Alumni to be recognized for service to animal sciences industry

September 24, 2009 Ashley Bechman

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Department of Animal Sciences will honor six alumni with 2009 Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni Awards. The awards ceremony takes place Nov. 13.

"The distinguished alumni program provides an opportunity for the animal sciences department to pay tribute to outstanding alumni and allows our students and community to learn more about the successful careers of our alumni," said Alan Grant, head of the department. "All of those selected have demonstrated excellence and hard work in the animal sciences field."

Early Career recipients include:

* Bradley V. Lawrence of Plattsburg, Mo., who received his master's degree in 1994 and a doctoral degree in 1997 from Purdue. Upon earning his doctoral degree, Lawrence was employed by Hubbard Feeds Inc., where he provided leadership in the company's swine nutrition research program. In 2005 Lawrence left Hubbard Feeds to join Bushranger Ingeheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIV) as a technical sales consultant in medicated feed additives and technical manager in swine health and nutrition. Lawrence now works for NOVUS International Inc. as the technical services manager in the pork business unit, where his primary emphasis is on gastrointestinal tract environment modification, amino acids and mycotoxin management. Lawrence is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, presented numerous papers and oral presentations at Purdue Swine Days, was an instructor in "Introduction to Animal Science," and was a teaching assistant for animal nutrition.

* Matthew E. Wilson of Morgantown, W.Va., who earned his bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1994. After obtaining his doctoral degree from Iowa State University in 1999 he accepted a postdoctoral research fellow position at West Virginia University (WVU). In 2002 Wilson became an assistant professor in WVU's Division of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. He studies the effects of growth hormone and uterine IGF-1 on conceptus development, placental function and postnatal growth and development in sheep, and investigates mechanisms that regulate nutritional influences on progesterone catabolism. In 2008 Wilson was promoted to associate professor and given tenure at WVU. He has co-authored three book chapters, five conference proceedings, 52 referred journal articles, 61 abstracts and 11 technical publications. Because of his efforts, Wilson received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award of Merit from the West Virginia Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta in 2005 and the Northeast American Society of Animal Science-American Dairy Science Association Young Scientist Award-Research in 2006.

Mid-Career Award recipients are:

* Patricia L. "Patsy" Houghton of McCook, Neb. She earned her doctoral degree from Purdue in 1986. In 1990 Houghton formed Heartland Cattle Co., a professional heifer development and research center. She serves as president and general manager and has pioneered custom and contractual heifer development along with artificial insemination breeding programs. In 2006 Houghton became the sole owner of Heartland Cattle. Houghton has served as a leader in youth education, an instructor at Purdue and a beef cattle Extension specialist at Kansas State University. She has been awarded the American Society of Animal Sciences Outstanding Agribusiness Award and was named the Certified Angus Beef Feedlot Partner of the Year.

* Kirk C. Klasing of Davis, Calif., who received his master's degree from Purdue in 1979 and a doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1982. Klasing taught at the University of Illinois upon receiving his doctorate and conducted research for the USDA. In his career, Klasing has been awarded the Bioserve Award, the Milt Sunde Research Award given by the American Institute of Nutrition and the Lily Foundation Animal Research Award. Klasing is currently a professor of comparative animal nutrition in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis and serves as president of the Comparative Nutrition Society.

Lifetime Career Award recipients are:

* Billy R. Baumgardt of West Lafayette, Ind., who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue. After receiving his doctoral degree from Rutgers University, Baumgardt taught and conducted research in nutrition and physiology at the University of Wisconsin and Penn State University. Baumgardt went on to become head of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State for eight years. In 1980 Baumgardt returned to Purdue to lead the Agricultural Research Program as director of the Experiment Station. He has received the American Feed Manufacturers Association Nutrition Research Award, the Award of Honor and Distinguished Service Award from the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), and the John E. Wilkinson Award for Administrative Excellence from Penn State. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Purdue Ag Alumni Association and was recognized by the state as a Sagamore of the Wabash. Baumgardt was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Nutrition. He served as president of the ADSA, was a representative for the USDA Joint Council on Agricultural Research and chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council. Since retiring from Purdue in 1998 as professor emeritus of animal sciences, he became the first executive vice president of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and led the development of the ADSA Discover Conferences.

* Lawrence D. Muller of University Park, Pa., who earned his doctoral degree from Purdue in 1969. He served as an assistant professor at Purdue for two years prior to moving into a teaching and research position at Penn State University, where he has taught for 33 years. Lawrence served as president of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA). He received nine different ADSA awards for teaching, research and service and received three different teaching awards at Penn State. He and his colleagues and students published 133 refereed journal articles in dairy management, nutrition and education areas, along with many Extension publications. During his career, Lawrence traveled to more than 15 countries to give presentations to researchers, educators and producers.
"The best piece of advice that I can give to the winners is to not forget that you were selected for this prestigious award because of the hard work and dedication in your careers and your willingness to support Purdue," said Jeff Luckman, the first recipient of the Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni Award.

Writer: Ashley Bechman, 765-494-8402,

Sources: Alan Grant, 765-494-4809

Jeff Luckman,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer,
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