Michael J. VandeHaar, Ph.D., an expert on dairy cattle nutrition, was recognized for his professional achievements by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the American Feed Industry Association. Dr. VandeHaar is a professor of dairy nutrition and metabolism in the department of animal science at Michigan State University.
VandeHaar’s research is characterized by thoughtful analysis of contemporary problems, a desire to understand underlying mechanisms, and careful attention to detail and statistical validity. His research involves dairy cattle nutrition and physiology with intent of improving heifer growth and mammary development, and increasing the efficiency of protein production in the dairy industry.
Over the past 10 years, VandeHaar has been awarded four U.S. Department of Agriculture grants, authored 23 scientific journal articles and three book chapters, and developed a new version of the Spartan Dairy Ration program with new model equations. He has mentored 13 graduate students and taught 3,000 undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students.
Dr. VandeHaar, grew up on a dairy farm in central Iowa. He attended Dordt College in northwest Iowa, where he majored in biology and developed a passion for environmental stewardship. He received masters and doctorate degrees from Iowa State University.
The award was presented to VandeHaar by Rick Bonander during the annual ADSA meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. The award is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association to promote and stimulate research in dairy cattle nutrition. Bonander presented the award on behalf of AFIA.
AFIA, based in Arlington, Va., is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry and its suppliers. Founded in 1909, AFIA also is the recognized leader on international industry developments. Members include more than 500 domestic and international companies and state, regional and national associations. Member-companies are livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, integrators, pharmaceutical companies, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and companies which supply other products, services and supplies to feed manufacturers.
The feed industry makes a major contribution to food safety, nutrition and the environment, and it plays a critical role in the production of healthy, wholesome meat, milk, fish and eggs and pets. More than 70 percent of the feed in the United States is manufactured by AFIA members.