Category Archives: Animal Sciences

Minor lauded in a major way

Minor

Dr. Radiah Minor, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences was recently named one of just 17 teaching excellence specialists for 2018 by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.  An immunologist who studies immune  regulation in mammals and teaches animal science, Minor was chosen earlier this month for the prestigious annual award along with faculty representing each of the other 16 campuses in the UNC system. She is a Ph. D. graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., who joined the CAES in 2008. Each of the winners were recognized for innovative and creative teaching methods that inspire students.

“Dr. Minor makes sure students get practical experience, as well as professional development and training,” says Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, CAES interim dean.

In an essay on her teaching philosophy submitted as part of her nomination for the Excellence in Teaching Award, Minor discussed her lifelong passion for learning and the many ways she seeks to inspire and engage students, to instill the same excitement in them.

“Through all the teaching tools I use, I encourage students to step further out of their comfort zones, challenging them to push themselves to grow personally and intellectually,” Minor said. “But I also drive home the point that there are few excuses for not trying or not doing your absolute best to achieve a goal. If you want it, you must do what it takes to get it.”  Continue reading Minor lauded in a major way

MANRRS competes in national conference

Never let it be said that students in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences can’t compete.

Thirty-six SAES students were put to the test – and several prevailed in some of the competitions held at the annual MANRRS National Career Fair and Training Conference March 30 – April 2, in Jacksonville, Fla. The event was organized by Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). Several individuals and groups won or placed, and most of the attendees competed in one or more events.

Thanks to the support of the School, which sponsored their trip, the group was the second largest in attendance. The following students attended:

Lauren Blackwell, Deshawn Blanding, Christina Bradshaw, Maya Brooks, Jeremy Bryant, Caleb Bryson, Zanard Choice, Casey Clark, Alondra Dial, Anthony Dillard, Zavier Eure, Nakeya Facey, Edris Grate, Malicha Greene, Briana Holness, Brittany Hoover Chelsea Horton, Shayla Jackson, Taylor Johnson, Karmen Jones, Rafael Leake, Alexis Lee, Joanie Martin, Morgan McCoy, Taylor McFadden, Fredisha Nelson, Joyce Payne, Ra’tasha Rouse, Johnathon Sales, Quincy Simmons, Arneisha Smallwood, Hannah Talton, Bryanna Washburn, Martha Williams, Jana Williams and Jabril Wright.

“We are extremely proud of how the Aggies represented at the conference, and we look forward to the next conference, said Dr. Radiah Minor, advisor for the SAES chapter of MANRRS.

The competitions and winners are:

  • DeShawn Blanding, a Biological Engineering major won first place in the public speaking contest.
  • Maya Brooks, an Animal Sciences major, won first place in the undergraduate poster competition. Her advisor is Dr. Radiah Minor.
  • Arneisha Smallwood, an Agribusiness and Food Industry Management major placed third in the Undergraduate Poster Competition. Her advisor is Dr. Kenrett Jefferson-Moore.
  • As the Region II Chapter of the Year, the SAES chapter of MANRRS advanced to compete as a whole, against five other chapters for National Chapter of the Year honors. The SAES chapter placed third in that event.

Shayla Jackson, an Animal Sciences major and president of the SAES chapter of MANRRS, was significantly involved in the planning and behind the scenes organizing that made the event a success. Jackson is and also serves as Region II vice president, which encompasses chapters in Virginia, the Carolinas Georgia and Florida.

In addition to those named above, other students who took on the challenge of competing were as follows:

Christina Bradshaw, (Animal Sciences), competed in the public speaking competition and Joanie Martin, (MS Integrated Animal Health) whose research advisor is Dr. Radiah C. Minor, competed in the graduate oral presentation.

Several students competed in the undergraduate poster completion, including three animal sciences majors who were advised by Minor: Lauren Blackwell, Christina Bradshaw and Chelsea Horton, whose poster was one of 10 selected for final competition. Others who participated in the poster contest were Taylor Johnson – whose poster was also one of 10 selected for final competition – and Alexis Lee, a nutritional sciences major, both of whom were advised by Dr. Paula Faulkner.

