STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University’s Bob Wettemann has been named the 2012 recipient of the American Society of Animal Science’s Animal Management Award.
The award is presented to select animal scientists who have made significant contributions to research in animal behavior, environmental science, economics or other aspects of biological or production management.
An OSU Regents professor and animal physiology researcher with the university’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Wettemann’s work focuses primarily on reproduction and growth in beef cattle. He has been an OSU faculty member since 1972.
“Research is fun, and it is even more fun when you see the results of your research being used by agricultural producers to benefit the performance and well-being of their animals and operations,” he said. “The big discoveries have been made, but we need to continue to fine-tune animal performance because – simply put – agriculture is faced with the challenge of feeding an ever-growing world population, while helping producers to manage costs and engage in sustainable practices at the same time.”
Clint Rusk, head of OSU’s department of animal science, said Wettemann’s decades of research have led to a better understanding of how nutrient intake and body energy reserves determine the length of the interval from calving until the time that cows exhibit estrus.
“Bob Wettemann’s research initiated the use of a body condition scoring system to predict whether beef cows will become pregnant during the breeding season,” he said. “Today, this technique is used extensively by cattle producers and results in at least a 5 percent increase in pregnancy rates and generates an additional 1.5 million calves annually.”
Wettemann counts mentoring graduate students as one of his most important accomplishments. A total of 44 students have received their Master of Science, doctoral or postdoctoral training from him.
“Producers, consumers, the food industry and public and private organizations need research in both its forms: Basic science to answer fundamental questions and applied research that provides real-world solutions to concerns and issues,” Wettemann said. “It’s very fulfilling to be able to assist young scientists, essentially helping them to help others who might eventually benefit from their discoveries.”
Wettemann has published 130 refereed publications, 243 abstracts and 242 scientific papers and reports. He has presented lectures in 23 states and eight foreign countries.
His professional affiliations include ASAS, for which he served as president from 1997-98; American Dairy Science Association; Society for Reproduction and Fertility; The Endocrine Society; American Registry for Professional Animal Scientists; and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, among others.
Wettemann earned his Bachelor of Science degree in dairy science at the University of Connecticut in 1966, and his Master of Science and doctoral degrees in dairy science – reproductive physiology from Michigan State University in 1968 and 1972, respectively.
ASAS is a professional organization that serves more than 5,000 animal scientists and producers around the world.
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