Presidential Address

Presidential Address

Presidential Address L. G. HARMON Michigan State University East Lansing 48823 Chancellor Thomas, Dean Legates, Reverend Wooldridge, members and frie...

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Presidential Address L. G. HARMON Michigan State University East Lansing 48823

Chancellor Thomas, Dean Legates, Reverend Wooldridge, members and friends of the American Dairy Science Association: we are pleased to be guests of North Carolina State University which has an enduring reputation as a prestigious university in all facets of dairy science. Those of us who have been here a few days conducting preliminary business have experienced a repetition of the cordial hospitality you extended in 1958. We compliment y o u r planning committee for meticulous attention to details for a successful meeting. Last year a bell used by past president George Wise at the 1964 and 1965 meetings was resurrected after being in limbo for 10 years. This Swiss cow bell was donated by one of our staunch members, Dr. S. D. Musgrave, as a symbol of our association to be used at annual meetings at the discretion of the president. We intended to inscribe this bell appropriately, but found it cannot be engraved. Therefore, we will attach a plaque, and we have a mandate that the connecting device must be "genuine cowhide with bull hide not acceptable." The American Dairy Science Association has had a good year made possible by the diligence of the personnel in the national office, elected officers, committees, and loyal support from the membership. An attempt to identify all individuals assisting our organization would result in the inadvertent omission of some, but sincere gratitude is expressed to all who contributed to our welfare. Last July 1 Mr. Bob Schmidt became Administrative Assistant to our Executive Secretary and the impact of his value is reflected in improved operation in the national office. During the past year we increased salaries of office employees with the objective of stabilizing positions and minimizing personnel change-over. We also initiated a retirement plan last January 1 involving matching participation . by the employee and the Association. Following a recommendation by the Board of Directors and an affirmative vote of 3 to 1 by the membership we affiliated with the Coun-

cil for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), an organization embracing 18 major professional agricultural societies. As an affiliate we have two representatives on the directorate of CAST, Dr. H. C. Calbert and Dr. Norman Jacobson, both past presidents of our Association, who are serving 1 and 3 yr terms, respectively. A committee directed by Dr. Gary Lane developed a procedure for scholarship awards for student affiliates. Bronze, silver, and gold pins provided by the parent association will be awarded to sophomores, juniors, and seniors this year for the first time. The Student Affiliate Division is a scintillating segment of our organization. The enthusiastic commitment of the officers and advisors and the efficient manner in which they handle their business are extremely encouraging. With a few notable exceptions, the strength of this Division is localized in the southern states. I believe latent interest may exist in other universities if faculty would invest some time and talent in developing student participation. We have adopted a logogram which is now on our stationery and on the cover of your pro-




gram and projects an image which we can associate with our society. Financially we are in excellent shape. Despite initiating the recurring obligations referred to above we finished the fiscal year 1975 with a significant net increase, and already this year some money has been transferred to an interest bearing investment. We now have a comfortable financial reserve which is attributed to prudent management in our national office, and I remind you that our annual dues are lower than any other major professional society I know of. We are in a position to consider modest expenditures assured of enhancing the professional welfare of our association, but please do not construe this remark as an invitation to submit requests in behalf of cellular groups. An example of a badly needed membership service is a directory, which we believe should be published every three years, and we recently requested information to include in a forthcoming director. Your directors considered and rejected a proposal to develop a program for the certification of dairy scientists. Our organization embraces two distinctly different scientific disciplines and we are unaware of sufficient interest to warrant initiation of a certification program. Also, the Board considered and re-affirmed the policy of excluding exhibits at annual meetings, except when exhibits are an adjunct to the scientific program. Involvement in commercial exhibits would create problems for the host institution, our national office, and our tax relationship with the Internal Revenue Service. On two occasions in recent months your president acted in behalf of the Association with strongly worded resolutions addressed to appropriate United States Senators and Representatives. The first instance was in response to deletion of $1,500,000 from the bu 1get for the Animal Improvement Program at Beltsville. The second concerns an Internal Revenue Service ruling that taxes membership dues assigned to publication of scientific journals. We have no objection to paying tax on advertising income but will not pay tax on dues income without exhausting the alternatives. At our business meeting next Wednesday we will vote on an item related to this problem which requires a change in our by-laws to classify membership. Past President George Wise has thoroughly reviewed the instructions to nominators and Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 59, No. 9

