By Audrey Hambright
Dan Frese, graduate student of the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University, was recognized for
research conducted on cattle handling techniques at the Plains Nutrition Council (PNC) Spring Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in April.
Frese is first author and lead graduate student on the study titled, “Effects of cattle handling technique on blood chemistry parameters in finishing steers not fed a beta adrenergic agonist,” which was awarded the overall top entry in the graduate student poster competition. Frese received $4,000 from the Dr. Kenneth & Caroline McDonald Eng Foundation as part of the award.
Frese, in addition to four other students who were recognized as runners-up, came from a total of 40 entries hailing from more than a dozen universities across the country. The posters were evaluated based on scientific merit and novelty, industry relevance of the research, clarity of data presentation, as well as accurate data interpretation and conclusions.
Evaluated by members of the PNC representing academia, allied industry and the consulting community, Frese’s poster displayed the results of the study, which was designed to model fatigued cattle syndrome (FCS) and how it is similar to fatigued pig syndrome. According to Frese, this research is significant in that it relates to the mobility problems that have been noted in the cattle industry at slaughter plants in recent years.
“I see this as the beginning of using objective data to emphasize how low-stress cattle handling can affect the beef industry,” he said.
Dan Thomson, director of the BCI and Frese’s major professor, applauded Frese’s work and accomplishments.
“Dr. Frese has done a great job of solving real questions for the beef industry,” Thomson said. “He has been able to connect the dots on an important issue surrounding beta agonists.”
Steve Bartle, research director of the BCI and one of the co-authors of Frese’s study, works closely with the graduate students at the BCI to prepare abstracts and poster presentations on their research. He feels this award recognizes the team’s work as a whole.
“In the feedlot industry, this is a high-profile conference where academia, consulting nutritionists and allied industry come together,” Bartle said. “This award shows our professionalism as researchers and relevance to the industry.”
The PNC was established in the 1970s as a forum for feedyard nutritionists to discuss the most recent advances in feedlot nutrition and research. While the first meetings attracted no more than a dozen working nutritionists, today the PNC is the preeminent feedlot nutrition meeting in the world, annually attracting more than 500 nutritionists from across North America, South America, Africa and Australia.