Name: Jerry Bowman
Institution: American Dairy Science Association
Current role with ADSA: Executive director
- How long have you been involved with ADSA, and what compelled you to join the association?
I joined ADSA in September to take on the role of executive director of the association. Throughout my career, I have worked to support the mission and visions of several science-focused organizations in the association and nonprofit fields by focusing on flavor science, food science, pediatrics, public health, and other disciplines. With that background, it was a natural progression in my career to take on a new role as executive director of ADSA, especially given the association’s respected reputation as an interactive forum for anyone interested in the critical role of dairy science, from production to dairy foods and beyond.
- What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
It’s really the ADSA people, the purpose, and the plan. As a member of the board, I have a unique opportunity to collaborate with a variety of noted individuals who are highly respected in the dairy science community and the industry to ensure that ADSA provides opportunities and value for our members. This unity of purpose, centered on science, is critical to our board discussions and to our important collective strategic role to ensure that we develop and implement a forward-looking plan that ultimately delivers on the ADSA mission in the years to come.
- Why is it important for the dairy science community to participate in the association?
What makes associations unique is the diversity of people, which generates a collective diversity of perspectives. Whether members are from academia, government, or industry, ADSA is truly THE forum for engagement around dairy science issues throughout the supply chain. This manifests itself in the annual meeting, Discover conferences, journal publications, and general opportunities to build lifelong friendships and lifetime career opportunities. However, if our members don’t participate, whether in-person or virtually, it’s a missed opportunity to take full advantage of what ADSA has to offer.
- What do you think is the most important resource that ADSA provides the scientific community?
There are a variety of resources and platforms that contribute to ADSA being the primary forum dairy science. Most importantly, I would say the most critical resource we have is our members. The knowledge and expertise they contribute serves as a foundation to generate a comprehensive annual meeting program, create opportunities to engage at Discover, develop the latest scientific journal content, engage the next generation of members, and foster collaborations throughout our scientific community that transcend borders.
- What strategic initiative of ADSA are you most passionate about and why?
Actually, all of our strategic initiatives are designed to work in unison to address current issues and emerging needs. But if I had to choose, I would say that looking to the future to engage new members will be an important priority, especially when it comes to creating a pipeline of student talent. Creating opportunities to engage with ADSA at an early career stage opens opportunities to create awareness of the promise of dairy science and a career pathway that can generate lifelong opportunities for learning, whether it’s attending a meeting, meeting noted experts, learning through our journals, or simply making friendships. ADSA serves as a career home today, tomorrow, and in the years ahead.
- What is one pressing challenge for the future of the dairy industry and how is ADSA addressing that through its new strategic plan?
In the wake of COVID-19, we have all seen the collective challenge we face on a global scale. As we continue to counter this pandemic, it will be critically important to begin focusing on how we can address the ongoing need to feed the estimated 9 billion people that will inhabit our planet by 2050. As noted earlier, ADSA’s role and interest in science transcends borders. The new strategic plan is focused on modernizing and readying ADSA to champion scientific outcomes, create unity of purpose through our association programs, grow our membership to advance the organization, and connect throughout the global dairy industry. This will take collaborative partnerships, both here in the United States and throughout the world, which are an essential part of the strategic plan.