Spring 2018 Animal Sciences Newsletter
Study links fox domestication to gene activity in the pituitary gland
Dr. Anna Kukekova was recently highlighted by the Illinois News Bureau for her study of foxes. "The study links fox domestication to changes in gene activity in the pituitary gland, a brain center that kicks out hormones to regulate various bodily functions, including the stress response."
For more information, you may read the full article.
This past month we participated in Explore ACES, an annual open house event put on by the College of ACES. Explore ACES was a huge success for the Department of Animal Sciences. On Friday, March 9th, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and the public were invited to participate in mini classes, visit with our RSO’s, and learn more about our college and department. We had a great turn out. The animal science events were very well attended. On Saturday, we hosted 65 admitted students and their families for our annual Admitted Students Day. We had a total of 175 people in attendance. Students got the opportunity to meet with current students, faculty, and alumni, take tours of the farms, and participate in mini classes. Overall, the weekend was a great success. Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, and students who put in the hard work to make this weekend possible.
National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held at the North American International Livestock Exposition
Louisville, KY – The University of Illinois Livestock Judging Team recently travelled to Louisville, KY to compete at the 112th National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held at the North American International Livestock Exposition. The team had a strong showing to cap off their year of commitment to livestock judging, finishing 7th overall in a very competitive field. The team recorded a 4th overall finish in the swine division with the same placing in swine reasons, 7th overall in sheep, and 10th overall in cattle. The group also recorded a 6th overall placing in the oral reasons division.
Individually, Caseelynn Johnston, Senior in Agriculture Education from Virginia, IL and Gracia Ramp, Senior in Animal Science from Elmwood, IL were named to the All American Team based on judging accomplishments, academic excellence, industry leadership and community service. Johnston also recorded a 4th overall finish in the sheep division and was 10th overall in oral reasons.
Other members of the University of Illinois Livestock Judging Team include Nicole Chance of Lebanon, IN; Haley Haverback of Atkinson, IL; Kayla Peterson of West Point, IL; and Kendi Sayre of Arenzville, IL. The team is coached by Jack Oattes and Parker Henley, both graduate students in Animal Science at the University.
National 4H Livestock Judging Contest held at the North American International Livestock Exposition
Louisville, KY – The Illinois State 4H Livestock Judging Team recently travelled to Louisville, KY to compete at the National 4H Livestock Judging Contest held at the North American International Livestock Exposition. The team had a tremendous day finishing as Reserve National Champions! The team was named national champions in both the beef cattle division, and oral reasons division as well as recording a 4th place finish in the sheep and goat division.
Individually, Maddie Fugate of Christian County and Lauren Burgener of Shelby County were named to the All American Team based on judging accomplishments. Additionally, Maddie was named 7th high individual overall and 7th in the beef cattle division. Lauren was 8th high individual in the oral reasons division and 9th high individual in beef cattle. Dalton Lemenager of Kankakee County was the 4th high individual in oral reasons. Other members of the Illinois State 4H Livestock Judging Team include Thomas Crome of Clark County and Bailey Sigrist of Marion County.
The Illinois State 4H Livestock Judging Team is coached by Jack Oattes, a graduate student in Animal Science at the University of Illinois and is assisted by Tyson Schulte, a senior in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
Rachel Hamilton Memorial Spirit award
Emily Schunke is the 2017 recipient of the Rachel Hamilton Memorial Spirit award. This award is given to a team member selected by their peers whose unwavering dedication, positive attitude, and enthusiastic personality brings out the best in others and truly exemplifies the judging spirit. These traits are what embodied Rachel and only scratches the surface of her love of meat judging and the community of friends it creates. Rachel was a Fighting Illini and alum to the meat judging program as a member of the 1997 team. She was Director of the Meat Judging program through the American Meat Science Association before her untimely death. She was a very energetic, compassionate young woman who always looked for the good in others. Congratulations Emily for this honor and a successful year.
