Heidi Rossow, PhD, PAS, FMC—associate professor, University of California–Davis Veterinary School
Heidi Rossow is an associate professor of ruminant nutrition at the University of California (UC) Davis Veterinary School located at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center (VMTRC) in Tulare, California. Growing up, she split her time between the family ranch in Hollister, California, and school in Silicon Valley. In college at UC Davis, she lived at the campus dairy and became interested in how nutrition affects the health and production of dairy cows. After graduating, she worked for the Animal Science Extension at UC Davis as a technician on several research projects and helped support and develop recordkeeping and ration formulation programs. This led to blending the two worlds of cows and computers by learning how to use math to understand nutrient flow in and out of the cow.
After obtaining her PhD in nutrition at UC Davis, she consulted for a couple of feed- and dairy-related companies, including Dairy New Zealand, and then worked in human nutrition with the USDA until returning to dairy cows at the VMTRC. She continues to blend basic nutrition research with large-herd commercial dairy research. Her areas of research are computer modeling of nutrient metabolism, systems analysis of dairy feed management and production to minimize metabolic disease, and evaluating mitochondrial function of dairy cattle.
She is coming to the end of her term as western director of ARPAS, has served on the California Animal Nutrition Conference organizing committee, and is currently serving on the National Animal Nutrition Program (USDA NRSP-9) modeling and coordinating committees.
Her experience with academics and industry helped her realize just how difficult it is to gain practical experience and skills while attending college. As a result, she created the Feed Industry Fellowship in Dairy Nutrition with a focus on feeding systems, supported by the California Dairy Research Foundation, to give graduate students a chance to work and learn in the dairy industry and perform research in a large-herd commercial setting. She has mentored more than 30 graduate and undergraduate animal science students who have gone on to veterinary school, graduate school, and industry and teaches livestock nutrition, nutrition interactions with disease, and feed management to veterinary students.
Midwest Director/Ethics Committee Chairperson
Aaron Park, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAS—research dairy nutritionist, Kalmbach Feeds
Aaron Park was born and raised in the Midwest, where he attended Purdue University, studying animal science. After completing a BS degree in 1997, he attended Kansas State University, in Manhattan, to complete his MS degree in dairy cattle nutrition and management in 2000 and obtain his PhD in dairy cattle nutrition and management in 2003; his research interests focused on transition cow nutrition and management.
Upon graduation, he worked for Cargill Animal Nutrition as a dairy management consultant in Michigan until 2004. From 2004 until the present, he has been employed at Kalmbach Feeds Inc., serving as a dairy technical nutritionist supporting dairy sales staff and working with dairy clients directly via ration formulation, farm evaluations, and records assessments.
In 2006, he received his PAS certification to gain increased exposure in the feed industry as a dedicated professional. This level of certification is what he would like to see as commonplace in the animal feed industry, with food animal operations requiring this certification from their on-farm consultants. He has been active in the ARPAS organization, serving in regional positions, helping start the Professional Development Conference for Entrepreneurs with the Midwest ARPAS, assisting with the “Cream of the Crop” Milk Can award at Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, and initiating the Midwest ARPAS newsletter.
Since 2007, he has served as the dairy research manager for Cooperative Research Farms, which is an international collection of animal feed manufacturers who pool their financial and intellectual resources to conduct research for the benefit of the members and their clients. His duties include writing protocols, overseeing trials, summarizing data statistically, developing a technical report for each dairy trial, and presenting reports at the biannual meetings. Research areas have encompassed calves, transition cows, and lactating cows to increase growth, improve health, enhance milk yield, or enhance efficiencies.
Park is a member of the American Dairy Science Association® and ARPAS. He obtained the Diplomate status of the American College of Animal Sciences in 2011. Park served on the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference advisory committee from 2011 until 2014.
Southern Director/Professional Relations Committee Chairperson
Jenny Jennings, PhD, PAS—staff nutritionist, Five Rivers Cattle LLC
Jenny Jennings earned her BS degree in animal science (2004) from Missouri State University in Springfield and her MS degree in animal science (2006) with an emphasis in animal physiology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Jennings received a PhD (2009) in ruminant nutrition at South Dakota State University. Upon completion of her PhD, she was the ruminant nutrition research manager for Alltech, which allowed her to collaborate with universities and commercial feedlots.
From 2013 to 2020, Jennings was an associate professor with Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo, Texas, and specialized in beef cattle feedlot nutrition. She was also the research project leader for the Animal Nutrition Laboratory in Amarillo, Texas A&M AgriLife Research/USDA-ARS Research Feedlot and Metabolism Laboratory at Bushland, Texas, and conducted livestock research at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research James Bush Research Farm north of Bushland. Her general research interests were nutritional management and sustainability within all sectors of the beef cattle industry. She was focused on improving the utilization of forage and byproduct feeds, alternative confinement systems for grazing cows, genomic selection tools connected to rumen metabolism, body composition and health, and environmental impacts of the beef industry.
During her time at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, she mentored two postdoctoral researchers, three PhD students, and five MS students. During her tenure, her program was awarded more than $3,000,000 in research funds.
She is an adjunct faculty member with West Texas A&M University Department of Agricultural Science. Jennings is also a member of ARPAS and American Society of Animal Scientists. She is currently the president of Plains Nutrition Council and serves on the AAS editorial board. She has 35 peer-reviewed publications, 10 conference proceedings, 1 book chapter, 5 invited abstracts, and 65 meeting abstracts
Jennings is currently a staff nutritionist for Five Rivers Cattle Feeding and resides in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband, Tracy Jennings, and sons, Tyler and Connor.