2005 ISEF Fellowship Recipients
Valentin A. Aznarez
Valentin A. Aznarez brings a history of study and practical work in Uruguay to his studies as a graduate student at Colorado State University. Hailing from Montevideo, Azn?rez served as a research manager Aurora Organic Dairy Farm in Platteville, Colorado and was the technical and management advisor at the San Jose De Mayo Farm in Colonia, Uruguay. He received his B.A. in Agronomy at Universidad de la Republica Oriental Del Uruguay and is currently pursuing his MS at CSU. He is married and enjoys basque ball, soccer and horse sports. “Worldwide meat production is moving, day to day, towards being consumer driven,” he says. “Consumers need branding and have confidence in it.”
Lincoln, Nebraska, native Rebecca Bott is currently seeking her Master’s at the University of Nebraska, after spending time at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Missouri, where she graduated cum laude in 2003. She was the recipient of the F.B Miller Select Sires Artificial Insemination Internship, as well as a number of other awards, including first place in the 2004 Midwest Animal Science M.S. Paper competition, as well as the 2004 Nebraska Physiological Society Graduate Paper Competition. “To be the best possible teacher and scientist, I believe it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the beef cattle and equine industries.”
Barbara Ann Caswell
University of Guelph student Barbara Ann Caswell is currently seeking her Master’s degree in beef cattle breeding, exploring genotype by environment interactions exhibited through diet and breed. She has held teaching assistantships for beef production, structure and function of farm animals and applied animal breeding. Caswell received that University of Guelph Entrance Scholarship, as well as the National Science and Engineering Research Council Undergraduate Student Research Award. The Guelph, Ontario, native is a member of Animal and Poultry Science Department’s First Response Team, as well as the Graduate Program committee. “I feel the best way for me to make a creative and important contribution to the industry is to learn from the successes, failures and opinions of those who have a much better understanding of where the industry is going.”
Lindsay Chichester has used her experiences as an avid 4-H member to motivate her career choices. A native of Coleville, Nevada, she is currently pursuing her PhD at West Texas A&M University where she is also seeking a second Master’s degree in Communications, having earned one Master’s in Animal Science. In 4-H, she showed home grown breeding and market beef and sheep, as well as represented her state at many national conferences. “Agriculture runs very strongly in my family, as my sister and I are fourth generation livestock producers. I find it intriguing how decisions made in agriculture in the United States impact other industries as well as countries.”
Earth University of Costa Rica sends Pablo Corza to this year’s Congress. A native of Guatemala, Pablo has made practical use of his time at Earth by working on the university’s organic farm, working forest and dairy. He also works on the university’s Integrated Livestock Unit where he works with both beef and dairy cattle. “From my unique experience in attending an international university, I have come to appreciate what a rich source of experience and knowledge people from other parts of the world can be.”
Dustin Dean of College Station, Texas, is currently pursuing his PhD in Beef Cattle Development and Marketing at Texas A&M University after receiving his Master’s at Texas Tech University. He has been involved in several research projects that have utilized utlrasound technology and has used his experiences with Red Brahman cattle to work with several international cattle breeders, and is planning visits to Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela and Brazil to work with ranchers on more efficiently selecting and producing cattle with increased muscle and carcass quality. “The day of the a global beef industry has been upon for some time now and the more we can learn from each other, the more we increase our global ability to produce, promote and increase sales in beef.”
International experiences describe the life of Isabelle Delvaux of Ylaans-Brabant, Belgium. Pursing her Master’s at Katholieke University Leuven where she is an honors student, Isabelle, has also lived in Germany, the United States, Poland and Eygpt. She has also studied in France, where she became fluent in French and spent two months in the Congo conducting her thesis research. She is an avid horseback riding enthusiasts, plays rugby and polo and teaches swimming. “I have always dreamed of working in developing countries searching for techniques that will help the local farmer. Through a combination of all these opportunities, I’m hoping to obtain the necessary background that will give me the capacities to fulfill my dream and really help.
Layfayette, Tennessee, native Robert Fitzgerald has lived a life influenced by that of his veterinarian father, who encouraged him to begin a 4-H project with two ewes. That early start led to future experiences in pure-bred swine and tobacco production. He earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Tennessee, while working at the school’s dairy farm and enrolled as a graduate teaching assistant at Western Kentucky University where he is now pursuing his Master’s. The winner of numerous awards, Robert will pursue a veterinary degree. “Safety of the world’s food supply will become the responsibility of the veterinarian and the producer.”
