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Alumni News

Posted: January 18, 2010

News from and about our graduates and recognition of alumni past and recent...

2009 Distinguished Dairy Science Alumnus

H. Duane Norman, Ph.D., supervisory research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, is the 2009 Dairy Science Distinguished Alumnus. Norman was recognized at a departmental ceremony on November 20. Norman is known throughout the world for his leadership in the genetic evaluation for traits of economic importance for the U.S. dairy industry, and for the tremendous economic impact his evaluations have had over the last 25 years.

Norman grew up on a registered Jersey farm in Liberty, PA, and was active in 4-H and FFA. As a Penn State undergraduate student, he was president of Campus 4-H, vice-president of the Dairy Science Club, editor of the Dairyman, a member of the dairy cattle judging team and was named Outstanding Senior.

He earned his B.S. (1964) and M.S. (1967) degrees from Penn State then received his Ph.D. in dairy breeding from Cornell University in 1970.

Norman joined the ARS in 1970 as a geneticist, and for the last 21 years has been research leader of the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, overseeing the genetics research program and genetic evaluations for the U.S. Dairy Industry. He has developed methods that have led to genetic improvement of yield and fitness traits, thereby increasing the efficiency of milk production worldwide. The evaluations now include yield, fitness and health traits, such as conformation, longevity, fertility, calving ease, stillbirth and mastitis resistance. Recent emphasis has been on genomics.

Norman has been recognized with the Polish Ministry of Agriculture’s Decoration of Order of Merit in Agriculture; the American Jersey Cattle Association’s Distinguished Service Award; the National Association of Animal Breeders’ Research Award; the ADSA J.L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics; Dairymen’s Club Service Award; National DHIA Outstanding Service Award; ADSA Fellow; College of Agricultural Sciences’ Outstanding Alumnus Award; and ADSA’s Land O’Lakes Award. Norman’s research is cited frequently in editorial pages and textbooks and he makes frequent presentations at state, national and international meetings.

He was director of the National Dairy Shrine for nine years, its president in 2003, and received its Guest of Honor Award in 2007. A 4-H leader for 25 years, he served 10 years as organizational leader of the Fulton 4-H Club. He has coached both county and state 4-H dairy bowl teams.

Norman is married to Roslyn Waring with whom he has three daughters, Kathryn, Jill and Diane. They reside in Fulton, MD.

Stockmen’s Club

The Club’s annual business meeting will be held January 9, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg East, with social hour at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Dr. Bruce McPheron, new Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, will be part of the program. Newsletters with information about the annual election were mailed in late November. Any alum of the department or former member of the Block & Bridle Club who wishes to become a member is encouraged to join by contacting Jana Peters at 814-863-4198, or at jpeters@psu.edu.

DAS Tailgate III

The Dairymen’s Club and Stockmen’s Club hosted the third annual football tailgate on September 26 at the Snider Ag Arena prior to the Penn State vs. Iowa game. The tailgate attracted over 300 people and was a great success, even though the weather and the game outcome were less positive! The tentative date for next year’s tailgate is November 6, 2010 (Penn State vs. Northwestern).

Equine Alumni Leadership Opportunity

There is interest in trying to institute an Equine Science Alumni reunion. Karen Vines is looking for graduates from the equine program to volunteer to serve on the planning committee to continue this event. Anyone participating in equine-related activities or clubs or graduating with an equine minor is welcome to participate.

Once a list of volunteers has been assembled, Karen will work with the volunteers to determine the best method for meeting - so distance from State College should not deter anyone who would like to participate. Interested individuals are asked to send their name, email address and meeting preferences (online, teleconference) to kvines@psu.edu. Karen looks forward to working with the group!

Penn State Live Feature

Barbara Toddes, an Animal Sciences graduate, was featured in Penn State Live, the university’s online official news source. The story is Alumna Decides What Beasts Should Eat.

Toddes is the director of the animal nutrition program at the Philadelphia Zoo.