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Monday, December 1, 2008

From the President

ARPAS President Marit Arana, PhD, PAS

Time has been flying by for me. It is unbelievable that my term as President of this organization is already half over. I would like to encourage all of you to participate in ARPAS. The nominating committee is looking for volunteers and may contact you to ask for help. Members may also contact me ( or any of the other governing council members if you would like to volunteer for service to ARPAS.

Monday, December 1, 2008

From the Executive Vice President

At this time of year ARPAS members need to assess whether they deserve a lump of coal in their boot or a big “THANK YOU” from their clients, customers, students, peers, or family. With the current “energy crisis,” a lump of coal may be welcomed but a pat on the back is a lot more reassuring. Your career in animal agriculture is not getting any less challenging and your time is probably being spent on issues you wish you could get Santa to take rather than give. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

New PAS/RAS Members

ARPAS Membership Committee Chair Warren Gill, PhD, PAS

New members are our future! Some of us have been around for quite a while and we deeply appreciate our long time members, but we must have new members to thrive. ARPAS is unique and necessary and we must continue to take that message to our colleagues, particularly as they enter the profession.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New ACAS Members

ACAS President Michel Etchebarne, PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN

Since January 2008, ARPAS has certified three new members with diplomate status in the American College of Animal Sciences.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Treasurer's Report

Carl Hunt, PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN, ARPAS

It is a pleasure for to serve as the treasurer of ARPAS. I accepted the duty of treasurer in August so I am still learning my duties, but you should know that former treasurer Keith Lusby left the organization’s finances in very good condition. Regular member dues remain the lifeblood of ARPAS. As of October 31, revenue from dues totaled $158,207 compared with a budgeted amount of $112,000. Revenue from page charges for articles published in the PAS journal is expected to be marginally greater than budgeted because of a greater than expected number of pages printed. This revenue will be largely offset by the per-page cost of producing the journal. Our investments lost value, as did everyone else's; our unrealized investment loss year-to-date on October 31 was $56,693. Despite this loss, greater than expected revenue for the year allows us to be optimistic about finishing 2008 with revenues and expenses in near balance. Look for final details on the 2008 financial status to be reported in the first ARPAS newsletter of 2009.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Examining Board Chair's Report

Steve Schmidt, PhD, PAS

A lot of progress has been made during 2008 by subcommittees that are reviewing and revising the ARPAS species exam question databanks. The horse, goat, sheep, swine, and beef subcommittees have completed revisions of exam questions. Study guides have been developed for beef, dairy, horse, and sheep and are on the ARPAS website. Others will be developed as species subcommittees finish their work. Traditionally, new exams were generated by randomly selecting questions from the entire databank of questions, which occasionally resulted in too many questions on one subject and another subject was then ignored. One change being made as each review is completed is that each question is assigned a general topic area, such as nutrition, physiology, management, etc. When new exams are generated we will set criteria to make sure that the selected questions will cover a wide range of topics. Susie Rahn also is tracking individual questions on exams so we can determine whether there are particular questions that are being missed with a high frequency. The overall examination process should be improved. Anyone who hears comments from exam takers about problems with an exam that should be addressed, please let Susie Rahn or me know. This would include questions that are not clear, confusing answer choices, a topic not being covered that should be, or too many questions on a topic area. We are continuing to work to make the exams fair and representative of the topic area. I urge the subcommittees still working on the exam questions to finish their work as soon as time allows.

In 2008 (through December 9), a total of 196 written examinations have been administered. The majority of these (185) were for beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, and feed management certification. 

Remember, any ARPAS member can recruit new members and administer a species exam! Susie Rahn ( can provide you with the appropriate information.

Categories: Reports, December 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

PAS Editor-in-Chief's Report

D. Wayne Kellogg, PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN

Volume 24 of the Professional Animal Scientist (PAS) was completed recently with 684 pages. There were fewer pages than the 742 pages published in volume 23, largely due to smaller issues early in 2008 compared with 2007. Review papers were published on animal identification systems, diurnal grazing pattern, body condition scoring of dairy cattle, and heat-treating colostrum for calves. Additionally, papers on air and water quality in animal feeding operations that were presented at the 2007 ARPAS Symposium were included. There were 57 research articles and 21 case studies published during 2008. The average time required was 38 days to the first decision and 81 days from submission to the final decision (acceptance or rejection) of a manuscript.

