C. Ross Hamilton Honored with AFIA's Distinguished Service Award

May 16, 2024

Contact Victoria Broehm

Key Points:

  • The AFIA honored Calvin Ross Hamilton, Ph.D., with the 2024 Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions and leadership in the animal food industry.
  • The Distinguished Service Award, AFIA’s highest honor, recognizes elite members of the U.S. animal food industry who have provided exceptional support to the AFIA and the entire industry throughout their careers.
  • Described as a visionary leader, Hamilton’s leadership and contributions have had a significant impact on the animal food industry.
Carlos Gonzalez (left), Ph.D., chair of AFIA's Board of Directors,
and Constance Cullman (right), AFIA's president and CEO,
congratulate C. Ross Hamilton (middle), the 2024 AFIA Distinguished Service Award recipient.


The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) honored Calvin Ross Hamilton, Ph.D., with its 2024 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his contributions and leadership in the animal food industry. Sarah Novak, AFIA’s chief operating officer, presented the award to Hamilton on Wednesday night at AFIA’s Board of Directors reception.

The Distinguished Service Award is AFIA’s highest honor and is typically given to the elite members of the U.S. animal food industry who have provided outstanding support to the AFIA and the entire animal food industry throughout their careers.

“Hamilton is a visionary leader who anticipates potential consequences, identifies long-term implications and formulates practical plans to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities,” said Novak. “His contributions have made a profound impact on the industry as a whole and organizations within, like AFIA and the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER)"

Hamilton recently retired from a 26-year career at Darling Ingredients, where he served in various roles, including vice president of government affairs, related technology and biosecurity, in which he oversaw the quality assurance and product safety teams. Prior to joining Darling Ingredients, Hamilton held the positions of swine research extension specialist and associate professor at South Dakota State University.

Hamilton’s involvement in the AFIA and IFEEDER have spanned several years. He served on AFIA’s Board of Directors and as a founding trustee for IFEEDER, where he served on the Board for 11 years.

In addition to his career achievements, Hamilton has made significant contributions to the animal feed and rendering industries through his involvement and leadership in several professional and industry organizations, including the American Society of Animal Science, the U.S. Animal Health Association, the North American Renderers Association and the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. During critical junctures, Hamilton provided leadership and support to the animal food industry through serving as an advisor, participating in task forces and work groups, and representing the industry's interests in international fora. He has also authored over 150 scientific papers and publications. 

Hamilton received his doctorate in animal science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science and animal nutrition, respectively, from Texas Tech University.