PHOENIX, ARIZ. — Dr. Ronald Randel, professor at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, received the American Society of Animal Science L.E. Casida Award for his research in animal reproductive physiology. Randel was honored at the society’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., July 16, 2012.
Randel, an AgriLife Research Senior Faculty Fellow in the Department of Animal Science, is known for training graduate students in the fields of animal reproduction and endocrinology. Randel, nicknamed “Doc” by many, has worked with graduate students to discover ovarian and pituitary functions in Brahman cattle. He and his students published a comprehensive compendium of papers comparing the physiology and endocrinology of Brahman and European cattle.
Randel and his students have also researched the effects of nutrition on reproductive physiology. By manipulating the concentration of ruminal volatile fatty acids and the flow of nutrients into the small intestine, Randel and his students found they could alter the reproductive development and function of heifers, mature cows and bulls. His investigations and explanations of the fundamental interaction of nutrition and reproduction led, in part, to FDA approval of ionophores (rumen altering antibiotics) for use in beef cattle nutritional and reproductive management.
In studies of the reproductive physiology of the lactating beef cow, Randel and his students demonstrated that young cows could be suckled on a limited basis, allowing them to “escape” from lactational anestrus. Young cows could then be bred and the calf could resume normal suckling. This discovery led to more calves being born in the dairy industry.
The American Society of Animal Science L. E. Casida Award is given to recognize excellence in the education of graduate and/or postdoctoral students to conduct research in the area of reproductive physiology and endocrinology. The American Society of Animal Science is a professional organization that serves more than 5,000 animal scientists and producers around the world.
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