Dr. Kristin Hales, PhD, PAS,
Associate Professor & Thornton Distinguished Chair of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University
Kristin Hales was raised on a farm in the Texas Panhandle. She received a BS (2004) and MS (2006) in animal science from Oklahoma State University, with a PhD in animal science from Texas Tech University in 2009, where she studied beef cattle nutrition and management. Hales began her career as a postdoctoral research associate at the USDA ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in 2009, using respiration calorimetry to evaluate the energy content of wet distillers grains with solubles in diets with different corn processing methods. In 2011, she was hired as a research animal scientist at the USDA ARS US Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) to build a feedlot research program. In this role, she conducted research to improve efficiency of beef cattle production, collaborating with meat scientists, geneticists, microbiologists, and agricultural engineers. Hales is recognized for her research in beef cattle energetics, demonstrating that the conversion of digestible energy to metabolizable energy is more efficient with high-concentrate diets than previously thought.
Since 2019, Hales has served as the Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on antimicrobial resistance in high-risk cattle and decreasing the use of antimicrobials in the feedlot production phase. Additionally, she conducts applied feedlot nutrition research to meet the needs of the cattle feeding industry and provide relevant and useful solutions. Her applied research program includes topics such as grain processing, bunk management, and nutritional strategies to decrease the prevalence of liver abscesses in finishing beef cattle. Beyond research, she mentors MS and PhD students and teaches graduate-level energetics, nutrient requirements of beef cattle, and scientific writing.
Hales currently serves as associate editor for Applied Animal Science and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Animal Science, and she has chaired the Ruminant Nutrition Committee of the Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science. She has been a principal investigator on more than $2,000,000 in grants to study current issues in the feedlot industry, and her work is documented in 80 peer-reviewed publications and numerous scientific abstracts, proceedings, invited presentations, and book chapters. Hales lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband, Chris.
Northeast Regional Director/Publications Committee Chairperson
Patrick French, PhD, PAS, Dpl. ACAS
Technical Director at PF Bovidae LLC
Patrick French is a native of Kentucky, where he grew up on a dairy farm. He received BS degrees in accounting and animal sciences from the University of Kentucky and an MS of animal science in 1996. In 1999, French received a PhD from Virginia Tech in dairy management and nutrition, and accepted a teaching and research position at Oregon State University. During his career at Oregon State, he taught classes in animal nutrition and dairy production, advised students and student clubs, and conducted research related to transition cow nutrition and forage quality. He served as major advisor to two PhD and four MS students while at Oregon State University.
In 2006, French accepted the position of manager of ruminant nutrition and research with Southern States Cooperative Inc., a farmer-owned cooperative based in Richmond, Virginia. In his role at Southern States, he provided technical field support in marketing, including formulation and product development, and served on several boards at Cooperative Research Farms. In 2009, French founded PF Bovidae LLC, a business-to-business consulting firm based in Richmond, Virginia, specializing in product and concept development and validation through research. In 2011, French joined ownership at RP Feed Components LLC, a Wisconsin-based company, where he is responsible for leadership of technical support and research development of solutions that assist dairy producers and consultants in implementing advanced technologies to improve the profitability of their herds. In 2013, French partnered to open phdR&D, a state-of-the-art research facility in the heart of Dairyland that specializes in dairy cattle research, where he serves as chief scientific officer.
French is active in the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and has been past president of the American College of Animal Sciences and past board member of the Midwest ARPAS chapter. In addition, he is a member of the American Dairy Science Association. French and his wife, Mary, reside in Bon Air, Virginia, along with their four daughters.