Sarah Gardner of Nanton, Alberta, is currently a senior at the University of Alberta pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business Management. She is a member of a fourth generation cattle ranching family in southern Alberta, where she gained extensive experience with cattle and horses. She is the winner of numerous scholarships and awards, including the “The Business of Farming” Bar None Scholarship and “Leaders in Agriculture” Scholarship. “Agriculture not only maintains a connection to the land, but it is held together y a strong group of individuals that share a common passion.”
Pablo Gregorini of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes from the Southern Hemisphere to a southern university, pursuing his PhD at the University of Arkansas, where he is a graduate research assistant. He graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering from Universidad Nacional de La Plata and achieved his Master’s at Universidad Nacional Mar del Plata. His lengthy curriculum vitae reveals extensive research experience and he is the winner of numerous awards and honors, having also studied in The Netherlands. “My priorities are to provide different options to livestock producers to minimize feeding costs and produce a better product by increasing the utilization of forage in rations.”
Colorado State University’s Courtney Heller of Fort Collins brings a Bachelor’s of Science from Michigan State University where she worked in the Muscle Growth, Biology and Meat Science Research Lab, as well as was a member of the Meats Judging Team. She studied International Food Law and Regulations in Asia, where she visited universities, farms and markets in Japan, South Korea and Thailand. She is the winner of numerous awards and scholarships, including the National Western Stock Show Beef Industry Fellowship and Rich Rohr Award. “The agriculture industry has undergone a lot of change and withstood a great deal of turmoil, but still has incredible opportunities for the future.”
Lonny Bong Jonah of Port-Vila, Vanuatu attends the University of the South Pacific in Western Somoa, after having received his Bachelor’s at the University of Queensland in Australia. He has worked with the Livestock Department in Vanuatu for the past 7 years as a livestock officer and is actively involved in many social clubs at top levels. He is described by his professors as having exhibited a high capability of independent research and as a potential leader and an asset for his country.
A family background in agriculture motivated Jillian Kelly of Coonamble, New South Wales, Australia, to continue in the family business. She showed cattle throughout high school, which lead to further involvement in selling rural merchandise and farm animal health products during university holidays. She has won numerous awards and honors and is currently pursuing a Veterinary Science degree at the University of Sydney, where she works at a number of livestock ventures around New South Wales involving swine, turkeys, horses, sheep, dairy and beef cattle. “The cattle industry is an extremely complex and diverse sector of Australian agriculture and one which is constantly responding to changes in the international political and economic environment.”
Whitney LeGrand of Warsaw, Kentucky, is a senior at Western Kentucky University pursuing a double major in Agriculture and Communication Studies. An internship with Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and experiences with the Kentucky State Board in agriculture policy have motivated her to pursue Agriculture Law. She is the winner of more than $10,000 in scholarship funding and is actively involved in Block and Bridle, WKU Spirit Masters and Agriculture Ambassadors. “I have learned the importance of having a legal background in today’s society and ultimately would like to represent and fight for the agriculture industry.
Oklahoma State University’s Megan McMichael hails from Underwood, Indiana. She is currently pursuing her Master’s at OSU in meat science and has served as an intern for the USDA meat grading and certification branch, as well as interned as a commodity meat grader in Denver, Cincinnati and Chicago. She also worked in Washington DC as an assistant to the USDA-MGCB Chief, where she helped rewrite the Student Experience Program, as well as developed several other publications for the agency. She is the winner of multiple scholarships and was a member of the national champion Intercollegiate Meats Judging Team. “Through my international experiences and travels, I have realized that working with the international agriculture community is a high priority of mine.”
Bonnyville, Alberta, native Avery Murphy attends the University of Saskatchewan where she is a senior pursuing a degree in Food Science with an agribusiness minor. She has been a primary inspector in meat hygiene in High River and Brooks, Alberta where she was responsible for product inspection, quality assurance and ensuring quality management programs were followed. She is the winner of numerous awards and scholarships. “I want to increase my understanding of the issues affecting our industry.”
Wendie Phelps of Fort Collins, Colorado is pursuing her Master’s at Colorado State University having achieved her Bachelor’s at the University of Arkansas. During her undergraduate program she interned with eh Arkansas Cattleman’s Association, as well as the National Cattleman’s Beef Association as a convention intern. She also studied at the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburg, Scotland. Involved in a number of research projects, she is actively involved in school organizations and has won a number of scholarships. “Too often we push aside others concepts due to competition, but in an open forum where individuals are concerned about the industry as a whole rather than one sector or nation, a clearer vision can be formed.
