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Award Winners

June 19, 2014

For more information contact:
Joe Cassady, executive director, Beef Improvement Federation, South Dakota State University; 605-688-5165; www.BIFconference.com; www.beefimprovement.org

For a high-resolution photo of the winner, click here.

Gary Bennett Honored with BIF Pioneer Award

LINCOLN, Neb. (June 19, 2014) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Gary Bennett with the Pioneer Award during the organization’s 46th annual meeting and research symposium in Lincoln, Neb., June 18-21. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.

Gary Bennett

Gary Bennett (left) of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, Neb., receives a Beef Improvement Federation Pioneer Award from Steve Whitmire, 2013-2014 BIF president. Bennett received the honor during an awards luncheon at the organization’s 46th research symposium and annual meeting hosted June 18-21 in Lincoln, Neb.

Bennett grew up on a diversified farm in Iowa and received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University in 1975 and 1977, respectively. He completed a postdoc with Dr. Gordon Dickerson at the University of Nebraska, and then served as a scientist with AgResearch in New Zealand for several years.

Bennett joined the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, Neb., as a research geneticist in 1985. He became a research leader in 1988. In that role, he supervised scientists and research in the disciplines of production systems modeling; quantitative and statistical genetics; molecular genetics; animal health; and applied beef, swine and sheep breeding. He currently supervises 12 scientists spanning all of those disciplines except production systems.

Bennett is a leader in the field of genetics and selection of beef cattle. For the past two decades, he has led and managed a series of beef cattle selection experiments involving more than 1,000 cows each year. The first of these demonstrated the efficacy of breeding “curve-bender” bulls that excel for antagonist traits such as calving ease and growth.

Bennett has also contributed substantially to research on beef cattle genomics, sequencing, selection for twinning, study of interactions between genes with large effects, and to international collaborations and grants.

He served as division editor for the Journal of Animal Science from 2001-2005 and serves on an Agriculture Research Service patent committee. He received the Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Animal Breeding Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 2001 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in 2011.

He was presented the BIF Pioneer Award at a luncheon Thursday, June 19, in Lincoln, Neb. Also receiving Pioneer Awards were Merlyn Nielsen of the University of Nebraska and Earlham, Iowa, cattleman Steve Radakovich.

For more information about the symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about the BIF organization, visit www.beefimprovement.org.


About BIF:

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) is an organization dedicated to coordinating all segments of the beef industry — from researchers and producers to retailers — in an effort to improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production. The organization was initiated almost 70 years ago to encourage the use of objective measurements to evaluate beef cattle. Continuing the tradition, BIF is now the clearinghouse for developing standardized programs and methodologies for recording of performance data for all traits, from birth weights to carcass traits. Its three-leaf-clover logo symbolizes the link between industry, extension and research.

About www.BIFconference.com:

The www.BIFconference.com website is an event coverage site compiled by the Angus Journal staff as a service to its subscribers and the beef industry at large. The Angus Journal’s coverage of this event is made possible through the collaboration of BIF; host organizations including the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, and the Nebraska Cattlemen; and LiveAuctions.tv, which provided live-streaming video during the event and video for archival purposes. The Angus Journal encourages reprinting of the articles by those who adhere to the reprint guidelines available on the site.

About Angus Journal:

The Angus Journal is the flagship publication of the American Angus Association and a primary means of communication with its membership. Published 12 times each year, the magazine communicates important information about Association programs and services; reports news from shows, events and sales; and provides production, marketing and management information that seedstock breeders need to be successful. The publication also serves an effective vehicle for producers to use in marketing their herds to other members around the country. Advertisements are offered in a variety of sizes at rates to match most budgets, and a creative staff is available to help design an eye-catching layout.


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