Feed Bites

Honoring Animal Nutrition Trailblazers

Written by: Lacie Dotterweich   |   November 29, 2021

Animal nutrition

Every year, the American Feed Industry Association recognizes animal nutrition scientists who make an impact on the health of livestock and poultry by sponsoring awards. Read about this year’s animal nutrition award winners below.

Poultry Science Nutrition Research Award

The AFIA Poultry Nutrition Research Award recognizes distinctive work demonstrating sound research in poultry nutrition in the last 10 years. Sergio Vieira, Ph.D., of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), is the 2021 recipient. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, he attended UFRGS, where he received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy and master’s degree in animal science. In 1999, Vieira attended Auburn University in Alabama and received his doctorate in poultry nutrition. Vieira is a recognized leader in mineral requirements of poultry and broiler carcass quality. He has published two books and over 135 articles and mentored 46 graduate students in poultry nutrition and production, in addition to being invited to speak in over 200 international venues in over 55 countries. He is presently the director of the Poultry Science Association and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

American Dairy Science Association Nutrition Research Award

The AFIA honored Alexander Hristov, Ph.D., of The Pennsylvania State University, with the annual American Dairy Science Association Nutrition Research Award. The award was created to stimulate research in dairy cattle nutrition. Originally from Bulgaria, he has his bachelor’s degree from the Higher Institute of Zooengineering and Veterinary Medicine in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the Bulgaria Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Hristov has worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis., and at the Ag Canada Research Center in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He is a professor of dairy nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Animal Science and has been there since 2008.

AFIA – Federation of Animal Sciences New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award

Mike Tokach, Ph.D., of Kansas State University, is the recipient of the annual AFIA – Federation of Animal Sciences New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award. He was raised on a fourth-generation diversified family farm and graduated with his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University in 1986, obtained his master’s degree from Kansas State University (KSU) in 1988 and received his Ph.D. in swine nutrition at the University of Minnesota in 1991. After his education, he joined the staff at KSU in swine nutrition. In 2013, Tokach was promoted to university distinguished professor, the highest rank the university bestows on its faculty. He is also an American Society of Animal Science fellow and president-elect for 2021.

AFIA – American Society of Animal Science Award in Nonruminant Nutrition Research 

The AFIA honored Eric van Heugten, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University, with the annual AFIA – American Society of Animal Science Award in Nonruminant Nutrition Research. van Heugten earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and his Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State University, where he continued post-doctoral training. He is a professor of nutrition and swine nutrition extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University, where he developed an exceptional swine nutrition program during his 23-year career there. He served as co-chair of the steering committee for the National Swine Nutrition Guide and several editorial boards. His research on swine nutrition has advanced the body of knowledge significantly. 

AFIA – ASAS Award in Ruminant Nutrition Research 

Lance Baumgard, Ph.D., of Iowa State University, is the recipient of the AFIA – ASAS Award in Ruminant Nutrition Research. He is from southwest Minnesota and grew up on a swine and row-crop farm. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, and his doctorate from Cornell University. He joined the University of Arizona faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 2001 and in 2007 was promoted to associate professor. In 2009, Baumgard joined Iowa State University as the Norman Jacobson Professor in the Department of Animal Science. His primary research emphasis has been on the physiological and endocrine consequences of heat stress and immune activation in both ruminant and monogastric farm animals. 

Congratulations to all of this year's nutrition award winners!

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