Name: Xin Zhao
Institution: McGill University
Current role with ADSA: Director–Production
- How long have you been involved with ADSA, and what compelled you to join the association?
I have been an active ADSA member since 1990. Because my research focuses mainly on dairy cows, it was a logical choice for me to join ADSA, an international organization committed to advancing the dairy industry and fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world’s population through dairying and dairy products.
- What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
What I enjoy most is to have opportunities to support and work on initiatives that will positively affect our organization. Over the last two years, the board has been working hard on strategic planning, dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, and instituting a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, among other initiatives.
- Why is it important for the dairy science community to participate in the association?
The association provides its members access to cutting-edge information in the dairy industry through its publication, Journal of Dairy Science, a weekly e-newsletter, and a library of recorded symposia. The association also provides access to unique networking opportunities such as annual meetings, Discover conferences, and other activities. As well, members can be active in subcommittees or take up more prominent leadership and volunteer roles in the association.
- What do you think is the most important resource that ADSA provides the scientific community?
ADSA provides the dairy science community great resources for learning opportunities, networking, and career growth. ADSA’s resources include the journals, annual meetings, Discover conferences, weekly newsletters, and many others. In addition, ADSA works with FASS to advocate for science-based policy making and increasing funding for animal agriculture research.
- What strategic initiative of ADSA are you most passionate about and why?
I am passionate about engaging and collaborating with the international dairy science community. The dairy community plays a significant role in achieving global food security for the world’s rapidly expanding population, especially in Africa and Asia. Increasing international collaboration is essential to further improving the availability of safe and nutritious dairy products and decreasing the environmental impact of dairy production.
- What is one pressing challenge for the future of the dairy industry and how is ADSA addressing that through its new strategic plan?
A major challenge for the dairy industry is to decrease the environmental impact of dairy production while improving the availability of safe and nutritious dairy products. ADSA will continue addressing the challenge through several initiatives: training the next generation of dairy professionals, disseminating dairy innovations and dairy science to the general public, and connecting the global dairy science community to work together for solutions.