Hannah Talton (Urban and Community Horticulture) competed in the undergraduate business pitch competition, advised by Dr. Tracy Hanner. She also competed in the essay competition.

Bryanna Washburn (Animal Sciences) competed in the research discussion. The essay competition featured Fredisha Nelson (Animal Sciences) Quincy Simmons (Landscape Architecture) Jabril Wright (Environmental Studies) and Talton (Urban and Community Horticulture) Zavier Eure and Alondra Dial, (Animal Sciences) participated in the photo competition.

This year’s MANRRS quiz bowl team included Jeremy Bryant, Rafael Leake, Malicha Greene, Fredisha Nelson, Edris Grate, Caleb Bryson, Joyce Payne, Karmen Jones, Morgan McCoy and Maya Brooks. The quiz bowl coach was Taylor McFadden.

Several SAES faculty and staff supported the students and the event. Minor judged oral presentations and written abstracts, Drs. Hanner and Ralph Noble served as panelists; while Dr. Chastity Warren-English and Angela Smith and Kishaa James manned the SAES recruitment booth during the event.

In addition to competing, SAES students also attended workshops and engaged in networking, with some coming away from the conference with potential opportunities for internships, jobs or graduate school.

To get a full flavor of the action at the conference, visit this photo album:

https://goo.gl/photos/Fxg2y4RZZi3XHRp17

Register now for Student Awards Celebration

info_iconStudents, faculty and staff are encouraged to register for the 2016 SAES Student Awards Celebration, (http://bit.ly/saesawards ). This year’s celebration is scheduled for 6 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 in the Academic Classroom Building Auditorium. Pass the Torch speakers will be Taylor Johnson, representing  the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education; Kayla Castevens of the Department of Animal Sciences; Elizabeth Martino of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Maddie Keefer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design. Academic department awards will be presented, and students who have earned various honors through the 2015-16 academic year will be recognized. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

SAES student to participate in Outlook Forum

Animal science major Rhyne Cureton of Charlotte has been selected to participate in the USDA’s annual Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program, Feb. 23-24 in Arlington, Va.

Rhyne Cureton

The program is designed to expose students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural policy in today’s real world environment. During the two days, student participants engage in several planned activities, including visits to USDA headquarters and meetings with senior leadership and staff.

Cureton was one of 30 students from across the nation who were selected for the honor. Part of the criteria included submitting an essay, “Agriculture as a Career.”  Cureton, a junior, also serves as chair of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for the SAES.

USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum provides producers, policymakers, business, government, and industry leaders with a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss timely issues at the forefront of America’s agriculture. In an effort to increase diversity participation, USDA created the program that provides sponsorship opportunities for junior-senior undergraduate and graduate students to attend this annual event.

FCA Foundation Names National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Winners

Scholarships Support Development of a New Generation of African American Farmers

November 2, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) today awarded more than $87,000 in scholarships to support the development of a new generation of African American farmers. Established in May 2015, the National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program funded by the FCA Foundation awarded 19 scholarships to college students who are pursuing agriculture-related study. The FCA Foundation also announced it would fund up to $100,000 for a second year of the NBFA Scholarship program.

“Empowering young people with access to knowledge is transformational,” said Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement – External Affairs, FCA US LLC. “Supporting entry to higher education will ensure that these future leaders galvanize the tools, skills and passion necessary to make meaningful change in the world and provide access to food security for generations.”

