campus. Contacts: Olivia Drehmel (; Philip Horsager (

18 - Animal Science/Block & Bridle Banquet (5:00 p.m.), Northstar Ballroom, Student Center, U of M St. Paul Campus. RSVP to Kim Reno (624-3491 or

19 - 9th Annual U of M Block & Bridle Club Pig Sale (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.), 1888 Carter Avenue, U of M St. Paul Campus. Contacts: Adam Munsterteiger (320-310-5752 or; Kyle Rozeboom (651-895-6651 or

21 - Ag Awareness Day (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.), Northrop Auditorium Plaza, U of M East Bank Campus. Ag Awareness on Facebook.

22 - Certification Classes: PQA Plus (9:00 a.m.-Noon) / TQA Training (1:00-4:00 p.m.), Nobles County Government Center, Farmers Room, Worthington, MN. Classes are free but pre-registration is requested; email or call 1-800-537-7675.

22 - Borealis Night of Excellence. Contact: Holly Klinger, 612-624-0822 or

- May -

6 - SowBridge "Five Things You Wanted to Know About Pen Gestation but Were Afraid to Ask" - Tom Parsons, U of PA. Look for more information on the U of M Swine Extension website: Contact: Sarah Schieck, 320-589-1711 or

6-8 - Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites PSO Airport -Mall of America, Bloomington, MN.

15 - CFANS Commencement (7:00 p.m.), Northrop Auditorium.

20 - Certification Classes: PQA Plus (9:00 a.m.-Noon) / TQA Training (1:00-4:00 p.m.), McLeod County Fairgrounds, Commercial Bldg, Hutchinson, MN. Classes are free but pre-registration is requested; email or call 1-800-537-7675.

- June -

4 - PorkBridge "Effective Procedures for Cleaning Up After PED, PRRS, etc." - Rebecca Robbins, Seaboard Foods Corp. Look for more information on the U of M Swine Extension website: Contact: Sarah Schieck, 320-589-1711 or

4 - Six Presidents, Four Decades of Leadership, One University (1:30-3:30 p.m.), Northrop Auditorium. RSVP here by April 24 .

10 - SowBridge "Temperature Management for Sows and Piglets" - Jay Harmon, ISU. Look for more information on the U of M Swine Extension website: Contact: Sarah Schieck, 320-589-1711 or

10 - Certification Classes: PQA Plus (9:00 a.m.-Noon) / TQA Training (1:00-4:00 p.m.), Minnesota Pork Board Office, Mankato, MN. Classes are free but pre-registration is requested; email or call 1-800-537-7675.

17-19 - Midwest Farm Energy Conference, West Central ROC, Morris, MN. Contact: Michael Reese, 320-589-1711 or

24 - Certification Class: PQA Plus (6:00 p.m.), Saint Olaf College, Valhalla Room, Northfield, MN. Class is free but pre-registration is requested; email or call 1-800-537-7675.

24-25 - Precision Dairy Conference & Expo, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN.

- July -

12-16 - ADSA/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL.