In 2011 the ASAS Foundation held the inaugural Heritage Lunch during the Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Each year the Foundation Heritage Lunch will honor notable Animal Scientists for their achievements. The Heritage Lunch will be held during the Joint Annual Meeting.
Dr. Josie Coverdale (born in Jefferson, IA and raised in Krum, TX) earned degrees from Texas A&M University (B.S., Animal Science; 1998) and Iowa State University (M.S. and Ph.D., Animal Nutrition; 2000 and 2003, respectively). Dr. Coverdale was an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia (2003-2006) and joined Texas A&M University’s Equine Science Section in 2006. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012 and Equine Science Section Leader in 2015. A February 2016 traffic accident led to the premature passing of Dr. Coverdale.
Dr. Coverdale's research focused on fetal programming, promotion of foal health, and the gut microbiome. She also studied nutraceutical modulation of synovial inflammatory molecules associated with arthritis. Dr. Coverdale taught graduate and undergraduate equine science and animal nutrition courses and mentored over 25 graduate students. She presented nutrition information to equine producers in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Coverdale was an outstanding representative of ASAS.
2015 – Elwyn Miller and Duane Ullrey
Dr. Elwyn Miller was born in 1923 in Edon, Ohio and was raised on a general livestock and crop farm. After receiving his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, Dr. Miller joined the faculty in 1956. In the early 1950’s, Dr. Miller’s research on vitamin and mineral requirements of swine made a dramatic impact on the entire industry. He was regarded both nationally and internationally as the preeminent authority in his field. His scholarly work earned him the Morrison Award, the highest award presented by ASAS. In addition he served as president of the society during the years 1990 and 1991. But Dr. Miller was more than his distinguished career. He was above all a true gentleman. He was fiercely loyal to his industry, his university, his community, his church and his family. Few people are ever loved and respected as much as Dr. Elwyn Miller.
Dr. Duane Ullrey was born in 1928 in Niles, Michigan and is a Michigan State University (B.S., M.S.) and University of Illinois (Ph.D.) alum. He was a faculty member of Oklahoma A & M University and then Michigan State University. Dr. Miller is known in the field of animal nutrition as someone who established new standards of care in the relatively uncharted field of zoo animal nutrition. His scholarly work earned him the Morrison Award, the highest award presented by ASAS. He was also recognized as an ASAS Fellow in 1990. Duane was a mentor, friend and colleague to many—from all walks of life. He made a remarkable contribution to the field of animal nutrition but more importantly he exemplified integrity, thoughtfulness, humor, honesty and perseverance in all his endeavors, both in his personal and professional life.
2014 – Jay L. Lush and Daryl Goll
Jay L. Lush
Jay Laurence Lush (January 3, 1896 – May 22, 1982) was a pioneering animal geneticist who made important contributions to livestock breeding. He is sometimes known as the father of modern scientific animal breeding. Lush received National Medal of Science in 1968 and the Wolf Prize in 1979.
Lush was introduced to mathematics and genetics during his B.Sc. studies of animal husbandry at the Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University). He completed his M.Sc. in 1918 at Kansas State, and his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1922).
Lush advocated breeding not based on subjective appearance of the animal, but on quantitative statistics and genetic information. Lush authored a classic book 'Animal Breeding Plans' in 1937 which greatly influenced animal breeding around the world.
From 1930 to 1966, Lush was the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture at Iowa State University. He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1967.
Lush won the Borden Award for research in dairy production from the American Dairy Science Association and both the Armour Award for animal breeding and genetics and the Morrison Award from the American Society of Animal Science. In 1979, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture.
Darrel Goll earned the reputation of a distinguished researcher in muscle biology and muscle growth. He was internationally known for his diligent, meticulous work on the regulation of the calpain proteinase system in muscle. Darrel’s discoveries in this field were of utmost importance in human health as well as agriculture. His body of work is unique in that he took fundamental observations in biochemistry, cell biology and muscle physiology and applied them to diverse fields, including animal agriculture. As a consequence, Darrel was engaged with many different professional activities as editorial board member, lecturer at NIH workshops, Gordon Conferences, FASEB conferences and frequent contributor to ASAS symposia. He was keenly interested in seeing talented new investigators succeed, and most would agree that Darrel’s primary achievement was the mentoring of many young scientists across the globe. He loved the opportunity to discuss results, debate interpretation and mentor young scientists.
2013 – Gordon Dickerson and Wise Burroughs
Dickerson was an animal breeding and genetics researcher at the University of Nebraska. As a leader in early genetics research, Dickerson studied a range of species. He performed economic evaluations of crossbred beef cattle, wool production studies in sheep and studied weaning traits in swine. His findings on gene frequency remain influential today.
Dickerson was inducted into the USDA ARS Science Hall of Fame in 1990. Dickerson passed away in 2000. In 2013, Dickerson was honored as part of the ASAS Foundation CDGKV Appreciation Club.
