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Penn State Animal Science Professor Receives Cargill's Young Scientist Award

Posted: July 27, 2016

Kevin Harvatine, Ph.D., received the 2016 Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award at the ASAS/ADSA joint annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Penn State's Department of Animal Science's Kevin Harvatine, Ph.D., received the 2016 Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award at the ASAS/ADSA joint annual meeting this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award is designed to recognize outstanding research by young dairy production scientists during the first ten (10) years of their professional career for their exceptional research in dairy cattle production area.

A native of Susquehanna County, PA, Harvatine is Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology, and has been at Penn State since 2009. He received his B.S. in Animal Science from Penn State in 2001, his M.S. from Michigan State University in 2003 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2008. He also did post-doctoral work at Cornell.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "Dr. Harvatine is an outstanding young scientist who is most deserving of this special recognition. His research is having a very positive impact on the dairy industry, both nationally and internationally, and has provided important contributions to the field. I value his many contributions to the Department, and offer my sincere congratulations."

Jud Heinrichs, Ph.D., Professor of Dairy Science, nominated Harvatine for the recognition and said, "I am pleased that Kevin has been selected for this award, because the research he is doing is so valuable to the dairy industry. He certainly exemplifies the best of our young scientists and his research will continue to have a strong impact."

Harvatine's research is focused on the nutritional regulation of milk synthesis. Some compounds found in diets are bioactive and have the ability to modify physiological processes such as gene expression and Harvatine's goal is to identify bioactive factors and nutritional strategies to improve animal production, efficiency, and health.  His unique training in ruminant nutrition, whole animal metabolism, and molecular biology has made him well suited to conduct this translational research.

His research provides both real-world applications to the dairy industry and a basic understanding of biological mechanisms.  His current research program focuses on investigating the regulation of milk fat synthesis and circadian regulation of intake and mammary metabolism.

His research is supported by numerous grants and he has just received a 2016 grant from Penn State through the Arthur W. Nesbitt Faculty Program Development program for a proposal entitled "Application of a novel technique to observe ruminal fatty acid metabolism."

Harvatine has had numerous manuscripts published in the Journal of Dairy Science, and has presented invited talks in Australia, Brazil, and US regional conferences. He was an invited speaker at the 3rd and 4th International Symposium on Dairy Cow Nutrition and Milk Quality in Beijing, China (in 2013 & 2015); the 2014 Triennial Lactation Symposium at the Joint Annual Meeting of ASAS and ADSA (JAM) and the 8th International Conference on Farm Animal Endocrinology in Billund, Denmark (2015).

Providing strong leadership within the Department, he has overseen master's and Ph.D. candidates as well as mentored visiting professors and graduate students. He has published 37 peer-reviewed articles in the past seven years (47 total in career) and has authored or coauthored 54 abstracts (72 total) and given over 40 invited presentations during his time on faculty.

An active member of ADSA, Harvatine is vice-president of the Joint Northeast Section of ASAS/ADSA, and was chair of the Physiology Committee for the 2013 JAM, overseeing abstract review, session assignment, and organization of a special symposium. He has served on two award committees, including as chair. Harvatine is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Dairy Science.

Donated by Cargill Animal Nutrition, the award includes $1,500 and a plaque.

One of ADSA's five organizational objectives is to recognize ADSA members for outstanding personal achievement. ADSA accomplishes this objective through partnering with 20 award sponsors, and through making its own association and foundation awards. Whether you are a professional or a student, ADSA supports a comprehensive Awards Program designed to identify and recognize those who have made important contributions to the dairy industry and the association.