Dr. Ron Randel, an East Texas based researcher with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Animal Science.
"Fellow" is an academic term of respect and in this case, reserved for a senior researcher whose work has had wide-ranging, positive impacts on the industry, said Dr. Charles Long, resident director of research at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton.
"This is a prestigious award presented by the society, which is the foremost animal science research society in the world," Long said. "Moreover, the ASAS award is just one of many professional awards that Ron has received."
Randel's lifetime achievements include developing strategies to reduce livestock production risks and resolving practical problems in beef cattle reproduction, Long said. His work in the 1980s on limiting suckling time of calves resulted in a practical way for beef cattle producers to reduce the time between a cow's calving and being ready for re-breeding.
More recently, Randel has been studying how temperament and immune response affect cattle growth and carcass characteristics. By finding an objective way to measure temperament, Randel found that:
— Calm-natured calves appear to have a better response to vaccination at weaning than temperamental calves. (See http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/ANSC/Jun1406a.htm)
— Steers with a bad temperament will yield tougher steaks. (See http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/ANSC/Apr0504a.htm)
— Temperamental cattle eat less and gain less. (See http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/ANSC/Sep1103a.htm)
Worldwide, Randel is renowned for his groundbreaking work with Brahman and Zebu cattle. His work on the fundamental reproductive biology of Brahman cattle has had widespread impact on beef cattle production in the U.S. as well as abroad, according to Long.
Earlier research led by Randel resulted in U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the use of ionophores in beef cattle nutrition. As a feed additive, ionophores cause a beef animal to more efficiently convert feed to energy and gain weight quicker.
Randel's academic record is also impressive, Long said. He has published hundreds of refereed journal articles, technical reports and abstracts. He has served as major adviser to dozens of graduate students, professor to numerous undergraduates and mentor to postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists from the U.S. and abroad.
"His students are working in animal science research around the world," Long said.