$2,500 Scholarship Recipients
Student, Hometown School Major
Kamal Bell, Durham, NC North Carolina A&T State University Agricultural Education
Anthony Bryant, Bronx, NY Southwest Institute of Healing Arts Urban Farming
Edra Fisher, Havana, IL Lincoln Land Community College Agriculture
$5,000 Scholarship Recipients
Demetrius Arnold, Marianna, AR University Arkansas Agricultural Technology
Victoria Bradley, Memphis, TN Middle Tennessee State University Agribusiness
Cameron Bradshaw, Jetmore, KS Kansas State University Agribusiness
Michael Coleman, Raymond, MS Alcorn State University Animal Science
Mykeldren Davis, Memphis, TN Alcorn State University Animal Science
Aaron Gauff, Zachary, LA Lindenwood University Accounting
Gabrielle Galvan, Granada Hills, CA California Polytechnic State University Animal Science
Danelle Solomon, Nashville, TN Tennessee State University Agriculture
Caria Hawkins, Glen Saint Mary, FL Columbia Southern University Environmental Management
Charisma Heath, Austell, GA Fort Valley State University Veterinary Science
Zaid Hightower, Cleveland, OH Ohio State University Psychology/Agriculture
Kahmron Hymes, Crossett, AR University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Animal Science
John McKenzie, Kennesaw, GA Tuskegee University Nutrition Biology
Kristen Stigger, Memphis, TN Tennessee State University Agriculture Soil Science
Aaron Stripling, Austin, TX Prairie View A&M University Agriculture
Justin Walker, Elon, NC North Carolina A&T State University Agricultural Education

Scholarship recipients were selected based upon several criteria, including academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in agricultural and community activities, and career goals and objectives.

“The plight of the black farmers and the loss of Black-owned farms, have been a major issue for well over a 100 years,” said John Boyd, Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association. “In 1910, nearly 1 million Black Farm families owned over 15 million acres of land. Today, less than 45,000 black farm families own 3 million acres. The NBFA Scholarship program will begin to address black land loss.”

Information about how to apply for the 2016 NBFA scholarship program will be available in early May athttps://scholarsapply.org/blackfarmersassociation/.

About the National Black Farmers Association
The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States. As an association, it serves tens of thousands of members nationwide. NBFA’s education and advocacy efforts have been focused on civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers.

About the FCA Foundation
Since 1953, the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, has invested more $500 million in charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, and build strong, viable communities. The FCA Foundation invests in programs that generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts in the following areas:

  • Education – programs that inspire young minds, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);
  • Military – programs that support financial and basic needs of military service members, veterans and their families;
  • Multicultural/Diversity – programs that promote inclusion and opportunity for diverse populations; and
  • Youth Development – programs that help young people develop the skills and leadership qualities to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

 

Additionally, FCA US seeks opportunities to support communities through its Motor Citizens® volunteer program. This innovative program enables FCA US salaried employees to use 18 hours of paid time each year to be an Engine for Change by investing their time and talents in community service projects.

Application deadline for vet school prep program is Nov. 13

calendar_iconThe application deadline is Nov. 13 for SAES undergraduate students majoring in animal sciences or a related area who are interested in following the Food Animal Scholars Program’s academic pathway to N.C. State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2015. Up to six students and two alternates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State and the SAES are chosen for the Food Animal Scholars Program each year. Their progress toward achieving the admission requirements for State’s College of Veterinary Medicine is then closely monitored and well mentored. To be eligible for the program, Animal Sciences majors should be on schedule to complete their bachelor’s degrees within two or three semesters following submission of their November application.

Dr. Tracy Hanner, the coordinator for the SAES Lab Animal Science Program within the Department of Animal Sciences, serves as the SAES’s program representative, and he requests that any A&T students interested in the application process begin their quest by first contacting him, either by e-mail or with a call to his office, 336 .334.7786.

Showcase of Excellence a success

Fifty-two SAES students delivered poster presentations describing what they did on their summer vacations, during the 4th annual Showcase of Excellence at B.C. Webb Hall Sept. 9. Unlike vacations of many students, the summer experiences SAES students described were mostly work and little play. Students worked in industry offices, government agencies, or university laboratories, conducting research or learning business practices. Others studied abroad, or participated in Cooperative Extension internships. Most programs in the SAES require students to complete an internship or some other form of experiential learning that complements their majors.

