Skip to main content Skip to navigation

American Society of Animal Sciences Scholastic Achievement Award Winners


Adams, Krista
Brockhaus, Olivia
Cameron, Hannah
Cook, Lauren
Cowan de Wolf, Ella
Daniel, Shelby
Dreger, Sarah
Hoch, Katherine
Johnson, Rachel
Kirkpatrick, Britney
Lewis, Sara
Lolkema, Mackenzie
Lynn, Heather
McMurphy, Anna
Morris, Taylor
Rose, Lacey
Shannon, Marissa


Mr. Michael Hackett – Outstanding Alumnus

Michael HackettMichael Hackett earned his Master’s degree in Animal Sciences at WSU in 1976. His area of specialization was sheep production and management with Dr. Joe Hillers serving as his advisor.

For over 25 years, Mike served as an agriculture development faculty member with WSU Extension, based in northwest Washington. In this role, he served 2,000 family farms and 1,500 4-H youth members. Mike identified a need for education within the small farms community so he developed the Extension Livestock Advisor program, which is still active. This program trained over 800 volunteers to provide advice for thousands of small-scale farmers in Washington.

Mike’s devotion to agriculture expands beyond the state.  He was actively engaged in exchange programs across the world, including Russia, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan. He also participated in WSU International Programs and the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program.

Prior to joining the WSU family in 1974, Mike served our country in the United States Navy. He was called-up for the military draft in 1967, during the height of the Vietnam War. He was assigned to the Amphibious “Brown Water Navy”, supporting combat operations along the Saigon River near the Mekong Delta. He was in and out of Vietnam for 14 months in 1968 and 1970. This experience led him to his current role as a staff farm mentor for an organization called Growing Veterans. Through this organization, Mike serves as a mentor and life coach for combat veterans. Many of these veterans suffer the effects of PTSD and TBI injuries, in which Growing Veterans provides emotional support and camaraderie through farming and ranching. Mike calls it ‘dirt therapy’, and it works! Mike has volunteered with Growing Veterans for five years and enjoys teaching veterans sustainable agriculture practices.

Mr. Michael Hackett’s career has been about service. Service to agriculture and service to humanity. For these reasons, we are proud to award him the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Dr. Elaine Grings – Distinguished Graduate in Science, Education, and Technology

Dr. Elaine GringsDr. Elaine Grings has been involved in livestock research for 32 years since completing her Ph.D. at WSU in 1986. Her research efforts have focused on forage and rangeland-based ruminant production systems, addressing livestock feed needs in mixed crop-livestock systems, and general ruminant nutrition.

Currently Dr. Grings is a Livestock Research Advisor with United States Agency for International Development, Bureau for Food Security in Washington DC, where she began work in 2015. Her role in this position includes overseeing USAID-funded livestock research activities in East and West Africa and South Asia.

Prior to joining USAID, Dr. Grings was an Assistant Professor of Beef Cow/Calf Management at South Dakota State University with an appointment in both research and extension. From 2007-2010, she served as a Livestock Scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute based in Ibadan, Nigeria, where her work included researching ways to improve feed resources for smallholder farmers in the mixed crop-livestock systems of West Africa. She also spent 17 years as an Animal Scientist with USDA-ARS at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Montana, focusing on evaluating tactics for rangeland-based beef production systems of the Northern Great Plains.

Dr. Grings has been active in both the American Society of Animal Science and the Society for Range Management, serving on committees for both organizations. In addition to her degree from WSU, she holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis and M.S. in Range Science from Colorado State University.

For her contributions to the sustainability of the livestock industry and her dedication and devotion to the transfer of technology across the world, Dr. Elaine Grings is truly a Distinguished Graduate in Science, Education, and Technology.

Dr. Steven Parish – Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Steven Parish with cowDr. Steven Parish served as a liaison between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal Sciences, in which he was instrumental in providing top-quality veterinary support for the WSU Knott Dairy Center, Ensminger Beef Cattle Center, Swine Center, and Cattle Lab.

Dr. Parish graduated from WSU with his DVM in 1973 and played a vital role as a faculty member in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, including the 17 years he served as the head of Food Animal Clinical Services.

Dr. Parish received the Outstanding Professor Award 11 times, the Distinguished Teacher Award four times, the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award, and the North American Outstanding Teacher Award because of his dedication to teaching. These teaching contributions included guest lectures for dairy and beef production courses in Animal Sciences.

As a researcher, he engaged in over 65 research projects that resulted in more than $2 million in combined funding. Several of these projects included collaborations with Animal Sciences faculty and students. He contributed over 130 publications to his field and provided more than 130 presentations at national conferences, as well as livestock producer meetings. He was among the team that received the USDA Secretaries Honor Award for Excellence in 1998 for the development of a preclinical test for scrapie in sheep.

The Department of Animal Sciences wishes to thank Dr. Parish for all he has done to enhance the well-being of our livestock, the education of our students, and our research and Extension programs. WSU has had many taglines, but one of them describes Dr. Steve Parish and that is “world class.”

Perfect pairing: Chef’s gift delivers big benefits for students

Animal Sciences Students with Cougar Seasonings

“When Chef Jamie Callison wants to impress at his Cougar Football tailgate dinners, he brings out his best: Student-crafted, locally made foods that tell the story of Washington State University.”

Read the full CAHNRS article here.


2017 Washington State Sheep Producers’ Golden Sheep Hook Award Winner Jan Busboom

Jan Busboom Awarded Golden Sheep Hook

The Washington State Sheep Producers’ Golden Sheep Hook Award is the highest honor presented by the state sheep producers organization; it is in recognition of outstanding service to the sheep industry and the Washington State Sheep Producers organization.

The 2017 WSSP Golden Hook Award is awarded to an individual who has worked in our midst for many years and grew up in the sheep industry.  With his father as his mentor, he raised and showed sheep; and together they were well recognized as top quality Columbia breeders across the U.S.  He continued his passion by pursuing a degree in animal sciences and eventually received at PhD in Michigan State University.  A tireless team member and dedicated mentor, this year’s Golden Hook recipient is Dr. Jan Busboom, Washington State University Extension Meat Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences.

Jan came to Washington to work at the university in 1989.  Since first appearing on the scene in Pullman, he quickly became a valuable asset to the world of academia, extension and the sheep industry here.  He was able to combine his interest in meat muscle mass and sheep while researching the callipyge gene and has always been eager to help with numerous Extension outreach programs.  Jan is the WSU Meat Evaluation and Analysis Team(MEAT) team leader for the LAMB 100, 200 and 300 program and has been instrumental in delivering these programs in Washington, Oregon, California and the Rocky Mountain region.

Jan’s positive attitude makes him a delightful asset on any team project or in any mentoring capacity. Countless graduate students have sought his guidance in their endeavors and have risen to exciting new heights under his tutelage.   He truly is a knowledgeable meat scientist who has been researching and mentoring budding academics for the past 25 years.

A sheep judge in all climates, he shares his expertise with those passionate about sheep.  He is at home sporting a lab coat and hard hat in the cooler or a polo on a hot day summer day judging or handling sheep.  His calm demeanor and steady personality make Jan easy to work with and he excels in mentoring youth as a tireless dedicated 4-H leader.  With his wife Janice at his side, together they manage a flock of Suffolk Hampshire crosses and lead the Albion 4-H Sheep Club.  Each year they work diligently to improve the breeds and create competitive crossbreds.  Jan is also actively engaged in developing an NSIP testing strategy for seedstock producers.

For many years he has been involved in the annual Northwest Junior Sheep Expo and has represented the university professionally by sharing knowledge on carcass and meat qualities.

Jan believes in education and is a valuable asset to any project making him a great advocate for the sheep industry, research and extension.  Currently, he serves as a team member on WSU Sheep Endowment ram management study, analyzing reproductive fitness of breeding stock.  Jan is also working with a group to create a Spanish resource guide for sheep herders.  This will not only enhance the quality of the care that commercial range  flocks receive, it will also better the lives of those working with them.  Recently, Jan received a grant teaming up with the University of Idaho to conduct trainings for ultrasound technicians specializing in sheep evaluation to take place in the summer of 2018.

In September 2018, Jan will retire from WSU but will forever remain passionate about education, meat science, genetic improvements, youth, mentoring, research and the sheep industry.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s winner of the WSSP Golden Hook Award, the man who is always able to rise the challenge of whatever is asked of him, Dr. Jan Roger Busboom.

WSU Dairy Club participates in ADSA conference

ADSA Group in Pittsburgh

Members of the WSU Dairy Club traveled to Pittsburgh last summer to attend the American Dairy Association’s annual conference. Read more about the trip in Maya Wahl’s article.

Cougar Seasonings

Bottle of Everything Seasoning All-Purpose seasoning for meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs, veggies, & more. Bottle of Expresso Seasoning & Rub - Enjoy with steak, port, salmon and chicken.

Spice up your game with Cougar Seasonings!

PULLMAN, Wash. – Whether you want to infuse your kitchen creations with flavor or spice up your tailgates this season, Washington State University’s got you covered. The WSU Department of Animal Sciences has officially released WSU Seasonings & Rubs.

These curated blends can replace an entire spice rack. The WSU Espresso Seasoning & Rub pairs perfectly with steak, pork, salmon, and chicken, combining espresso and peppers to provide a smoky, robust complement to the meat. The WSU Everything Seasoning is a tasty addition to any meal, promising to take your dishes from ordinary to exceptional.

These blends were designed with Cougar Quality Meats in mind, crafted specifically for WSU Premium Beef by award-winning Executive Chef Jamie Callison. Chef Callison is the author of The Crimson Spoon and a Culinary Arts Instructor in the WSU School of Hospitality and Business Management.

Recipes for WSU Seasonings & Rubs were generously donated by the Callison family in order to benefit WSU students. All proceeds from the sale of WSU Seasonings & Rubs help support educational programming in the Department of Animal Sciences.

Both seasonings are available at Cougar Quality Meats through WSU Premium Beef; WSU Connections stores in Everett, Spokane, and Pullman; Dissmores IGA, Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, and Crimson & Gray in Pullman; the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown; and online: WSU Connections.

For more information on WSU Seasonings & Rubs, Cougar Quality Meats, or the Department of Animal Sciences, contact Dr. Jan Busboom at 509-335-2880 or, or the Premium Beef Team at 509-335-1002 or

ASAS Animal Growth and Development Award

Min DuMin Du

Dr. Min Du earned his B.S. from Zhejiang University, M.S. from China Agricultural University and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. After postdoctoral training at University of Alberta, he was an Assistant Professor and then an Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming. In 2011, he moved to Washington State University as a Professor and Endowed (Funded) Chair. His research focuses on stem cell differentiation and muscle and adipose tissue development, and is well funded by USDA and NIH awards. Dr. Du has trained more than 30 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and published 194 peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent speaker for national/international meetings. He was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Science, and is a reviewer or panel member for more than 40 scientific journals and funding agencies. He was the recipient of the Young Scientist Award, Early Career Achievement Award from ASAS, UW Outstanding Advisor Award, and Distinguished Service Award from Physiological Genomics Group of American Physiological Society.

Purina Animal Nutrition Teaching Award in Dairy Production

Larry FoxLawrence Fox

Lawrence K. (Larry) Fox was raised in New York and spent his summers milking and feeding cows, caring for replacement heifers, and putting up hay. After graduating from Cornell University in 1977, Fox worked for a year on a 60-cow dairy in central New York. He completed his MS at Virginia Tech in 1980 and received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983. His first faculty appointment was at the University of Hawaii (1982-1985), where he served as the dairy extension specialist in dairy management. ln 1985, Fox left Hawaii for a position at Washington State University (WSU), where he has remained for more than 30 years. ln 1986, Fox developed an Advanced Dairy Management course at WSU. This course was focused on teaching students how data-based management programs and projection and analytical programs could be incorporated into dairy management systems. In addition to the Advanced Dairy Management course, Fox has been the lead instructor for Dairy Cattle Traits and Selection for 15 years, Introductory Dairy Production Laboratory for more than 25 years, and the senior-level Dairy Production class for more than 25 years. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Fox has advised the WSU Dairy Club for 32 years. The focus of the club’s efforts are service and learning–and having fun. The WSU Dairy Club regularly attends the Student Affiliate Division meeting of the ADSA, has an officer at the national level most years, and is one of only two teams that has won the Quiz Bowl competition more than once. The WSU Dairy Club has also won the Hoard’s Dairyman National Judging Competition. Because of his dedicated service to this successful club, Fox was awarded the ADSA-SAD Advisor of the Year Award in 2012.