Jeff Rhone, a Master’s candidate at Texas A&M University, brings his experiences from Texas Tech University and life as a field consultant for Global Partners in Shenyang, China, to this year’s Congress. While at Tech, Rhone was responsible for all show cattle operations at Durham Shorthorns, showing cattle at state and national junior and open stock shows. He also worked with Asia partnership foundation in Yunnan, China, where he helped establish an agricultural training center for farmers. “The gifts and talents I have been blessed with enable me to work extremely well among people of other countries and cultures.”
Hailing from Uberaba, Brazil, Flavio Ribeiro is currently pursuing his Master’s at Iowa State University. He worked on his uncle’s farm in Uberaba, managing the quarter horse and “Nelore” cattle, where he was responsible for herd health, collection of data and other duties. He completed a post graduate certificate at the University of California at Davis and at ISU has been heavily involved in ultrasound technology, introducing a carcass evaluation program for development of EPD’s and the selection of superior animals using ultrasound. Following completion of his Master’s plans to pursue PhD and teach. “One of my major goals is to improve the meat quality of the Brazilian herd to beef produced will be more competitive.”
Nellie May Shannon
Singleton, New South Wales, Australia, is the home of Nellie May Shannon who is attending the University of Queensland in Forest Hill. With a background in both sheep and cattle, she is pursuing a dual degree in Agribusiness and Applied Science in Animal Production. She completed a work experience with Australian Country Choice, a vertically integrated beef company. She is the recipient of several awards and honors. “International relationships are imperative to Australia and to be able to contribute to solutions to issues is something I aspire to.”
Amy Simon of Yarrowitch, New South Wales, attends the University of Sydney where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Veterinary Science. She worked in her father’s rural veterinary clinic, where she was came to an appreciation for the management of dairy and beef cattle operations, working with Murray Grey, Santa Getrudis and Angus Hereford cross cattle. She has assisted farmers with mustering, drenching, vaccinations, dehorning, branding and calf marking. “I am personally very interested in emergency disease prevention and control, and believe that one of the most important aspects of disease control is being able to identify the animals involved and trace their movements.
Mississippi State University is where Julie Sims of Boonville is currently pursuing her Master’s in animal nutrition. She comes from a small farm in rural Mississippi from which she has developed a passion and commitment to the livestock industry. Beginning at the age of five, she exhibited livestock and was very involved in the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen’s Association, as well as Junior Angus Association. More recently, though, her attention has been focused on studying the digestibility of nutrients in the Giant Panda, with her involvement in zoological studies. She has worked with the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association and Beef Council in promotional advertising, serving as the coordinator of the Beef Team. “With the introduction of electronic identification systems, integration of livestock industries and the ever-growing concerns of safety, our industry is changing. Our industry is not well respected by those who do not understand how important animal agriculture is to the survival of people. I hope to have the opportunity to share with others my knowledge learned from my experiences.
Kim Skinner of Bozeman, Montana is currently pursuing his Master’s at Montana State University. He currently works with the Montana Beef Network where he tags various cattle herds for MBN, in order that producers may receive carcass data on their cattle, a well as was part of the team leading the development of a National ID program in association with the USAIP. He was selected to attend the ILC-Calgary in July 2004 and is a member of the meats and livestock judging teams at MSU. “I believe that understanding the beef industry from the production phase to the retail product is critical to one’s success in the industry.”
Travis Standley also calls Bozeman home as he works towards his Master’s in Animal and Range Science. He is a certified associate member of Professional Animal Scientists, with a specialization in beef cattle and is focusing his work on the effects of an experimental vaccine on gestating beef cows to reduce the shedding of E Coli O157:H7 in new born calves. On his family ranch, he assisted with all aspects of the operation, including calving 200 mother cows, AI and breeding selection. He was also selected to attend the ILC-Calgary and is involved with the Montana Beef Network.
Joanna Tabor of Elkton, Kentucky, attends Murray State University where she is involved in Block and Bridle, as well as the Pre Veterinary Club. The winner of numerous scholarships, Joanna was raised on a 1,200 acre family farm with more than 500 head of beef cattle. She is currently working with the Johne’s Disease Program in Kentucky, where she will travel to several large livestock markets and collect blood and fecal samples to test for the prevalence of the disease in livestock markets. She hopes to attend Auburn Veterinary School upon completion of her Master’s. “I have always had an interest in what is happening in agriculture, primarily in the beef industry, around the world. I plan to focus on working with producers in disease prevention that can take a major toll on our industry.”