“The hands-on experience proves to be an invaluable asset to students, whether they are preparing for their first job interview, or their applications to graduate school, and that is why we stress the importance of these internships,” said Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for academic studies, and coordinator of the Showcase.

2015 SAES Showcase of Excellence

Meating will come to order

calendar_iconThe N.C. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (N.C. SARE) Program has funds to send nine Cooperative Extension agents to the Carolina Meat Conference Oct. 12 and 13 at the Millennium Center in downtown Winston-Salem. The Sept. 12 deadline is fast approaching. To apply, contact Molly Hamilton.

The Carolina Meat Conference is hosted by NC Choices, an initiative of coordinated by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. The CEFS is a collaborative effort bringing together resources from the SAES, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The SAES’s ties to the NC Choices Initiative and the Carolina Meat Conference is a continuation of a leadership role in niche livestock production that dates back more than 15 years, when SAES research and Extension efforts with pastured pork gained national media attention. Dr. Noah Ranells, small farm agribusiness management and marketing specialist for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T, is part of the planning team for this year’s Carolina Meat Conference.

The keynote speaker at this year’s conference will be Allan Savory, an ecologist with an international following who espouses properly managed livestock as a method for reversing desertification and other environmental missteps. The conference also offers registered participants two days of presentations and panel discussions devoted to meat cutting instruction, new regulations that will affect livestock production and meat processing for local and niche markets and industries.

Shooting match

Entries in the American Sheep Industry Association’s 2015 photo contest must be postmarked by Aug. 25. The contest is open to photographers with sheep-industry connections in their day-to-day lives as well as those who have no professional connections at all to sheep, lamb or wool. The only stipulation for entries is that they are in some way sheep-connected. Photos submitted will be judged for clarity, content and composition. There will be a $125 award for the top photo in each of four categories: action photos, scenic photos, sheep outdoors and photos that do not fall cleanly into one of the other three categories. There will be a $75 prize for second place and a $50 prize for third place in each of the competition categories. Winning photos will be featured in the October issue of “Sheep Industry News.” Complete details on the technical specifications for contest entries and category criteria are available at the American Sheep Industry Association’s website.

Discount registration deadline for meaters

calendar_iconEarly bird registration has begun for the mid-October Carolina Meat Conference and until July 10 the registration fee is $175—a rate that escalates to $200 on July 11.

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems — a joint undertaking of the SAES, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer services and N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — is part of the NC Choices initiative that coordinates the annual Carolina Meat Conference.

The 2015 Carolina Meat Institute will be Oct. 12 and 13 at Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. This year’s keynote speaker is Allan Savory, an ecologist with an international following who espouses properly managed livestock as a method for reversing desertification and other environmental missteps. The conference also offers registered participants two days of presentations and panel discussions devoted to meat cutting instruction, new regulations that will affect livestock production and meat processing for local and niche markets and industries.

The SAES’s ties to the NC Choices Initiative and the Carolina Meat Conference is a continuation of a leadership role in niche livestock production that dates back more than 15 years, when SAES research and Extension efforts with pastured pork gained national media attention. Dr. Noah Ranells, A&T Cooperative Extension’s small farm agribusiness management and marketing specialist, is part of the planning team for this year’s Carolina Meat Conference and the SAES’s dean, Dr. Bill Randle, will be providing one of the official welcomes for conference participants.

Ruminant research can be rewarding

documents_iconThere is a June 1 application deadline for an American Sheep Industry Association scholarship program that awards $2,500 for “sheep–related graduate studies.” The scholarship’s objective is to advance and promote industries dependent on sheep, lambs or wool by providing financial support to a graduate student. Applicants should be enrolled in animal science, agriculture economics or veterinary medicine or another related area. Two letters of reference and proof of graduate school acceptance must accompany applications. Applications also require 250-word descriptions of a research project that lends support to scholarship qualifications.