selection committees for major awards with the objective of clarifying eligibility and procedures for selection of recipients. This information will be published in the Journal soon. At an annual meeting of the officers of the Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science Associations, chaired by Past President Legates, we developed an appropriate duration of appointment and rotational procedure for membership on intersociety committees, thus correcting a situation which had been confusing and noncoordinated. Cooperation among these associations is destined for enhancement, particularly if PSA joins ADSA and ASAS in the Champaign office, and this appears imminent. In an effort to give our journal more appeal to industry members we have enlarged the Editorial Board and launched a conscientious effort to increase the volume and improve the content of the Our Industry section. This venture will take time, but your present Journal Management Committee and officers are committed to this objective. After much deliberation we decided last year to discontinue publication of abstracts in the Journal, and as an alternative to publish abstracts of papers presented at the national meeting in a proceedings which is mailed to all members in advance of the meeting. Abstracts of papers presented at the Southern and Northeast Section meetings may be handled in the same way if desired with the cost charged to the account allocated to the section by the parent association. All who were involved in the deliberation carefully considered the negative and affirmative features of the issue, and ultimately the decision was unanimous by the Journal Management, Internal Affairs, and Executive Committees, and also the entire Board of Directors. The reasons for our decision were spelled out in a recent newsletter and need not be reiterated here but should be published in the report of the Journal Management Committee. Most major professional societies publish abstracts in a proceedings rather than in their journals, and others who now publish in their journals are contemplating discontinuance. I am reasonably sure that a substantial majority of our membership support our decision, and I respect the opinion of those who oppose. For more than two months we have known the result of the referendum conducted by ASAS and I believe

ASSOCIATIONAFFAIRS we can now share with you, without violating a confidence, the information that a significant majority of the voting membership of ASAS favored publication of abstracts in a proceedings rather than in their journal. The American Dairy Science Association was created and is perpetuated to serve its members in the scientific community. The elected officers and employees strive to function in the best interest of the entire membership with appropriate respect for both minority and majority when there is a difference of opinion. We are a professional society with an obligation to manage our business with such efficiency that we grow in professional prestige. Members have obligations which they must not abdicate. In 1974 and 1975 only 34 and 19%, respectively, voted in the annual election. I am pleased to announce that this year 53% cast ballots. Your officers guide the destiny of this organization, and those who serve want to be elected by a significant majority. You also have a responsibility to nominate colleagues for appropriate awards and take the time to prepare a well organized and documented dossier which accurately depicts the contribution and professional stature of your nominee. A slovenly prepared dossier offends a selection committee and detracts from the nominee, even though he may be a prominent contender. I will not be so politically inept as to insinuate that well prepared dossiers have escalated mediocre nominees, but certainly poorly prepared dossiers have subordinated excellent nominees. In 1975 there were two major awards for which there were only two nominees. This year there was one major award for which there were only four nominees, two of whom were ineligible. The president has authority, in fact responsibility, to appoint a canvassing committee to solicit nominations when there is a paucity, and a canvassing committee functioned effectively for two awards this year. However, the responsibility for nominations and preparation of dossiers lies with the membership. While we are on this subject, it is appropriate to express sincere appreciation to those who do nominate and prepare supporting material and also to the members of the selection committees who serve anonymously. We recognize some problems within our association as well as problems related to the general welfare of our industry. Internally we


