20 Influential Farm Animal Veterinary Professors

Farm animal veterinarians are the doctors who keep flocks and herds safe from disease so that they can become healthy food sources. Whether they are checking pigs for intestinal issues, monitoring a cow’s hoof infection, or ensuring that an in-vitro sheep is getting all the nutrients it needs to be born healthy, these doctors are protecting the future of our food supply. 

These 20 professors are highly influential in the world of farm and food animal care and growth. As they develop new and improved ways to monitor disease, support healthy growth, and increase the birth rates of producing herds and flocks, they help to guarantee a strong, safe food supply for decades to come. 

Dwight F. Wolfe

Dwight F. Wolfe

Auburn University

Dr. Wolfe is a professor of Food Animal Science at Auburn. His focus is on Theriogenology in beef cattle herds, and he has co-authored over 25 book chapters and textbooks on large animal urogenital surgery. In addition to his teaching and publications, Dr. Wolfe is the Past President of the Society of Theriogenologists. He was also named the Alabama Veterinarian of the Year in 2004. 

Curtis R. Youngs

Curtis R. Youngs

Iowa State University

Dr. Youngs is a leader in the ruminant veterinary community, with a focus on sheep science and embryo transfer technologies. He is highly decorated for his work with students, having earned awards like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences for the north central region (2014), the Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Society of Animal Science (2014), the Mission Award for International Agriculture from the national agricultural honor society Gamma Sigma Delta (2013), and the Central Region Outstanding Teaching Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) in 2012. In May 2012 he was appointed by the state governor to serve on the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine.

James R. Russell

James R. Russell

Iowa State University

Dr. Russell teaches courses like Livestock and the Environment and Integrated Crop and Livestock Systems at Iowa State. His research into foraging utilization methods have resulted in numerous awards. These include the 1998 Forage Industry Merit Award from the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council (1998), the 2000 Merit Award from the American Forage and Grassland Council (2000), and the Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Award from the ASAS (2003). His work has been published in Range Management, the Journal of Dairy Science, and Rangeland Ecology and Management.

Dan Thomson

Dan Thomson

Kansas State University

Dr. Thomson is a distinguished professor of epidemiology and reproduction as well as the Director of the Beef Cattle Institute at K-State. In his time there, he has been granted over $34 million in research funds (with $14.7 million of those funds going to him as the primary investigator), published over 69 papers, and delivered over 520 internationally lectures on all aspects of beef cattle production. He has been featured on major news outlets like CBS Evening News, and hosts a national veterinary talk show, "Doc Talk."  In 2015, he was recognized as the National Beef Quality Assurance Educator of the Year.

Kelli H. Jones

Kelli H. Jones

Mississippi State University

Dr. Jones teaches Pathobiology and Poultry topics at Mississippi State University. Not only does she work with clinical trials to support the commercial poultry industry, she is invested in helping hobbyists and those involved in game bird husbandry. In 2012, her work with speaking about poultry research and mentoring poultry veterinary students earned her the 2012 Young Veterinarian of the Year Award. 

Daral J. Jackwood

Daral J. Jackwood

Ohio State University

Dr. Jackwood is a professor of Veterinary Preventative Medicine and Food Animal Research at OSU. His specialty is poultry research, specifically in managing contagion within food flocks. His research has put him on the national stage, earning him the P.P. Levine Award from the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) for both 2012 and 2013, the first time in the society's history that a member won the award twice. 

Linda Saif

Linda Saif

Ohio State University

Dr. Saif is a distinguished professor of Farm Animal laboratory science at Ohio State University. Her research focuses on protecting farm animals from viral diseases that might also impact human health. This work launched her into the spotlight, garnering her the 2015 Wolf Prize in Agriculture - the first woman to ever receive this award. Dr. Saif is also a Member Editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 

F. Bailey Norwood

F. Bailey Norwood

Oklahoma State University

Dr. Norwood studies consumer preferences for food in addition to farm animal welfare at Oklahoma State University. Although he has won several teaching awards, including the Merrick Foundation Teaching Award (2007) the AAEA Distinguished Teaching Award (2008), and the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit (2005), he is most known for his many publications. He earned the E.B. Knight Journal Award from NACTA in 2011 and the Outstanding Journal Article from the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics  (JARE) in 2005. 

Robert G. Elkin

Robert G. Elkin

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Elkin teaches Animal Nutrition in addition to serving as the Graduate Coordinator of the Animal Science Program and the Poultry and Avian Science Minor. His extensive publications on the subject of poultry nutrition have earned him a place on the Editorial Board for Animal Feed Science and Technology and as the Associate Editor of Poultry Science. He is served on the Board of Directors of the World's Poultry Science Association (2002-2006).