Porcine research funding proposals due May 21

calendar_iconThe National Pork Board has set 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, as the deadline for research proposals built around innovations for helping pork producers comply with animal welfare, swine health or pre-harvest safety standards; or research which decreases producer feed costs or the environmental impacts of swine production. The National Pork Board is also supportive of a White House plan to nearly double the amount of federal funding for research into antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Gender menders

tractor_iconThe Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has a workshop specially tailored to “Pasture Management for Women Cattle Producers” on June 2 from 9 a.m. to noon at N.C. State’s Beef Education Unit at Lake Wheeler Field Laboratories. While there is no registration fee for the grazing management workshop, the facility can only accommodate 20 participants and the registration deadline is May 10.

That same afternoon at the same facility, there will be a “Meat for Market Workshop (for Women in the Meat Industry)” program led by Meredith Leigh, author of The Ethical Meat Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Butchery, Charcuterie, and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore and Matt Helms of The Chop Shop Butchery in Asheville. Their focus will be on marketing strategies for pasture-raised beef, and the program will include a carcass breakdown paired with different cooking techniques for different cuts. The registration  fee is $25, and, as with the morning program covering pasture management, there is a May 10 registration deadline and only the first 20 registrations can be accommodated.

Dreamers have indeed become achievers

award iconThree SAES students received recognitions this semester for academic accomplishments indicative of the caliber of student the SAES is preparing for society.

Celena Alford, a senior majoring in bioengineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Grant for 2015‐2016. Alford’s research will be into conservation agriculture and soil quality at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, a connection assisted by Dr. Manuel Reyes of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design. Her credentials for the Fulbright included several undergraduate research experiences — one for study of ant‐plant mutualisms in Costa Rica — and, at A&T, a Dowdy Scholarship and an elected office in the campus student chapter of the American Association of Biological Engineers.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest and best-known program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in a broad range of fields of study and has funding recipients from the United States in more than 140 countries.

2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Student Diversity Forum
2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Student Diversity Forum

Also early in spring semester, animal sciences major Rycal J. Simmons Blount was one of 20 university juniors and seniors chosen for USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program in Arlington, Va. Blount and the other 19 winning undergraduates came out on top in an essay contest requesting thoughts on “Agriculture as a Career.” They were joined at the Outlook Forum by 10 graduate students with top essays speculating on “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years.”

USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program was inaugurated in 2007 to introduce students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural policy.  Sponsoring USDA agencies are the Economic Research Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and Natural Resource Conservation Service.

One of the four SAES undergrads currently in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Taylor Johnson, and her faculty mentor, Dr. Paula E. Faulkner of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics, and Agriscience Education, joined more than 150 invited participants from 25 states and Puerto Rico at the 2015 National Farmers Union (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives  in Minneapolis in late February. The conference focus was on the routes cooperative businesses are taking in the current economic environment, and participants heard from a number of experts on the growth in member-owned businesses and industries, ranging from senior housing to healthcare. Among the presenters were managers of traditional and value-added agricultural cooperatives.

Scholarship opportunities for dairy students

April 15 is the application deadline for The National Dairy Shrine’s annual scholarship program that awards more than $40,000 to students at U.S. colleges and universities majoring in agricultural studies relevant to the human resource needs of dairy industries. The Dairy Shrine’s support for higher education includes scholarships of $2,500 and $1,000 for high school seniors planning to work on a degree in dairy or animal science with a communications emphasis next fall; as well as a $1,500 scholarship and five-to-eight $1,000 scholarships for sophomores and juniors majoring in animal sciences, ag. economics or ag. education who are planning to pursue careers in marketing dairy products. Also in the offing is a $1,000 grant for a current freshman with a major related to dairy or animal sciences and an interest in working in the dairy industry in the future; and seven $1,500 scholarships for students now completing their first, second or third year at a college or university who have been involved in showing dairy cattle.

Celebration of Second Morrill Act’s 125th amping up

The SAES family will gather at the Revolution Mill Events Center (off Yanceyville, south of Cornwallis) at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, for a Recognition and Awards Luncheon that is part of a series of events and activities commemorating the 125 anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, which, in 1890, set the foundation for A&T and the other 18 land grants that are known as "the 1890s."

