ADSA Welcomes 2024–2025 Board Members

Champaign, IL (June 6, 2024) - The American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA), a leading international scientific organization for dairy professionals, is pleased to announce its newly elected leaders for the organization’s 2024–2025 term.

These esteemed individuals, chosen by their peers, bring a wealth of experience and expertise in dairy science education, research, and industry. Their leadership will be instrumental in guiding ADSA’s mission to advance the dairy science community and industry through education, scientific inquiry, and public outreach:

  • David Everett, PhD, a principal investigator with Riddet Institute and adjunct professor at Massey University, was elected to the office of vice president for a one-year term.
  • Michelle (Shelly) Rhoads, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Animal Sciences at Virginia Tech, was elected Production Division director for a three-year term.
  • Laura Colby, a principal scientist in dairy foods at Land O’Lakes Inc., was elected Dairy Foods Division director for a three-year term.

ADSA congratulates all three new leaders and looks forward to their official welcome into their new positions during the 2024 ADSA Annual Meeting held in West Palm Beach, Florida, from June 16–19. Staff and leadership at ADSA extend a warm thank you to the diverse and qualified group of candidates who came forward to serve the association, as well as to the members who cast their votes.

Learn more about ADSA’s new leaders below, and see ADSA’s full Board of Directors at

David Everett, ADSA Vice President

David Everett has been a professional member of ADSA for 30 years and currently serves as a third-year director on the ADSA Board. He has served as chair of both the Dairy Foods Division and the Milk Protein and Enzymes Standing Committee. Everett currently serves as the chair of the ADSA International Partnership Program, which organizes a one-day symposium each year at the annual meeting with scientists from different regions of the world who work in dairy production and food. He is active at ADSA Annual Meetings, serving on student-judging panels and presenting his research on dairy food structure, digestibility, and health with a focus on cheese science and technology.

Originally from Australia, Everett has BSc and MSc degrees in chemistry from the University of Sydney, a PhD in food science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a postdoctoral fellowship in food science at the University of Guelph. His research and teaching career has focused on dairy food science at the University of Otago and Massey University in New Zealand and at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he held the Leprino Foods Endowed Professorship in dairy foods and was director of the Dairy Products Technology Center. This center was one of the six original dairy food centers in the United States that engaged in teaching and research with students and food companies.

Everett has governance experience from serving as president and chair of the board of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology. He also serves as an elected member of the Science & Program Coordination Committee of the International Dairy Federation to assess research program priorities among member countries. His current position is principal investigator at the Riddet Institute in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and he holds an adjunct professorship at Massey University and a visiting professorship at Zhejiang Gongshang University in China.

Says Everett, “We face many challenges as a professional organization. Our membership base must grow to support the future research needs of the dairy industry. We can achieve this by providing value in joining ADSA and actively developing partnerships with other dairy organizations that benefit our members. Younger members and students need to be mentored and introduced to opportunities to serve within ADSA, starting at the divisional level. We should embrace our diversity in membership by supporting those who wish to serve and developing a pathway to rise into leadership positions when they step forward and volunteer. Our organizational strategic plan has set out key objectives that will bring about these changes. ADSA is one of the few food science organizations that spans both production and food processing. We should celebrate and nurture this by developing programs of work that encompass the path from cows to dairy food products, such as holding joint symposia at the Annual Meeting. I welcome the opportunity to continue working on these challenges as vice president.”

Michelle (Shelly) Rhoads, ADSA Director—Dairy Production Division

Shelly Rhoads is an associate professor in the School of Animal Sciences at Virginia Tech. Her recent research investigates aberrations in metabolic and endocrine profiles, focused on interactions between fertility, insulin, and glucose in heat-stressed dairy cattle. In addition, her research interests include growth hormones, insulin-like growth factor-1, ghrelin, and the reproductive hormones of cattle. All in an effort to elucidate factors involved in fertility regulation and to develop management programs that optimize reproductive capacity.

Rhoads was born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in mid-Missouri, where she was active in day-to-day operations and eventually built her own small herd of Holsteins. After receiving a BS in animal science from the University of Missouri, Rhoads went on to earn an MS from Cornell University with W. Ronald Butler, then returned to the University of Missouri for her PhD with Matthew Lucy. Before coming to Virginia Tech, Rhoads was a USDA-funded post-doc and assistant professor at the University of Arizona. She is a frequent invited speaker at local, national, and international meetings, where she shares her research findings with producers, students, peer scientists, industry professionals, government officials, and other stakeholders.

Rhoads has served as a member of the ADSA Physiology and Endocrinology Program Committee (2022–present), a member of the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) Editorial Board (2017–2022), and an invited speaker at the ADSA Annual Meeting (2018). She is a frequent contributor of publications to JDS and JDS Communications as a corresponding author and frequently reviews for both journals.

In addition to the ADSA activities listed above, Rhoads has served on the Editorial Board for Frontiers in Animal Science (Animal Nutrition section). She is a member of two multistate research projects with the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NE2227 and NC1201). Her experience with NE2227, in particular, has prepared her for the ADSA Board, as she served in multiple capacities—director, secretary, and chair—and hosted and organized two of the annual meetings.

She has served on multiple committees for the Society for the Study of Reproduction and within her institution at the university, college, and departmental levels. These invaluable experiences have prepared her for working with peers at multiple institutions to accomplish a common goal, and have taught her the importance of timeliness in completing tasks.

Rhoads wishes to serve on the board to contribute guidance to the organization. ADSA has been part of her life since she was an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. Over the years, the organization has contributed to her success as a faculty member, and because of this, she would like to give back in the form of leadership and service. Beyond the direct contribution to ADSA and its members, she would like to serve as an example and resource for young women interested in pursuing a career in dairy science within academia.

Laura Colby, ADSA Director—Dairy Foods Division

Laura Colby is a principal scientist in dairy foods at Land O’Lakes Inc., where she has worked since 2016 in dual roles as a technical leader and people leader. She had experience working at Kraft Heinz, Quest International (acquired by Givaudan), Monsanto, and General Mills prior to joining Land O’Lakes. Colby studied food science and chemistry at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her areas of focus include natural cheese, cheese, dairy flavor generation, cultures and enzymes, enzyme-modified cheeses, novel fermentations, cheese quality improvements, and more. She is passionate about developing technical leaders while delivering business value.

Colby has served ADSA in volunteer roles over the past seven years, including as a member-at-large of the Dairy Foods Division, judge for the Dairy Foods Division Graduate Student Poster Competition, chair and judge for the Dairy Foods Division Graduate Student Oral Presentation Competition, member of the ADSA Dairy Foods Student Engagement Subcommittee, and as an abstract reviewer.

Colby is engaged with National Dairy Foods Research Centers and recently served on a strategic planning team for the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center. She has previously served in numerous leadership roles within the Institute of Food Technologists sections, divisions, and student association, where she influenced and improved programming, governance, student involvement, outreach, marketing, and more, having served on both Chicago and Minnesota Section Institute of Food Technologists boards. Colby has had formal leadership training as well as informal leadership development through practice over more than two decades. She is excited about the future of ADSA and its role in advancing dairy animal agriculture and the dairy foods industry.

About the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA®)
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. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry.