American Society For Nutrition

Animal Science Meeting

Animal Science Meeting

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
Posted on 07/28/2011 at 12:40:23 PM by Student Blogger
ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans (July 10 -14)

by: Umang A.

I attended the Joint annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and American Society for Animal Science (ASAS) in New Orleans. The theme of the conference was related to food science, dairy production, nutrition, animal health, food safety and management. The meeting kicked off on Sunday with a spectacular performance by the famous 'Preservation Hall Jazz Band'. More than 2500 scientists and researchers from 51 countries attended the conference.

From genes to pathways, dairy technology to animal health and environmental impact of livestock to government policies, the research presented during JAM'11 came from a very broad base. Being from a ruminant nutrition background with interest in intermediary metabolism, I mainly attended sessions dealing with stable isotope studies, nutritional programming, direct-fed microbials and microbiomes. Clearly the gut-microbiomes research seemed to be the next 'in' thing.

Science meetings aren't just about talks and posters, it is fun too. There are parties thrown by companies, which complement the meetings and provide a good opportunity for like minded scientists to come together. On one such invitation, we went on the paddlewheeler cruise on the Mississippi river one evening. It was a lot of fun, with old friends meeting up and a sumptuous Cajun buffet, but what I found amazing was the science discussions which were clearly dominant in every group aboard. Cruising through the Mississippi, great scientists talked not just great contemporary science but also prophesized about future directions.

There are going to be many challenges for the animal science industry in the coming future. Sustainable agriculture would require minimizing farm carbon emissions from cows, and a great deal of research is already underway to solve this problem. However at the same time, we need to ensure food security for the growing world. We need to make our animals more productive without compromising even a little on animal health. This requires even more deep understanding of regulatory mechanisms of partitioning of feed into food, maintenance or waste. Developing online decision support tools to make the new research applicable is also crucial to dissemination of latest scientific knowledge.

The conference ended with a Global Networking Reception. Catherine Woteki, under secretary of the USDA's Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, delivered the official address.

Some quotes from the conference (from ASAS archives - Taking Stock):

“If you are ever reviewing a paper that says mammary development begins at puberty, reject it–please.” – Dr. Steve Ellis, Clemson University, speaking at the BOLFA symposium.

“You've got to get non-farm people exposed to this stuff.” – Temple Grandin, speaking about educating college students


Hi Umang. That animal science meeting that you went to in New Orleans sounds like it was as fun as it was educational.

I think that one of the most important issues that relates to the meat and dairy industry is the carbon emissions from cows. I was initially shocked to learn that this is an incredible source of green house gas emissions. It's safe to say that most people assume that most of it comes from power plants and vehicles.

Nick W

It was nice to know that you are giving importance to animal health and their environment as well as ensuring food security for the growing world.