Robert J. Van Saun

Robert J. Van Saun

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Van Saun specializes in nutrition in small ruminant animals and cattle, primarily in regards to pre-natal fodder. His work with these groups earned him the prestigious Lifetime Member for Outstanding Service from the American Association of Veterinary Nutrition (2013), and the Zoetis Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (2013). He is also well-known for his hands-on teaching style, and has won teaching awards from Penn State and Oregon State Universities. 

Michael Galyean

Michael Galyean

Texas Tech University

Dr. Galyean is a distinguished professor and Chair for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech. His primary focus is on beef cattle nutrition and management, in addition to teaching animal nutrition and research topics. His early work in these areas earned him several awards from the ASAS, including the Young Scientist Award (1998), the American Feed Industry Ruminant Nutrition Research Award (1999), and the Animal Management Award (2006). In addition, he has published over 220 papers and served as the Past President of the ASAS (2007-2008) and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Animal Science (2002-2005). 

Charles V. Maxwell

Charles V. Maxwell

University of Arkansas

Dr. Maxwell's specialty is nutrition and management of newborn piglets. His research has been featured in journals like the Journal of Animal Science, the Journal of Muscle Foods, and the Journal of Meat Science. He is very active with the ASAS, and won both the Animal Management Award (2007) and Fellow Award (2010) for the organization. In 2007, he was also inducted into the Oklahoma Pork Hall of Fame.

Munashe Chigerwe

Munashe Chigerwe

University of California - Davis

Dr. Chigerwe is a professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at UC-Davis. He has been a major contributor to neonatal protein additives for dairy calves, winning the 2004 and 2005 Awards for Scientific Presentation from the Phi Zeta Society. He has also won a number of college-specific teaching awards for his engaging style and interesting lessons. 

Richard A. Mancini

Richard A. Mancini

University of Connecticut

Dr. Mancini is known for his work with extending beef and pork shelf life, analysis of bone marrow discoloration, and value-added meat products. He teaches a number of food science courses at UConn, in addition to his research in these areas. His work has earned him several awards, including the Outstanding Undergraduat Award from the AMSA and the CANR Kinsman Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010-2011). 

Limin Kung, Jr.

Limin Kung, Jr.

University of Delaware

Dr. Kung is known for his innate ability to take highly technical feed animal science concepts and make them accessible for both students and colleagues. His works in the areas of silage management and fermentation have earned him the National Milk Producers Federation Award (1982), the Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Award (1999), and the American Feed Ingredient Award (2009). He is also the Dairy Extension Leader at the UD.

Jeff Firman

Jeff Firman

University of Missouri

Dr. Firmin is one of the few elite professors of turkey science in the US. In addition to teaching like Poultry Production Methods, Dr. Firmin has been a turkey production consultant and speaker in over 25 countries. He was honored with the Research Presentation Award (Physiology Section) from the Poultry Science Association in 1983, the National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture Award (NACTA) in 1992, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society Teaching Award in 1994.

Steven Jones

Steven Jones

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dr. Jones infuses his classroom with innovative technology for teaching meat animal anatomy and other animal science concepts. His research focuses on ways to increase muscle growth in meat animals. His methods have earned him a number of teaching awards, including the Outstanding Educational Exhibit from the AMSA (1989, 1990), the AMSA Distinguished Teaching Award (2002), and the Holling Family Award for Teaching Excellence (2002). 

Larry Berger

Larry Berger

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dr. Berger is a professor of Ruminant Nutrition as well as the Distinguished Department Head of Animal Science at UN. His work with cereal grain silage and corn plant harvest dates as they relate to ruminant populations has made him a leader in the Farm Animal research field. He has been recognized for his teaching with numerous college-level teaching awards. In addition, the ASAS chose Dr. Berger as the 1989 Outstanding Young Researcher of the Year. 

David E. Anderson

David E. Anderson

University of Tennessee

Dr. Anderson is a professor and the Head of the Farm Animal Medicine and Surgery program at UT. In addition to his teaching and administrative roles, Dr. Anderson also is a major figure in professional organizations like the International Academy of Farm Animal Surgeons and the International Camelid Institute, of which he is the Founding Director. He also sat on the Board of Regents for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (2006-2009) and was on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners (AASRP).

Methodology

Each of the members on this list have been chosen through careful research based on the following criteria:

  1. Active Teaching. All of these professors are actively teaching or mentoring students at an accredited college.
  2. Publication. Many of these professors have been published in online or print professional journals.
  3. Thought Leadership. Professors on this list have been chosen due to their leadership in the Farm Animal Veterinary community, based on speaking engagements or research contribution.
  4. Extracurricular Involvement. Each of these individuals are involved in both teaching and extra-collegial engagements such as advocacy programs, volunteer work, and leadership in professional associations.
Barry Franklin (Editor)

Barry is the Managing Editor of VetTechColleges.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He presently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and their black maltipoo.