Rodney Preston, noted CASNR animal science researcher, dies at 88
By: Norman Martin
Rodney Preston, who served as Texas Tech University's Thornton Endowed Chair in Animal Science and Director of the Burnett Center for Beef Cattle Research & Teaching in the university's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, died on July 4 in Bellingham, Washington. He was 88.
Preston guided his research program during its formative years, building it into a nationally-renowned center for research and teaching of animal nutrition, protein, energy and mineral utilization, growth, body composition and anabolic agents in beef cattle and sheep.
Recognized as an international expert, Preston was a pioneer in research pertaining to anabolic growth promotants used in beef cattle production. He remained an active advocate for the use of technology to enhance efficiency of U.S. beef production.
During his academic career he was the author/co-author of 108 journal articles, 162 abstracts of papers presented at professional meetings, 14 book chapters and 417 technical and extension reports, popular articles and letters-to-editors. In 2004, he co-authored, Fifty Years of Pharmaceutical Technology and Its Impact on the Beef We Provide to Consumers.
Prior to joining Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences faculty in 1982, he served on the animal science faculty at the University of Missouri and The Ohio State University before becoming chair of Washington State University's Animal Sciences Department.
Preston, who was named a Texas Tech Horn Distinguished Professor (1994), the highest distinction a faculty member can receive from the university, retired from the university in 1997. Preston received his bachelor's degree in animal nutrition from Colorado State University. His master's and doctorate degrees in animal nutrition and veterinary physiology were from Iowa State University.
In 2009, the "Dr. Rodney Preston Graduate Fellowship Endowment" was established in CASNR. The fellowship was created to fund scholarships for graduate students with studies in the field of animal science focused on the production, nutrition, growth, protein metabolism and muscle physiology of beef cattle or other similarly related fields of research.
The goal of the fellowship is to advance the efficiency and understanding of commercial beef production as part of the U.S. agricultural industry, said CASNR officials. The recipient must be a graduate student in good standing in Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
Honors for Preston included a University of Missouri Outstanding Junior Faculty Member Award (1964); a NIH Special Fellowship for Research in Veterinary Biochemistry in the Netherlands (1964-65); and the CASNR Research Award (1989). He also received Texas Tech's Barnie E. Rushing Faculty Distinguished Research Award (1990). Separately, he was presented the Plains Nutrition Council's Professional Excellence Award in 2006.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0708NM19 / Editor's Note: For more information and support for the "Dr. Rodney Preston Graduate Fellowship Endowment," please click here
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Editor: Norman Martin
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