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From its creation as a University of
Illinois department in 1902 through its merger into the Department
of Animal Sciences in 1985, dairy science has been recognized with
nearly 100 awards, including national; College of Agricultural,
Consumer and Environmental Sciences; and campus awards.
"This is indicative
of the large number of faculty whose teaching, research and
Extension efforts related to dairy science continues to be
successful," said Neal Merchen, head of the U of I Department of
Animal Sciences. "Dairy science at the U of I has enjoyed success at
the national level disproportionate to its size. A relatively small
number of faculty have and continue to achieve recognition from
a few years ago by Jimmy Clark, a professor emeritus of animal
sciences who specialized in dairy nutrition, indicates that up to
that time U of I faculty, students, academic professionals and staff
engaged in dairy work had earned 94 awards, including 44 from the
American Dairy Science Association, the major scientific association
in the field.
"Those awards date
back at least to 1939, when Professor S.L. Tuckey was honored by the
ADSA, and continue right down to the present," said Merchen. "Two
more U of I faculty who have won ADSA awards will be announced later
this month during meetings in St. Louis.
"This record is a
mark of how highly peers regard the work of U of I staff in the
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Merchen said dairy
science's track record "is consistent with our overall institutional
values.” He explained, “We feel that if we are going to do
something, let's be good at it and be among the national leaders."
Strong traditions of
excellence existed in both the Department of Animal Science and the
Department of Dairy Science prior to the 1985 merger that created
the Department of Animal Sciences, Merchen noted.
"That culture has
continued to exist," he said.
faculty, however, are not the only ones receiving recognition. A
number of ADSA awards are given each year to graduate students. Over
the years, several U of I graduate students in the field have been
"This reflects not
only the quality of our faculty but the quality of the graduate
students who are studying with them," said Merchen. "These graduate
student honorees have gone on to have successful careers and become
leaders in the dairy field."
Dairy faculty, academic professionals and
staff also have won 22 awards within the College of ACES and 13
Urbana-Champaign campus honors.
of Illinois news release]