Illinois wins National 4-H Horse Bowl
A team of Illinois 4-H members won the Eastern National 4-H Roundup Horse Bowl championship held Nov. 4 in Louisville, Ky. The win was a continuation of success for the 4-H members who also earned first place team at the All American Quarter Horse Congress Horse Bowl held in October.
Members of the team include Kiersten Pratt of Bureau County, and Brenna Berns, Megan Poole, Kaiti Collins, and Natalie Shaw, all members of Carroll County 4-H. Bryan Hollewell of Milledgeville coached the team.
Berns earned a fifth pace individual finish in the contest, and Pratt finished as the tenth place individual. Both young woman are pursuing careers in the equine or veterinary industry.
“After not having a team in the contest last year,” Debra Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension equine specialist, “Illinois returned ready to win it.” Hagstrom provides leadership to all aspects of the Illinois 4-H horse program, including the state contest which determines the national team. The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides financial support to the team in national competition.
“Through my many years of involvement in 4-H and the horse program, I have not only grown in my knowledge of horses and the industry, but also as a person, “said Shaw. “4-H has taught me how to work hard in order to achieve my goals.”
Shaw is pursuing a career as a veterinarian. “4-H has equipped me with leadership skills, the ability to successfully work as a team, and communication skills.”
Pratt said 4-H helped her refine her career path. “Because of these 4-H equine competitions, I discovered I have a passion for communications,” Pratt said. The teen is majoring in equine teaching and training, with a minor in communications.
“Without 4-H, I never would have discovered this interest,” Pratt said.
Collins said her lessons extend well beyond the barn. “I learned to work on a dynamic team and never give up when things seem down,” she said. “There is no better feeling than not giving up and knowing you have done the best you can and been the best person you can be at that moment.”
Poole said the 4-H horse project activities have helped her mature and grow. “Before horse bowl, I was that girl that sat in the corner with a book,” she said. “Over the last five years, I have acquired knowledge that has helped me gain self-confidence, leadership skills, and a desire to see other grow in knowledge of the horse industry.”
Illinois finishes fourth in national 4-H horse judging contest
An Illinois teen placed fifth overall at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup Judging Contest held Nov. 4 at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, Ky. Cali Pontnack of Morgan County competed against 90 national competitors.
The teen took third place in the conformation division of the contest, ninth in performance, and 11th in reasons. Teammate Rylee McKinney of Shelby County missed a top ten performance division rating by three points. Shelby County 4-H member Hallie Horsman also competed.
“4-H has motivated me to set goals and work hard to improve to reach those goals,” said Pontnack. “I have gained decision-making skills and the ability to verbally defend my decisions.”
Paul Rogers of Quincy coaches the Illinois 4-H horse judging team. Debra Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension equine specialist, provides leadership to all aspects of the Illinois 4-H horse program, including the state contest which determines the national team. The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides financial support to the team in national competition.
The team placed fourth overall, just five points out of the reserve champion spot in tight competition, Hagstrom said. It earned a fourth place in the oral reasons and performance divisions and a seventh place in the conformation division.
“The Illinois 4-H horse judging program has given me many amazing judging opportunities over my entire 4-H career,” Pontnack said. “I am thankful to everyone involved for their time, effort, and continued support.”
She added, “The best part of 4-H is the lifelong friends I have made. I can’t imagine my life without them.”
National Western Stock Show in Denver Colorado
The University of Illinois Livestock Judging Team participated in the National Western Stock Show in Denver Colorado. The team finished 9th overall in the livestock judging contest among a field of 26 teams from Universities around the county. Maggie Sweppy led the team with a 10th overall individual finish. Additionally, the team was named Reserve National Champion Carload judging team. Kaylie Huizenga, Maggie Sweepy, and Cody Hadden all finished in the top 25 individuals.
