The Ohio State University
Dr. Jeffrey Firkins is a Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences of The Ohio State University. His areas of expertise include bioactive properties of milk and quantitative analyses of kinetic models. Dr. Firkins’ research studies interface between nutrition and microbiology to enhance the conversion of dietary protein into microbial protein and reduce enteric methane production; the interactions of physical, chemical, and microbiological processes related to fiber and starch degradation, passage, and biohydrogenation in dairy cattle; and the quantitative prediction of protein and carbohydrate digestion and microbial protein production in dairy cattle. Dr. Firkins is a member of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and he was awarded the ADSA Nutrition Professionals Applied Dairy Nutrition Award in 2003 and the ADSA American Feed Industry Association Dairy Nutrition Research Award in 2012. Dr. Firkins received his B.S. in Animal Science, M.S. and Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Illinois.
Mary Beth Hall
USDA US Dairy Forage Research Center
Dr. Mary Beth Hall is a Research Animal Scientist at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Her current research includes evaluating and developing methods for analyzing nutritionally relevant carbohydrates in feeds, determining the differences in and factors affecting ruminal fermentation products among nonfiber carbohydrates, and identifying the direct and interaction effects of protein degradability and nonfiber carbohydrate type on dairy cattle lactation performance. Dr. Hall also has experience in the use and structure of models, various in vitro fermentation techniques for feed evaluation, practical dairy cattle nutrition, and application of ruminant nutrition principles to captive herbivores. Before joining USDA, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Florida, working in dairy nutrition extension and research. Dr. Hall earned her B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University, M.S. in Animal Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Ph.D. in Animal Science from Cornell University.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
Dr. Mark Hanigan is the David R. and Margaret Lincicome Professor of Dairy Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His areas of expertise include animal nutrition, nutrient metabolism, and metabolic modeling. Dr. Hanigan’s research interests include experimental and modeling work focused on amino acid and protein metabolism, volatile fatty acid metabolism, phosphorus digestion, lipid deposition in dairy and beef cattle, the regulation of energy and nitrogen metabolism in the ruminant, and the resulting impact on the environment. He is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society for Nutrition. Dr. Hanigan received his B.S. in Dairy Science from Iowa State University, M.S. in Animal Science, Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California-Davis, and he conducted his postdoctoral work in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California-Davis.
University of California, Davis
Dr. Ermias Kebreab is a Professor of Animal Science, Sesnon Endowed Chair of Sustainable Animal Agriculture in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis, and Deputy Director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute. He conducts research on reducing the impact of animal agriculture, particularly dairy cattle, on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient loading. Dr. Kebreab uses a range of mathematical modeling techniques and experimentation to address environmental and nutrition related issues. Some of the awards received in recognition of Dr. Kebreab’s work include the 2006 Young Scientist Award from the Canadian Society of Animal Science, the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award and the 2014 Ruminant Nutrition Award from the American Society of Animal Science. Dr. Kebreab received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Asmara (Eritrea), and an M.S. in Integrative Biology and Ph.D. in Ecological Modeling from the University of Reading (UK).
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Paul Kononoff is a Professor of Dairy Nutrition in the department of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research focuses on feed characterization and the relationships between fiber quality and ruminal fermentation in lactating dairy cattle. He has studied how manipulations of forage particle size and cell wall lignification affects feed efficiency, milk production, milk composition, and rumen fermentation. His research has also examined ration formulation methods that seek to maximize the inclusion of corn milling co-products while sustaining normal milk production and composition. As a dairy nutritionist, Dr. Kononoff has assisted the dairy industry as a Technical Support Specialist for Renaissance Nutrition (Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania) and as a Project Director of the Ruminant Feed Analysis Consortium (Durham, NH). Dr. Kononoff is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and the Nebraska State Dairy Association. He served as an editor for the Journal of Dairy Science and the Canadian Journal of Animal Science. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan and Ph.D. in Animal Science from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Hélène Lapierre is a Research Scientist of Animal Metabolism in the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Université Laval. Her areas of expertise include the efficiency of nutrient use in the production of milk and milk components, factors affecting release or utilization of nutrients by the gut, the liver and the mammary gland, and improvement of the transfer of protein from dairy rations into milk protein in order to lower milk production costs and reducing nitrogenous excreta in the environment. Dr. Lapierre is a member of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the American Dairy Science Association. She was the recipient of the CSAS Award in Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science in 2014 from the Canadian Society of Animal Science. Dr. Lapierre earned her B.S. and M.S. in Agriculture from the Université Laval, and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Sherbrooke. She conducted post-doctoral work at the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
Michigan State University
Dr. Michael VandeHaar is a Professor of Dairy Nutrition and Physiology in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. His research involves dairy cattle nutrition and physiology with the intent of improving heifer growth and mammary development and increasing the efficiency of protein production in the dairy industry. For the past 4 years, Dr. VandeHaar has been project director of a large USDA-funded project, “Genomic Selection and Herd Management for Improved Feed Efficiency of the Dairy Industry.” A major part of the project is to develop a database of feed intake and milk output on 8000 cows with genotypes. This database will be used to develop genomic breeding values for feed efficiency and to develop and test nutritional models. Dr. VandeHaar is a member of the National Animal Nutrition Program NRSP-9 modeling subcommittee. In 2013, he was awarded the highest honor for dairy scientists in nutrition, the American Feed Industry Association Award. Dr. VandeHaar earned his B.A. degree from Dordt College, Iowa, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He conducted his post-doctoral work at the University of North Carolina.