At the luncheon, the late Dr. Sidney H. Evans Sr. and the late Dr. Howard F. Robinson will be officially recognized as SAES Pioneers for contributions to the 1890 land-grant system. Evans chaired several academic departments and directed many programs during his 33 years at A&T. At his retirement in 1989, he was associate dean for agricultural research. Robinson became chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics in 1957 and also served as director of the Office of Research Administration and several other offices at A&T.

Also at the Luncheon, Dr. Daniel D. Godfrey and Dr. Arthur P. Bell are to be recognized as Legends who significantly moved research and Extension in the SAES forward to national prominence. Bell graduated from A&T with honors in 1948, joined the A&T faculty with a doctorate from Penn State in 1954 and was chair of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at his retirement in 1994. Godfrey was administrator of the A&T Cooperative Extension Program and he served as dean of the SAES from 1994 to 2001. He has been inducted into USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Hall of Fame, and the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame at Tuskegee University.

A third pair of recognitions will go to Dr. Thelma J. Feaster and Dr. Willie L. Willis for their leadership in innovative advances in the food, agricultural, environmental and human sciences in the SAES. Feaster began a 40-year Extension career as an assistant Extension agent in southeastern North Carolina and went on the to serve as interim administrator for the Cooperative Extension Program at A&T. She contributed to such signature A&T Extension programs as "Project Eat Right: Add to Life" and "Partners-In-Learning." Willis was one of the few African American poultry scientists in the nation during his career at A&T (1984 to 2013). He brought in more than $2.5 million dollars in funding from both government and the private sector; has scores of presentations and peer-reviewed publications; and mentored 11 master’s students through completion of their theses.

Scholarship opportunities for dairy students

he National Dairy Shrine (NDS) makes April 15 the application deadline for an annual scholarship program awarding more than $40,000 to students at U.S. colleges and universities majoring in agricultural fields relevant to the human resource needs of dairy industries. The National Dairy Shrine’s support for higher education includes scholarships of $2,500 and $1,000 for high school seniors who will begin work on a major in dairy or animal science with a communications emphasis next fall; a $1,500 scholarship and five-to-eight $1,000 scholarships for sophomores and juniors majoring in animal sciences, ag. economics or ag. education who are planning to pursue careers in marketing dairy products; a $1,000 grant for a current freshman with a major related to dairy or animal sciences and an interest in working in the dairy industry in the future; and seven $1,500 scholarships for students now completing their first, second or third year at a college or university who have been involved in showing dairy cattle.

Wholly cow

A recently newborn calf sucks on Dairy Unit Coordinator Corey Burgess's fingers while waiting for a fresh bottle of milk.
A recently newborn calf sucks on Dairy Unit Coordinator Corey Burgess’s fingers while waiting for a fresh bottle of milk.

award iconThe Dairy Unit at the University Farm has been honored for the second year in a row with the North Carolina Dairy Producers Association’s Don Wesen Quality Milk Producer Award. The Wesen awards are sponsored by the N. C. Dairy Producers to recognize milk producers in three herd size categories that have consistently produced the highest quality milk the previous calendar year. This year the SAES dairy received the gold award for herds of fewer than 100 cows. Criteria for the Wesen awards are milk quality as reflected by low somatic cell count, which is an indicator of animal health and preliminary incubation count (PIC) that predicts shelf life for milk at retail outlets.

The North Carolina Dairy Producers’ awards are named to honor Dr. Don Wesen, who gained national recognition as a milk quality dairy Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at N.C. State University.

According to Leon Moses, the University Farm’s superintendent, the Wesen award means special “Kudos are in order for Corey Burgess, the dairy unit coordinator, and Aaron Snider, Daniel Cooper and Chris Fleck.” Snider is the farm’s milking technician and Cooper, the farm’s assistant superintendent and Fleck fills in when needs arise.