I grew up in Quebec, Canada, and earned my BS (1978) and MS (1979) degrees from Laval University in dairy nutrition. After a two-year stint in the feed industry to replenish my bank account, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, became an Ohio State Buckeyes football fan, and received my PhD (1985) for the work I did on stochastic models in dairy nutrition and management. Following a one-year postdoc in New Zealand, I started a 10-year career in the feed industry, working for both large and small corporations. In 1997 I returned to Ohio State and moved through the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor of dairy management until my retirement in 2016. I wasn’t quite ready to fade away yet, so I moved back to the East Coast, where I currently head the research and development department within Perdue AgriBusiness-Animal Nutrition. For those with an interest in metrics of professional productivity, I have authored or coauthored 112 peer-reviewed articles (most of them published in JDS®), published nearly 400 abstracts, written more than 600 popular press articles, and made 780 presentations in my career.
In short, I have spent about half of my career working in academia and half working in the industry for organizations of very different sizes. This provides me with a very good understanding of the different needs and wants of people working in the industry and those in academia, which includes students and graduate students. Although there is some overlapping communality between these two groups, we must remain aware of their differences in wants and needs if we want to remain a relevant organization. In the end, ADSA® is an association of scientists with a common interest: milk production and its transformation into human edible products.
Throughout my career, I have been a member of many scientific and professional organizations. I have witnessed different styles of leadership and modes of operation. Over all these years, starting when I first became a member of ADSA in 1980, my professional heart has never wavered from ADSA. This organization has simply been my professional home. In return, I have participated and volunteered in many of its activities. These include being a member of and chairing the ADSA/ASAS/CSAS Management and Production Committee; ADSA/ASAS/PSA Production, Management, and Environment Committee; ADSA/ASAS International Committee; ADSA Finance Committee; ADSA Audit Committee; as well as a few ADSA awards committees. Between 2014 and 2017, I served as a director for the Production Division on the ADSA Board of Directors. Among other services I served as section editor for the journal (2010–2015) and reviewed countless manuscripts for JDS. When FASS was on the verge of bankruptcy, I helped restore its financial health, first as its treasurer (2004–2006), and then as its interim CEO for four months in 2005. During those four months spent in Savoy, Illinois, I closely worked with many of the great people who still provide services to our organization. I not only understand ADSA, but I also have a good understanding of FASS, a nonprofit corporation currently wholly owned by ADSA.
I have been asked to possibly serve as vice president of ADSA, and the timing couldn’t be any better because I should have more discretionary time available next year. I am ready to face new challenges. It is imperative that ADSA maintains a high-impact journal and continues producing a high-quality annual meeting. For many of our members, these two activities are the main justifications for their membership. We must also be financially vigilant. As I understand it, ADSA is financially strong. But we have all witnessed outstanding organizations and companies going into the proverbial financial ditch because they failed to adjust to changing markets. We need to maintain a critical mass of members. This may require new approaches to attract members from overseas as well as attracting and retaining young members here in the United States. We should explore new alliances with organizations that have not traditionally been approached by ADSA. The breadth of our joint expertise and interests, literally from farm to table, should have some appeal to other organizations with an interest in producing food for the betterment of mankind.