Name: David Everett
Current role with ADSA: Director–Dairy Foods
LinkedIn: David Everett
- How long have you been involved with ADSA, and what compelled you to join the association?
I joined ADSA sometime around 1993 during grad school at the University of Wisconsin. My reason was to begin developing a professional network and to present my own research at the annual meetings, as well as to hear presentations on the latest in dairy science research. Being an active member of a scientific community has always been important to me. Of course, my grad school colleagues were also members, so there was another incentive to join!
- What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
I enjoy seeing the “big picture” and getting involved in setting strategic directions. It’s also a way for me to contribute to ADSA after so many years as a member.
- Why is it important for the dairy science community to participate in the association?
Without participation, we are just names on a membership roll. The greatest benefit that anyone can receive from an association is to participate and contribute. There is a great deal of professional satisfaction in helping to further develop ADSA. Working together enables us to build something bigger than we could achieve by ourselves.
- What do you think is the most important resource that ADSA provides the scientific community?
The annual meeting, without a doubt. It is a great venue in which to build a professional network. Student members should not feel scared to engage with longer-term members. Presenting research findings, joining student committees, forming a team in the Dairy Quiz Bowl, and attending the division meetings all help to get students started on a career pathway.
- What strategic initiative of ADSA are you most passionate about and why?
That’s a tough question to answer. The board is working on four key strategic areas but if I had to pick one, it would be increasing our participation in the global dairy science community. I have a passion to communicate science and to build linkages with international organizations to understand and promote the health benefits of dairy products.
- What is one pressing challenge for the future of the dairy industry and how is ADSA addressing that through its new strategic plan?
The biggest pressing challenge is sustainable membership. We need younger members to replenish the retiring older members and to lead ADSA into the future. ADSA has prioritized a strategic initiative to grow and advance the dairy science profession. We will do this by supporting the graduate and undergraduate student divisions and providing a pathway forward into ADSA leadership roles, as well as identifying career options in dairy science. The more experienced ADSA members have an important role to play in helping students and recent graduates plan out career pathways.