Team members also include Jason Bedwell, Megan Myerscough, and Cara Thiems.
|Left to right, Lexie Chin, Nicole Moest, Alex Ruwe, Mackenzie Michels, Caroline Downey|| |
The 2018 Illini Meat Judging Team had their first win at the Missouri Processed Meat Invitational Contest in early March. The team consists of Lexie Chen, Caroline Downey, Mackenzie Michels, Nicole Moest, and Alex Ruwe.
Individual awards went to Alex Ruwe for 1st in Placings and 5th Individual Overall; Caroline Downey for 2nd in Placings, 2nd in Questions, and 2nd Individual Overall; and Lexie Chen for 4th in Placings, 4th in Questions, and High Individual Overall.
As a team, they received 1st in Placings, 1st in Questions, and were High Team Overall.
The ladies now set their sights for the Southeastern in April. Wish them luck!
Graduate Student Association Updates
Hello from the Graduate Student Association! We are just starting our second year of establishment and so far so good. We've had some excellent speakers this semester so far with our next one being a Career Development Workshop from the Graduate College. It will be focused on starting the job search, tips for interviewing, and negotiations. The presentation will be at 5:00 pm April 5th in ASL 292. Come join us no matter what stage of your graduate career you are in--you will still learn something new and beneficial.
We have also had some successful socials this year, our annual tailgate and bowling at Old Orchard Lanes got us out of the lab and offices for some fun! Our next social is the big one, our annual GSA Potluck, April 19th, at 5:30 pm in the Stock Pavilion. Everyone is welcome, please bring a dish to share and any yard games if you have them! Last year we had a good turnout and hope for an even better one this year! See you April 19th! Have a great end of the semester and keep an eye out for upcoming events!
Undergraduate Stories of Interest
Academic Quadrathlon Wins Overall at Midwest
| ||L to R: Julie Klein, Meagan Karuhn, Sierra Schreiber, Erin Bryan|
Big congratulations to our Academic Quadrathlon team! These four seniors competed against 16 other schools from around the Midwest in a 4 part competition. They placed 1st in the oral presentation, 1st in the written exam, 5th in the quiz bowl, and placed 1st overall. They will now move on to the national competition. Congratulations and good luck!!
Companion Animal Spring Break Trip
With 35 students in tow, our Companion Animal Spring Break Trip traveled around the Midwest last week! Focusing mostly on companion animals, they also had time to visit several other facilities, including the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Uplands PEAK Sanctuary (People, Earth, and Animals in Kinship), and more! This is a great way to open our student's eyes to several career opportunities available. Sarah Albert, companion animal teaching associate in Animal Sciences, organized the trip.
A Greater Sense of Independence
Bryana, a junior in Animal Sciences, not only helped train service animals last summer, but she was the recipient of one! Now her loyal companion Leanna is a finalist for an American Humane Hero Dog Award. In Bryana's words, "If you were to look at me, I appear entirely able-bodied. What the picture fails to represent is my pancreas failing, my severe knee pain from a chronic pain disorder, my back aching from two bulging discs and my ankle burning from complex regional pain syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system." Leanna has given Bryana a greater sense of independence. Learn more about Leanna and the rest of the nominated dogs at http://herodogawards.org/dog/leanna/.
New Animal Sciences Undergrad Blog
Animal Sciences undergraduates now have a new place to view all things undergrad-related, including scholarships, internship opportunities, careers, and so much more. Check it out!
Graduate Student Recognition
Michael Iakiviak, a student working with Professor Mackie, successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Analysis of the ammonium assimilation pathways of the human colonic bacterium, bacteroides thetaiotaomicron".
We wish Michael success in his upcoming job interviews and visit to Spain
Lidia Sbaraini-Arend, a student working with Professor Knox, successfully defended her M.S. thesis "Melatonin administration during the follicular phase and early pregnancy to minimize seasonal infertility in swine ".
We wish Lidia success in her Ph.D. studies with Professor Knox.
Jenny Morris, a student working with Professor Ellis, successfully defended her M.S. thesis "Impact of the Implementation of the McRebel Management Program in a Commercial Breed-to-Wean Unit Following an Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome ".
