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Van Eenennaam presented BIF Continuing Service Award

Note to Editors: Dr. Van Eenennaam was unable to attend the 2016 BIF symposium. A portrait is available upon request. Please email angiedenton@ksu.edu.

Released: June 16, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Alison Van Eenennaam, genomics and biotechnology researcher and cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis, a BIF Continuing Service Award June 15 during the group's annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kansas.

Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. As BIF is a volunteer organization, it is this contribution of time and passion for the beef cattle industry that moves BIF forward.

Van Eenennaam received her bachelor's degree from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both a master's degree and a doctorate from UC Davis. The mission of her extension program is "to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems." Her extension program focuses on the development of science-based educational materials, including the controversial biotechnologies of genetic engineering (GE) and cloning.

She was the lead author on the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) 2014 report "The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States." She has served on several national committees, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, and as a temporary voting member of the 2010 Food and Drug Administration Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee meeting on the AquAdvantage salmon, the first genetically engineered animal to be evaluated for entry into the food supply.

Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2010 National Award for Excellence in Extension from the American Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the 2014 Borlaug CAST Communication Award.

Bill Muir, Purdue University professor of animal sciences, said: "Dr. Van Eenennaam is the single most important mover and shaker addressing a wide range of issues related to regulation and acceptance of transgenic technology. If this important technology is ever accepted in the U.S. or abroad, it will be largely due to the advocacy of Dr. Van Eenennaam using science to quell the hype of the fear mongers... Alison is much more than just an advocate for GE technology. She is at the forefront of all new biotechnologies as related to animal production."

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization's 48th annual convention. BIF's mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit Beefimprovement.org.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

Story by:
Angie Stump Denton, communication coordinator, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
785-562-6197 or angiedenton@ksu.edu