In recognition of outstanding achievements in dairy extension work, Randy Shaver, professor and extension dairy nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Dairy Science, has received the DeLaval Dairy Extension Award from the American Dairy Science Association. Shaver received the award, which cited his valuable and noteworthy contributions to the dairy industry through proactive extension programming in dairy cattle nutrition, at the 2005 ADSA annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As the premier award given in extension by the ADSA, the DeLaval Dairy Extension Award draws national and international attention to the UW-Madison and its excellence in dairy cattle extension programming. “This attention positively impacts our ability to attract graduate students to our program from around the world,” notes Shaver. “UW-Madison dairy science also receives recognition from feed industry and consulting groups with this type of award.”
Shaver has been a UW-Madison faculty member since 1988, spending 75 percent of his time performing outreach education in the form of seminars and lectures for industry consultants, feed professionals, veterinarians and dairy producers throughout the United States. As an extension specialist, Shaver connects academia to the dairy industry by carrying research out of the labs and into the field, farms, and extension offices.
While corn silage remains his focus topic, Shaver also lectures on other forages, carbohydrates, feed bunk management, rumen acidosis and laminitis, and transition cow management. For his research appointment in applied dairy cattle nutrition, Shaver trains graduate students at the UW-Madison and conducts research on corn silage, starch digestion and B-vitamins.
As the dairy industry evolves, many producers are successfully expanding or stemming into niche operations such as custom cropping or custom calf and heifer raising. Even though this means learning new business, production and labor management techniques, Shaver notices a very upbeat outlook among current and future dairy professionals due to the continued strength of the industry. “I sense a lot of positive vibes within the industry out in the field, as well as the students on campus.”
Coupled with industry strength, “UW-Madison Dairy Science maintains its superior ranking due to high expectations from the industry and cutting edge research,” says Shaver. “Our students continue to have more job opportunities than there are students to fill them.”
For more information about the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science, please contact Ted Halbach at (608) 263-3305.