OSU's Krehbiel initial recipient of Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair
Clint Krehbiel, an Oklahoma State University animal scientist who is always quick to acknowledge his research collaborators, was awarded a singular and prestigious honor late in July, being named the first recipient of the newly created Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Science.
"Dr. Krehbiel's research program is one of the crown jewels of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources," said Ron Kensinger, head of the department of animal science. "Everyone in DASNR is most grateful for the generosity of Dennis and Marta White in establishing this chair. Dr. White is an OSU animal science alumnus and currently serves on the OSU Foundation board. He and Marta truly understand the value of giving back to the university."
The Ninnekah-based ranchers created the endowed chair as a way to foster research that will ultimately result in new practices aimed at improving cattle nutrition and health, the very areas for which Krehbiel is renowned in both academia and industry.
"Immune response and morbidity issues relative to cattle growth and carcass quality affect every level of the beef industry, from the producer to the packer, all the way to the consumer as end-user," Krehbiel said.
For example, a relatively recent development of Krehbiel's research shows cattle that have three or more bouts of disease produce lower-quality meat. Thus, health issues on the farm or at the feedlot can have a direct relationship to the product purchased in the store. Everybody in the food chain loses dollar value.
"Cattle and calf sales alone accounted for $2.5 billion to the state economy last year," Kensinger said. "Throw in related industries, direct and indirect, and it becomes clear fairly fast that improvements in the beef industry provide a benefit to both rural and urban Oklahoma."
Krehbiel said his current research into bovine respiratory disease is a fun challenge, not only because of its economic importance to the beef industry and consumers but also the opportunity it provides to collaborate with other researchers, each of whom provides key expertise in advancing scientific understanding.
"Our OSU team consists of experts in animal science, veterinary clinical sciences, veterinary pathobiology, molecular genetics, bacteriology, anatomical pathology, entomology and plant pathology, food science and agricultural economics," he said.
The ability to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts like the ongoing BRD research is a key reason why Krehbiel is so deserving of the Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair, said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR dean and director and vice president of agricultural programs at OSU.
"Many issues facing society today are more complex and interrelated than ever, making collaboration between experts in different disciplines a necessary part of any effort to solve those concerns and improve the quality of life for individuals, their families and communities," Whitson said. "We were fortunate to be able to recruit Dr. Krehbiel into our faculty, and it's an investment that is paying dividends for the division, university and all of Oklahoma."
The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges officially approved Krehbiel as holder of the Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair on July 24.
As a principal investigator, Krehbiel has garnered more than $1 million in research grants during the last five years alone. He is also an avid author, having had 31 peer-reviewed journal articles published during that same span. Graduate students whom he has advised are likewise making their professional marks in industry and academia.
"Naming Dr. Krehbiel to the chair will allow him to take his research and teaching programs to an even higher level," Kensinger said.
Krehbiel joined the OSU animal science faculty in January 2000, coming from New Mexico State University, where he served as an assistant professor of ruminant nutrition from August 1996 to December 1999. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., from 1995 to 1996.
His professional affiliations include the American Society of Animal Science, American Dairy Science Association, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and Plains Nutrition Council, among others.
Krehbiel earned his bachelor's degree in animal science and master's degree in ruminant nutrition from Kansas State University in 1988 and 1990, respectively. He earned his doctoral degree in ruminant nutrition from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1994.