October 31, 2008

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Research Office is hosting the Celebration of Land Grant Research at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17  in the E. S. Good Barn's Gorham Hall. The event is open to the public.

Following a welcome by College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith and the keynote address, Associate Dean for Research Nancy Cox will present three faculty research awards: the 2008 Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award, the 2008 Research/Extension Impact Award and the 2008 Prestigious Research Paper Award.

In 2007, the Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award was presented to Bernhard Hennig, professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. Andy Bailey, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, won the 2007 Research/Extension Impact Award, and Pradeep Kachroo, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, received the 2007 Prestigious Research Paper Award.

Caird Rexroad, Jr., is the keynote speaker for the celebration. Rexroad, associate administrator for national programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, will speak on "Animal Agriculture: Research Needs and Opportunities." Rexroad will focus on how crucial the application of genomics sciences and technologies is to both animals and plants to meet the challenges of the 21st century. These challenges include competition for land use and feed stuffs, climate change and emerging diseases. 

As a bench scientist from 1974 to 1997, Rexroad was instrumental in initiating research on the introduction of new genes into farm animals. He served as a member of the research team that reported the first production of transgenic animals. From 1992 to 1997, he served as research leader of the Gene Evaluation and Mapping Laboratory at Beltsville, Md. As research leader and research collaborator, he directed research on the discovery of DNA markers to improve selection for disease resistance and production traits in dairy cattle.

Rexroad's research has resulted in more than 130 scientific publications, several book chapters and two patents. He is the past-president of the International Embryo Transfer Society. He served as an associate deputy administrator on the National Program staff of the Agricultural Research Service from 1997 to 2002, where he managed programs in animal health, animal production, food safety and human nutrition. In that position, he directed increased research on genomics and food safety.

He served as the service's acting associate administrator from 2002 to 2004, where he oversaw the development of the agency's biosecurity research and the enhancement of the security of its biocontainment laboratories. From 2004 to present, Rexroad has been the associate administrator for National Programs. In this position, he leads the National Program staff which manages the research objectives of the agency. He also leads the Office of International Research Programs which is responsible for Agricultural Research Service's liaison with its international partners.

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