Monday, December 1, 2008

California ARPAS Chapter Activities

Barbara Barton, PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN

2008 ARPAS California Chapter: Continuing Education Conference

Approximately 160 people attended the California Chapter ARPAS Continuing Education Conference held October 30 and 31, 2008. The conference featured an in-depth examination of nutrient management on livestock operations. The presentations focused on how increasing efficiencies help to minimize excretion of N, P, and K per unit of production (meat, milk, fiber, or eggs). On day one, Dr. Gerald Huntington (North Carolina State University) reviewed how nutrient supply and peripheral tissue signaling affects efficiency of nutrient utilization in ruminants. Dr. Phillip Miller (University of Nebraska) discussed a similar topic, but he focused on nutrient utilization in monogastrics. Dr. Randy Buddington (University of Memphis) reviewed how the nutrient milieu reaching the hind gut impacts nutrient utilization and animal health. Speakers on the second day included Dr. Alan Rotz, Denise Mullinax, and Don Sapienza. Dr. Rotz (USDA-ARS) demonstrated a model for determining nutrient utilization on dairy operations. Denise Mullinax (assistant director of CA Dairy Quality Assurance Program) reviewed the current CAFO regulations. Don Sapienza (Sapienza Analytica) updated conference attendees on the status of the joint project being conducted by CA-ARPAS, University of California-Davis, California State University-San Luis Obispo, and Sapienza Analytica on the characterization of alfalfa hay quality. Information regarding the conference and the 2008 proceedings are available at the CA-ARPAS website Eight ARPAS CEU were assigned to the meeting. The 2009 meeting in will be held October 29 and 30 at the Inn at Harris Ranch in Coalinga, California. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Southern Great Plains Chapter Activities

N. Andy Cole, PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN

The Southern Great Plains Chapter of ARPAS cosponsored (with Plains Nutrition Council, Texas Animal Nutrition Council, and Texas AgriLife Research) the Feed Management Workshop titled “Feed Management as a Part of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan” for beef cattle and dairy cattle nutritionists held in Amarillo on October 16, 2008. The workshop provided information on how to write the feed management component of the comprehensive nutrient management plans required by USDA-NRCS for many animal feeding operations. Speakers included Joe Harrison and Rebecca White of Washington State University, Emalee Buttrey of Texas AgriLife Research in Amarillo, Leigh Cranmer of USDA-NRCS in Lubbock, and Andy Cole of USDA-ARS, Bushland, Texas. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Penn State Nutrition Conference held November 2008 in Grantsville, PA

Lisa Holden, PhD, PAS

The Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference was held November 12–13, 2008, in Grantville, Pennsylvania. Attendance at this year’s conference was 487, including 149 ARPAS members. Zinpro Performance Minerals sponsored the preconference symposium, which began with a presentation about “Dairy Financial Times” by Gary Genske of Genske, Mulder & Co. LLP. Zinpro speakers, Dana Tomlinson and Mike Socha, followed with presentations about trace mineral needs, impact on the immune system, and importance in dairy cattle, and Nigel Cook from the University of Wisconsin rounded out the symposium with “Time budgets for dairy cows.”

The main conference speakers provided information about relevant topics, such as water quality issues for dairy cows, mycotoxins in forages, and communicating with consumers. In addition to main conference sessions, this event had a wide array of break out sessions with a many different topics. Conference attendees customized their educational experiences by choosing two workshops each afternoon based on their individual interests and educational needs. Workshops allow attendees to interact with speakers, participate in discussions, and get more in-depth details about subject matter. Workshop topics ranged from Forage Analysis 101 to “Are the right cows leaving your herd?” and “Novel feeding systems for dairy heifers.” With nearly 30 workshops to choose from, attendees easily found topics that appealed to them. 

Agribusiness professionals attending this year’s conference also had the opportunity to take the exam to become ARPAS members. Prior to the conference this year, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Program’s feed management team consisting of Penn State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Maryland offered a Feed Management Planners workshop for nutritionists and consultants. Any ARPAS-certified dairy nutritionist was eligible to attend the training and to take the feed management planner’s exam. 

Next year’s conference is schedule for November 11–12, 2009. More information about the 2008 conference can be found online at: