Ensminger’s Legacy Bringing Animal Science Together

Iowa State University animal scientists provide the leadership for a series of international animal science conferences known as Ensminger Schools.

The most recent conference in Spain in May 2010, organized by Iowa State University and the University of Lleida, brought together 150 people from 16 countries to discuss the future of animal production.

“These schools are designed to help provide cutting edge solutions for people in the region,” says Max Rothschild, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture in animal science who leads the Ensminger Schools as the Ensminger International Chair.

Marion Eugene Ensminger was dedicated to animal agriculture education and served on the faculty at four universities. In 1964, he launched a series of technical agriculture seminars held in more than 70 countries.

Iowa State faculty got involved with the Ensminger Schools in 1990. An endowment left to the ISU Foundation following the death of Ensminger and his wife Audrey helps finance the continuation of the conferences.

“The conference in Spain looked at the challenge of feeding people in the future,” Rothschild says. “Talks addressed issues of technology, genetics, water and waste, animal behavior and training future animal scientists.”

“The next generation of animal science professionals must have a global perspective,” says Maynard Hogberg, animal science department chair. “We must double food production in the next 40 years to keep up with population demand. And we must do it in a way that minimizes environmental impact, improves food safety and uses appropriate animal welfare standards.”