We wish Jenny success in her Ph.D. studies with Professor Ellis.
Katie Detweiler, a student working with Professor Cattai de Godoy, successfully defended her M.S. thesis "Soybean Hulls as a Dietary Fiber Source in Canine and Feline Diets".
We wish Katie success as she secures a job with the pet food industry.
Tassia Mangetti Goncalves
Tassia Mangetti Goncalves, a student working with Professor Rodriguez Zas, successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Understanding factors that affect gene co-regulation patterns".
We wish Tassia success in her job applications and interviews.
Gloria Casas Bedoya, a student working with Professor Stein, successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Nutritional evaluation of rice coproducts fed to pigs".
We wish Gloria success in her teaching and research responsibilities as Associate Professor at the Department of Animal Science, in the National University of Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), in Bogota.
Diego Mario David Labadan Navarro
Diego Mario David Labadan Navarro, a student working with Professor Stein, successfully defended his Ph. D. thesis entitled "Influence of Physicochemical Characteristics and Inclusion Rate of Fiber-rich Ingredients on Utilization of Dietary Fiber and Energy by Growing Pigs".
We wish Diego success as he secures a position in the swine industry.
American Society of Animal Science Young Scholars
|Bailey Harsh, Shelby Curry, Martin Overholt, Gloria Casas, Fernanda Batistel, and Sarah Morrison|| |
The following Animal Sciences students received awards at the 2018 Midwestern section meeting.
- Bailey Harsh (Ph.D. student with Dr. Dustin Boler) Animal Science Young Scholar
- Martin Overholt (Ph.D. student with Dr. Anna Dilger) Animal Science Young Scholar
- Gloria Casas (Ph.D. student with Dr. Hans Stein) Animal Science Young Scholar
- Sarah Morrison (Ph.D. student with Dr. Jim Drackley) Young Dairy Scholar
- Fernanda Batistel (Ph.D. student with Dr. Juan Loor) Young Dairy Scholar
ADSA/ASAS Midwest Meeting Masters Degree Poster Competition
Congratulations Taylor Damery for winning the 2nd place at ADSA/ASAS Midwest Meeting Masters Degree Poster competition with the work entitled: "The Effect of Cut Height and Fungicide Application on Whole Plant Corn Silage Yield."
Dr. Tim S. Stahly Outstanding Swine Nutrition Midwest Graduate Student Award
Gloria A. Casas, Ph.D. student in the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory, was awarded the Dr. Tim S. Stahley Outstanding Swine Nutrition Midwest Graduate Student Award at this years Midwest Meeting. More information available here.
2018 ASAS Outstanding Young Teacher Award
Dr. Anna Dilger received the 2018 Outstanding Young Teacher award at the 2018 Midwest ASAS meetings. The ASAS Outstanding Young Teacher Award recognizes an individual currently teaching in Animal and Dairy Sciences. More information can be found here.
Lois Britt Memorial Scholarship
Erin Bryan and Tim Grote, undergrads in Animal Sciences, received a Lois Britt Memorial Scholarship at the National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City. Bryan is a senior from Geneva and is studying meat science with the intention of getting her Ph.D. Grote, from Champaign, is also a senior and plans to become a swine production veterinarian.
Alltech Young Scientist Award
Fernanda Batistel placed second in the North American region, Graduate category, of the Alltech Young Scientist Program. There were a number of papers submitted and the judging panel was very impressed with her paper. Fernanda will be finisher her Ph.D. with Dr. Loor.
National Milk Producers Federation Richard M Hoyt Award
Dr. Zheng Zhou, former Ph.D. student of Dr. Loor's has been selected for the National Milk Producers Federation Richard M Hoyt Award. He will be presented this award at the ADSA Awards Ceremony during the 2018 Annual Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Zhou is currently and assistant professor at Clemson.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations andpolicies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to the USDA by
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.