The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has announced the appointment of Bain Wilson as livestock evaluation specialist.
Wilson will join the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences, effective August 2021, as assistant professor, professional practice. He will lead the Ohio State Livestock Judging Team, teach the department’s livestock evaluation course, and begin connecting with Ohio 4-H livestock evaluation teams across the state.
“We are excited for Dr. Wilson to join the faculty and to lead the livestock evaluation courses and team. His arrival is part of a larger plan of pursuing excellence for our judging team,” said John Foltz, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences.
Wilson currently serves as an assistant professor in beef production and youth livestock at Virginia Tech. His position there involves teaching, research, and Extension. He has served as the coordinator of the intercollegiate livestock judging team at Virginia Tech, as well as the coach for both the Virginia and Illinois state 4-H livestock judging teams.
In both instances, he led the 4-H livestock judging teams to national championships. His research at Virginia Tech focuses on production practices that have the ability to improve the output and viability of beef production systems.
Wilson received a bachelor’s degree in animal science and industry from Kansas State University, a master’s in animal sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a doctorate in ruminant nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to the announcement of Wilson as livestock evaluation specialist on the Columbus campus, a new livestock evaluation coaching position has been announced for Ohio State ATI on the CFAES Wooster campus.
“We are equally excited to share that two organizations have come forward to provide funding for a livestock evaluation coaching position at CFAES Wooster–ATI, which will create a junior livestock judging team on that campus,” Foltz said. “The creation of this team will be a fantastic way to give students experience in livestock evaluation and, if they choose to continue their education on the main Columbus campus, they would be excellent candidates to join the senior judging team.”
The hiring of Wilson along with the new ATI position honor commitments by both the college itself as well as its Department of Animal Sciences to support Ohio livestock industries. An important part of that plan involves the proposed, world-class Multispecies Animal Learning Center (MALC) at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on Lane Avenue in Columbus. This center will integrate with the planned remodeling of the Waterman dairy, which will include robotic feeding and milking technology.
The MALC is currently in the design phase and will focus on the full spectrum of animal-human interactions, from production animal agriculture to companion animals. It will also bring people and animals together for hands-on learning, public events, and programming through Ohio State University Extension.
The early facility design includes a substantial show arena that would be a backdrop for future livestock judging events, camps, and workshops. Along with the arena, research and education wings dedicated to beef, swine, sheep, poultry, and equine, and a visitor’s education center are also early design possibilities.
“We believe that this facility will raise the level of excellence for all that we do in animal sciences,” Foltz said.
As the new livestock evaluation specialist, Wilson will continue the successful legacy of the Ohio State team that began in 1903. Tom Turner served as team coach for 32 years and has been instrumental in shaping the lives of many members who have gone on to lead successful careers in the livestock industry.
In 2020, Turner and his wife, Susie, made a significant gift that created the Dr. Thomas B. Turner Livestock Judging Coach Endowed Fund, which supports the existing, senior judging team on the Columbus campus as well as the new, junior judging team and coaching position at CFAES Wooster. The Turners are both alumni of CFAES, with Tom graduating in 1970 with a bachelor’s in animal sciences and Susie graduating in 1983 with a bachelor’s in agricultural business and applied economics. They hope their fund will inspire others to support the program.
To learn more about supporting the livestock judging team and the Waterman MALC facility, contact Kyle Lavetsky, senior development director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Trish Raridan Preston, associate development director, at email@example.com.