UW and MSU Faculty Earn Awards

by Andy Schwab

During the recent Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science (WSASAS) meeting in Park City, UT, four current and previous faculty members of the University of Wyoming (UW) and Montana State University (MSU) earned recognition for their work. It was under the umbrella which encompasses American Society of Animal Science’s mission that fosters the discovery, sharing and application of scientific knowledge concerning the care and responsible use of animals to enhance animal and human health and well-being.

Every year, WSASAS honors recipients in five categories for outstanding contributions and research achievements to animal agriculture and extension programs. One of the most prestigious honors that the WSASAS bestows upon its member is the Distinguished Service Award.

Distinguished Service Award – Glenn Duff

This year, former MSU Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Head of Animal and Range Sciences, Glenn C. Duff, was recognized as the recipient of the prestigious award. Duff, moved back to New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 2015 to be Head of Animal and Range Sciences, and he currently serves as Professor and Superintendent for the NMSU Clayton Livestock Research Center.

During his career, Glenn has taught applied nutrition, statistical methods, beef production, stocker/feedlot management, and dairy production courses. He has published 89 peer-reviewed articles, and he has been director or co-director on grants valued at $10.2 million. 

Extension Award – Whit Stewart, University of Wyoming

Also, earning the Extension Award at the annual meeting was Whit Stewart, Associate Professor and Extension Sheep Specialist at UW. Dr. Stewart’s extension efforts are nationally and internationally recognized. He has organized and facilitated educational programs at Ram Sale Symposiums in MT and WY, and the West Central States Wool Growers meeting, and ram test field days in Laramie.

He coordinates the University of Wyoming inter-collegiate wool judging team and helps organize efforts for 4-H and FFA wool judging teams throughout Wyoming and continues to expand these programs. He has been an invited speaker at sheep industry meeting across the U.S. and was chosen to represent the U.S. as an international sheep industry ambassador in New Zealand, Uruguay and Argentina.

Dr. Stewart has published over 40 extension publications and has given over 150 talks to more than 4,000 sheep industry stakeholders. He has garnered over $1.8 M in funding to support his research and extension efforts. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and 53 proceedings and abstracts and is currently editor for the American Sheep Industry Association’s Sheep and Goat Research Journal.


Youth Scholar Award – Ryan Knuth, University of Wyoming

Stewart was not the only UW member getting recognized at the meeting, UW alum Ryan Knuth was named one of three Young Scholar Award recipients. Ryan M. Knuth earned his Ph.D. in Animal Science at the University of Wyoming in August of 2022 in a program with Drs. Bisha and Cunningham-Hollinger. He grew up on a small commercial Polypay sheep operation in south central Wisconsin learning early in life how to care for animals in profitable ways.

Throughout his collegiate education, he has had a breadth of research experience related to sheep and beef cattle production systems. In his doctoral program, he investigated the microbial communities of ewes, lambs, and the environment to find common relationships across communities and identify possible pathways for bacteria to enter the mammary gland to cause mastitis. Additionally, a portion of his dissertation has identified levels of antimicrobial resistance in ewe milk bacterial isolates. He has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Animal Science, Applied Animal Science, and Animals, as well as many conference abstracts/proceedings and acquired grants through the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.

Also in the youthful category was Rodrigo Marques of MSU earning the Young Scientist Award.

Young Scientist Award – Rodrigo Marques, Montana State University

Dr. Rodrigo S. Marques is an Assistant Professor at MSU, who has an integrative research and teaching program focused on nutrition and management strategies for beef production in the U.S. and worldwide. His research programs have centered on maternal nutrition of beef cattle and its impacts on offspring performance and immune parameters. Dr. Marques is quickly setting himself apart as a top-tier and highly productive scientist with an astonishing list of accomplishments for a scientist of his career stage. 

Monetary awards and plaques will be presented to the winners of this year’s Western Section award recipients.

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Northern Ag Network – 2022

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