West Virginia University alumnus Ronald L. Horst was recognized by the Federation of Animal Science Societies and the American Feed Industry Association with the 2018 AFIA New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award. Horst was recognized during the 2018 American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 24.
Horst grew up on a dairy farm in West Virginia. He received his bachelor's in animal science in 1971. After graduation, he pursued a graduate career in dairy science and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, receiving his PhD in 1977, followed by a postdoctorate. He got married while at Wisconsin, and he and his wife, Marina, are still happily married with three daughters and four grandsons.
In 1978 he was offered a research physiology position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, to study calcium and vitamin D metabolism. He served as a research scientist for 30 years at the NADC and maintained a courtesy professorship in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. He is renowned for his work involving milk fever in dairy cows; however, his work has traversed both the human and veterinary medical fields, as evidenced by his numerous collaborative studies detailing vitamin D metabolism abnormalities occurring in several human diseases.
Following his retirement from the NADC in 2006, he and his colleagues co-founded two new companies, Heartland Assays LLC and GlycoMyr Inc., which focus on developing products and analytical techniques to identify and alleviate vitamin D and calcium deficiencies.
The FASS-AFIA New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award was created to stimulate, acknowledge, and reward pioneering and innovative research relevant to the nutrition of animals that benefits humankind and the nutritional value of foods from animals. More information about the award can be found on the FASS website.
CONTACT: Nikky Luna, communications manager WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural
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