Wise Burroughs was born Dec. 19, 1911 and received early education in rural schools in Iowa and Illinois. He grew up on his family's farm and developed an early love for livestock and agriculture. He received an Associate Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture from Blackburn College in 1932 and a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture and a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois in 1934 and 1939, respectively. His professional career was at The Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, 1939 - 1951 and Iowa State University, 1951 - 1982. His most widely acknowledged research contributions were: 1) Anabolic effects of estrogens (Feeding of diethylstilbestrol to cattle), 2) Roughage utilization by ruminants (Development of in vitro culture of rumen microbes and value of low quality roughages as feeds for ruminants) and 3) Protein utilization by ruminants (Development of the metabolizable protein concept). He considered the laboratory method to culture rumen microbes to be his greatest scientific contribution. He felt amply rewarded when his research findings were applied in the livestock industry. Wise Burroughs received the American Feed Manufacturers' Award (1954), John Scott Medal Award (1958), Ford Foundation Agricultural Efficiency Award (1960), Morrison Award, ASAS (1966), Alumni Award of Merit, University of Illinois (1969), Honorary Fellow, ASAS (1976), Iowa Inventor of the Year (1978) and Distinguished Alumni Award, Blackburn College (1981). He served as major professor for 20 Master of Science students and 30 Ph.D. students. He was intrigued and seemed to be challenged by unexpected or inconsistent responses. Those closely associated with him were very much aware of his ability to focus his thoughts on a problem and come to a reasoned conclusion. Wise Burroughs died Dec. 16, 1986.
2012 – Lester E. Casida and Arthur B. Chapman
L.E. Casida and A.B. Chapman
At the 2012 Heritage Lunch we honored the contributions of Dr. Lester E. Casida and Dr. Arthur B. Chapman, two men who were giants in their respective scientific fields of reproductive physiology and animal breeding. Although they came from widely different backgrounds, it must have been fate that they ultimately became colleagues at the University of Wisconsin. Casida from Missouri had aspirations of becoming a high school biology teacher. Chapman from England wanted to become a sheep farmer in New Zealand. Fortunately, both were side-tracked in their original quests. Casida was awarded a scholarship to obtain a MS degree in animal husbandry and subsequently an assistantship to pursue a doctorate under the guidance of Dr. Fred F. McKenzie, who some consider the “father of reproductive physiology of domestic animals in the US.” Enroute to becoming a sheep farmer, Chapman somehow ended up in Pullman, Washington, where a relative convinced him to matriculate at Washington State College and earn a BS degree. After spending a stint as teaching fellow with Dr. Jay L. Lush at Iowa State University, he was recruited by professor L.J. Cole, chair of the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin to work on a PhD. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship, he was hired by the University of Wisconsin at about the same time as Casida was hired by professor Cole.
During their early years in Wisconsin, they developed a close working relationship. Chapman was trained in quantitative genetics and possessed a strong background in statistics. From Chapman, Casida acquired a deep appreciation for experimental design and statistics as applied to research in reproductive physiology. Their collaboration resulted in studies in which functional interrelationships among various within animal traits affected by treatments or environment were depicted by standard partial regression and/or correlation coefficients. This type of data presentation for physiological studies represented a new approach in data reduction.
Both men were excellent mentors of students but with slightly different personalities. Casida was always well read relative to the current scientific literature in reproductive physiology. He expected his students to be the same and to be critical of their research as well as published research. Around Casida a student was well advised to be ready at all times to answer some question he might ask relative to a recent publication. Like himself, he expected his students to be focused and thinkers. Chapman was similar in his expectations of his students but less regimented and a bit more flexible; i.e., it was easier to talk to Chapman about diverse subjects. In joint seminars or journal club meetings involving both groups of students, it was a major mistake for a student to sit back and relax if not presenting. A question could be directed to the student when least expected. Failure to answer correctly or to be caught unaware often brought a scowl or frown from either mentor. Overall, both men were well recognized for their excellence in training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Collectively, they mentored 95 students for the PhD, 82 students for the MS degree, and a number of postdoctoral fellows. Their approaches to science and their methods of mentoring live on now through their trainees and the related generations of students that follow.
2011 – H. Allen Tucker and David H. Baker
H. Allen Tucker (1936-2009)
Dr. Tucker worked for 38 years as a professor in the Departments of Animal Science and Physiology at Michigan State University. Tucker is best known for his research into the hormones responsible for bovine lactation. In fact, his descriptions of variations in hormones during mammary growth, lactation, and different seasons were among the first ever published in the field. Tucker, known as “Tuck,” also worked to understand how temperature and photoperiod could be used to control hormone secretion and rate of growth and lactation in cattle. Today, animal science students worldwide use his textbook Dairy Cattle: Principles, Practices, Problems, Profits.
David H. Baker (1939-2009)
Dr. Baker is well known for his discoveries in both animal and human nutrition. During his decades of research at the University of Illinois, Baker studied amino acid metabolism, animal and human nutrition, and toxicology. He created diet formulas for pigs, mice, rates, chickens, cats, and dogs. Baker published more than 600 peer-reviewed journal articles and held much influence in the industry. For example, when Baker found that cupric oxide, a copper supplement used in many animal and human vitamins, was not absorbed by the body, leading supplement makers switched to copper sulfate instead. Baker worked as a professor for 42 years and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005.