have been criticized, with some justification, for lack of communication among our membership. By the time a person acquires sufficient visibility and reputation to be elected to office he has also acquired so many professional responsibilities that he serves under a handicap of limited time. Our national office excellently handles routine business, but the membership wants to hear from elected officers rather than employees on matters pertaining to policy and reasons for establishing policies. Our university president once remarked that the problem with student participation in university policy committees is that every September we have a new group who insist on reinventing the wheel before addressing current problems. We are endeavoring to minimize the lag time related to the above corollary by improving communications between successive generations of officers in order that information pertaining to our operation can be cumulative. Traditionally the president has occasionally used a page in the Journal to communicate business affairs of the association. Last month you were mailed a newsletter intended to be informative, and future presidents may prepare 2 or 3 newsletters each year. We need to establish a prudent balance between effective communication and expenditure required to accomplish same. The number of scientific and professional people working primarily with dairy animals and dairy products is diminishing, and, therefore, our membership base is diminishing. For several years we have had a gradual decrease in membership. I am pleased to announce that this past year we had an increase of 5.6% in total members, but I also must hasten to acknowledge a decrease of approximately 3.0% in active professional members, which is a critical component of our membership. When we compare figures for June 1975 with those for June 1976, we have a substantial increase this year in all categories of membership including subscribers, student affiliates, and professionals. The future welfare of our association dictates that we fulfill the needs of existing members and become much more responsive to the interests of professional people in industry. The interests of academia and industry are actually quite intimate in that industry utilizes the products of educational endeavor, and research is useless until it is applied to improve a physical or biological process. We need industry people Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 59, No. 9



on our program committees, and we need programs structured to benefit technical people concerned with commercial animal production and product processing. There are industry groups which could meet in conjunction with our annual meeting to the mutual benefit of all concerned. Some preliminary negotiations have been initiated, but fruition will take time. Occasionally someone advocates dissolution of ADSA with the suggestion that the membership be absorbed into other professional societies. I cannot accept that philosophy. Our industry needs animal scientists specialized in dairy husbandry and food scientists specialized in dairy processing. The educational philosophy vacillates between emphasis on commodities with an appreciation for science, and emphasis on science with an appreciation for commodities. In general professors who entered academia in the 1930's had or acquired a thorough knowledge of the practical aspects of industry. The generation who entered academia after World War II tended to be more science oftented. Professors have an inclination to educate people in our own image. Those in academic administration who want to maintain a balance between basic science and practical application have a severe problem finding replacements for currently retiring commodity oriented people. Industry executives have been telling us for several years that our bright young graduates may be able to present a good seminar on DNA or molecular biology but they are ill-equipped to cope with practical problems. Our students are requesting more "hands on" experience in their educational development because they realize the value of practical knowledge when they seek employment. We have another problem in our scientific discipline which began when we separated our academic departments into Animal and F o o d Science segments. Many dairy products majors can't distinguish a Holstein from a Jersey and

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the dairy production majors have little conception of what is in milk or what happens to it. We could benefit with a restoration of some cross-pollination. Some privileges and pleasurable experiences have been associated with the presidency of this association. Last July Mrs. Harmon and I represented the parent organization at the Northeast Section meeting of ADSA and ASAS held in Orono, ME. We also attended the meeting of the Southern Section held in Mobile, AL, in February. We appreciated the warm hospitality of both sections and the opportunity to exchange information mutually beneficial to the sections and the parent association. I urge subsequent presidents to arrange their schedules to attend the sectional meetings as there is a continuing need for national and section officers to be aware of mutual problems in the interest of internal professional relations and projection of a good public image. In conclusion, may I emphasize that during the past year y o u r elected officers and employees have endeavored to serve with integrity, poise, and professional competence. At the conclusion of the business meeting next Wednesday I will gladly pass the gavel (and the bell) to incoming president Niedermeier. At this time I am pleased to announce that you have elected Douglas Emmons and Fred Foreman as Directors to serve three year terms. Also, you have elected Walter Dunkley as Vice President, and he has the benefit of having previously served a three year term on the Board of Directors. I do not ask that next year's officers be spared the normal frustrations that accompany their responsibilities, but I do pray sincerely that they will have all the personal and professional attributes necessary to cope effectively with the obligations of their office. It is a privilege, a pleasure, and an honor to serve the membership of this prestigious Association.