Name: Normand St-Pierre
Institution: Perdue Agribusiness
Current role with ADSA: Vice president
- How long have you been involved with ADSA, and what compelled you to join the association?
I became an ADSA member in 1980 simply because my master’s advisor told me that I had to – it was not optional if I ever wanted to graduate! What I quickly found was that ADSA published an outstanding journal filled with all sort of neat research and science, and that it provided me with a platform through which I could build an extensive network of people with similar scientific interests.
- What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
Food and beverages! Jokes aside, it’s the feeling of making a difference, of contributing to this organization that has served as my professional home throughout my career.
- Why is it important for the dairy science community to participate in the association?
Associations serve as gathering mechanisms for people with a common interest. For us in ADSA, our common interest is milk from mammals. The association by itself does not do anything to serve this common interest. It is the people belonging to this association, the members who, through their activities and involvement, create membership value and enhance our contributions to food production.
- What do you think is the most important resource that ADSA provides the scientific community?
ADSA provides means of communication. This is achieved through the publication of its journals (Journal of Dairy Science and JDS Communications), hosting an annual meeting rooted in high-quality science, organizing special events such as the Discover conference series, and providing contact information for other members through the searchable membership database.
- What strategic initiative of ADSA are you most passionate about and why?
Connect the Global Dairy Science Community
If we want this organization to be viable in the long run, we have to maintain and preferably grow its membership. In the end, size does matter. Therefore, we need to broaden our domestic membership by reaching out to people who traditionally have not been the target clientele for membership in ADSA. Simultaneously, we must innovate and find better ways for people with a dairy interest and who reside outside North America to find value in ADSA and participate as members without having to physically travel long distances and across many time zones.
- What is one pressing challenge for the future of the dairy industry and how is ADSA addressing that through its new strategic plan?
The internet yields information on just about anything using simple searches and clicks. Unfortunately, this information all too often turns out to be misinformation. Too many people are misinformed and believe that modern farming in general and modern dairying in particular misuses natural resources, mistreats animals, and creates massive amounts of pollutants discharged into the environment. Too many people believes that modern processing of food, including dairy products, lowers food’s nutritional content, reduces flavor, and increases the risk of food-related illnesses. ADSA has to enhance its visibility and credibility so as to be perceived as the source of unbiased, science-based information related to dairy.