By Matt Reese
In 2007, I had the opportunity to take on a new project documenting the history of the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University. The project has been humbling and rewarding as I have gotten to interview and work with some truly fantastc people. The book has been completed just in time for the holidays and can be ordered by visiting www.lulu.com and searching for “Matt Reese animal science.”
Without the contributions of many, this document would not have been possible. Many fantastic people have assisted with this effort over the past few years. Dr. James Kinder first allowed me to take on this humbling and fascinating project and then spent many hours reviewing and editing the multiple drafts. Dr. Tom Turner, Dr. Vern Cahill and Dr. Maurice Eastridge made valuable suggestions for the final draft and many others reviewed and added to the document along the way.
The need for animal husbandry has been around as long as there a have been people and animals. And, in the long standing, and constantly evolving relationship, clearly the most important part of the equation is the human componant. It is the people who have shaped domesticated animals into what they are today. And, now, more than ever before, it continues to be people that decide the direction and goals of the future for this inevitable relationship between humans and animals.
When considering the rich history of how this releationship has benefitted from the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University, of course the animals and the science are very important, but even more important are the people who have shaped both. I have no doubt that you, as I have been, will be surprised, impressed and humbled by the truly amazing people that have shaped this history of excellence in the Department.
Uniting those with a common love of animals, the Department brings together a diverse patchwork of students and transforms them into stewards of animals and shapers of science. Throughout the Department’s history there has been no shortage of farm youth who had rarely, if ever, been to a big city prior to their arrival on the Columbus campus to be a part of the Department. There have also been plenty of city dwllers who came to the Department never having touched a sheep before and not knowing the definition of a sow. This diversity has been to the benefit of the Department and to Ohio’s livestock industry.
Among the many impressive contributions of the talented people of the Department are: cutting edge human cancer research, Vitamin D Milk, turkeys with some meat on their bones, unimaginable increases in milk production, Certified Angus Beef standards, lean pork, cottage cheese, and increased production efficiency and quality of everything from sheep to camelids. The people of the Department have also been a part of legendary pit BBQs, references on late night television and even a bovine homecoming queen.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this opportunity to learn more about the truly amazing contributions that have taken place here in Ohio due to the animals, and to the science, but mostly to the wonderful people of the Department of Animal Sciences.
Special thanks to all of those who allowed me to interview them for this project, April Hayes, and to the Ohio State University Archives for allowing me access to their rich library of photos. Very special thanks to my wife, family and co-workers, who put up with me during this enjoyable, but time-consuming, project.
It has truly been a privilege for me to compile the rich and impressive history of such a gifted and special group of people. Thank you all for the opportunity.