About ADSA

The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world's population. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry.

ADSA Vision Statement

Science, education, and service for the global dairy sector.

ADSA Mission Statement

The American Dairy Science Association promotes the creation, dissemination, and exchange of scientific and technical knowledge to improve and sustain the global dairy sector, to the benefit of humankind.

ADSA Organizational Objectives

  • To stimulate the discovery, application, and dissemination of knowledge
  • To create an atmosphere in which various segments of the dairy industries freely exchange knowledge
  • To recognize outstanding personal achievement
  • To publish original research, reviews and timely information in the official ADSA publication, the Journal of Dairy Science, the highest-ranked general dairy research journal in the world.
  • To sponsor programs for challenging and developing youth for leadership responsibilities

ADSA Core Values Statement

Core values include integrity, objectivity, open-mindedness, inclusiveness, and commitment.

ADSA Guiding Principles

  • Long-standing commitment to the dairy food system through our organizational structure comprising Dairy Foods and Dairy Production Divisions.
  • Building and maintaining a relationship with like minded societies.
  • Building and maintaining synergistic partnerships for the advancement of animal agriculture and food systems research and education.

Committment to DEI

Diversity: is the representation of all people inclusive of all identities and backgrounds as individuals who collectively contribute to a broader diversity of scientific perspectives with the American Dairy Science Association.

Equity: seeks to ensure nondiscriminatory treatment, equality of opportunity, accessibility and fair access to information and resources for all within the American Dairy Science Association.

Inclusion: builds a holistic culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people with the American Dairy Science Association.

History of ADSA

The American Dairy Science Association was founded on July 17, 1906, as the National Association of Dairy Instructors and Investigators in Urbana, Illinois, with 19 charter members. In 1908, the organization's name was changed to the Official Dairy Instructor's Association. The next name change was made in 1916 to the American Dairy Science Association, which has stood for over 100 years.

ADSA's first "annual" meeting was held in 1906 at the University of Illinois, while the Graduate School of Agriculture was in session, and included the heads of dairy departments and dairy investigators. Leaders from these groups saw a need for an association and an annual meeting to help in the development of dairy training due to a lack of scientific knowledge, suitable textbooks, and qualified instructors. At the time, specific training in dairy products and dairy manufacturing was not available. This first meeting, and those that followed in the early years of the association's life, provided an opportunity to discuss and help develop separate dairy curricula in state universities. Through these early meetings, the association became a leader in the development of score cards, standards for products, rules for dairy cattle judging contests, testing and identification of dairy cows, instruction and research, and even in dairy extension.

ADSA held annual meetings on college campuses from 1927 to 1997, with a couple of meetings at convention centers in the 1990s. Beginning in 1998, annual meetings have been held at convention centers. In 1978, ADSA and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) met together for the first time in East Lansing, Michigan. From 1998 through 2016, ADSA and ASAS met jointly every year, except in 1999, when they held separate meetings.

The Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) was established in 1917, and in 2017 published its 100th volume. JDS went from six issues a year to a monthly publication in 1934. JDS continues to be ranked among the top five journals in the agriculture, dairy and animal science category.

Membership in ADSA has grown from the original 19 charter members to 4,700 in 2017. This number includes institutions and individual members as follows: professional, sustaining (corporate), post-doctoral students, graduate students, undergraduate students, and life members. ADSA has three divisions: Dairy Foods, Production, and the Student Affiliate Division (SAD).

The ADSA established a Foundation in 1990 under the leadership of Robert L. Sellars, Past President of ADSA. The Borden Co. provided the seed money for the Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to acquire and disseminate scientific knowledge and information and enhance educational programs of the ADSA and the dairy industry as a whole. In its first year of operation, the Foundation sponsored lectures, symposia and the opening session speakers. Subsequent resource development efforts have partially or fully funded the Discover Conferences, the Foundation Scholar awards, the SAD Quiz Bowl, and the Genevieve Christen Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award.

The First Hundred Years

ADSA: The First 100 Years – A DVD History

The Centennial DVD includes two programs: a 25-minute history of the ADSA and a 9-minute presentation, The World of Dairy Science.

The First 100 Years is an overview of the ADSA's origins, its growth, and its current contributions to the global dairy industry. This retrospective highlights the development of The Journal of Dairy Science, the ADSA Student Affiliate Division, the association's awards program, and the ADSA Foundation, and includes a number of comments from recent Past Presidents of ADSA.

The World of Dairy Science

The World of Dairy Science is a concise program touching upon current topics in dairy production and dairy manufacturing. The presentation includes comments from current ADSA Members and dairy producers. This program was shown during the Centennial Annual Meeting's Opening Ceremony, and could be used for short presentations at service club meetings and in classroom situations.

ADSA Strategic Plan

In February 2022, the ADSA Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan. The new plan is built around 5 core initiatives and supporting objectives that will focus our priorities over a 3-year period to help ADSA meet its strategic objectives and advance its mission. Ultimately, the plan ensures that the association meets the needs of our members and provides value throughout our community.

Login to access the full plan