The Meet Your Herdmates Sodcast
56 Jason Rowntree, PhD

56 Jason Rowntree, PhD

May 18, 2021

Agriculture is a complex natural system.
Keep the culture in agriculture
Dirt's under our fingernails, soil's under our feet.

Associate professor of Animal Science (Michigan State University) and C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture , Dr. Jason Rowntree coordinates Lake City and UPREC AgBioResearch and Extension Centers where he addresses economic, environmental and social complexity in agriculture. He studys how grazing livestock can improve land and mitigate climate change by capturing carbon and providing other ecosystem services. He strives to increase local food systems that strengthen local communities. He is former chair of the Grassfed Exchange, a leading U.S. grass-fed beef educational organization, serves on the board of the American Grassfed Association, is an accredited Holistic Management Educator and is an advisor of Standard Soil, a startup corporation that aims to meet the nation’s growing demand for grass-finished beef while restoring the ecosystems they manage.

Jason's objective is to develop low-cost, low-input beef production systems for the Upper Great Lakes. His research and extension focuses on forage utilization of grazing beef cattle, extending the grazing season and forage-finishing. Another facet of his work is to improve economics of small and medium size beef producers through local and regional beef production and distribution system development. Bovine tuberculosis is a challenge to northern Michigan beef cattle producers, and they aim to develop holistic approaches to beef cattle and white-tail deer management through selective forage plot establishment, hay feeding and fencing strategies.

Lake City Research Center -
AgBioResearch Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center -

"Soil carbon storage informed by particulate and mineral-associated organic matter." MF Cotrufo, et. al -

"Simulating measurable ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics with the mechanistically-defined MEMS 2.0 model." Yao Zhang, et. al. -

"Ecosystem Impacts and Productive Capacity of a Multi-Species Pastured Livestock System." J. E. Rowntree, et. al. -

55 Lynn E. Sollenberger, PhD

55 Lynn E. Sollenberger, PhD

May 13, 2021

From a multi-generational farm in Pennsylvania to respected forage researcher and educator. 
Forages in Florida and beyond.
Logical decisions don't always restrict our interests.

Dr. Lynn Sollenberger is Distinguished Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Agronomy at the University of Florida. His appointment is 50% research, 40% teaching, and 10% service in the areas of grassland ecology and management. He teaches four classes in areas related to his programmatic focus. Professor Sollenberger’s research currently emphasizes ecosystem services of grasslands and integration of legumes into grasslands as a strategy for increasing efficiency of animal production, delivery of ecosystem services, and mitigating climate change. 

Ask IFAS (forage) -
Jose Dubeux' facebook page -
Panhandle forage info - 

54 Jennifer Tucker, PhD

54 Jennifer Tucker, PhD

May 11, 2021

Forage Fanatic!

Dr. Jennifer Tucker is an Associate Professor of Beef Nutrition and Forage Management. 

Dr. Tucker was raised on a small beef cattle operation in South Central Kentucky where she grew up showing cattle, raising various crops including tobacco and vegetables, and helping to improve the pastures on her family's farm. Growing up Tucker was an active member of 4-H, FFA, and the Kentucky and National Junior Angus Associations, competing and winning several competitions including livestock judging, team sales, demonstrations, national cook-off, and public speaking. Tucker’s experiences from these organizations helped catapult her into a career she never imagined at such a young age.  It would seem that the trip from Tompkinsville, KY to Tifton, GA were a straight trajectory, however her path was anything but. “Growing up cattle, crops, and public speaking were just things I did with my family. I never realized the relationships I built and the experiences I had would play such an important role later on in life. In fact when I graduated high school I set out on a path far away from the farm and ag-life!” Fortunately for us her plans got redirected!

“Southern Forages: Modern Concepts for Forage Crop Management” by D.M. Ball, C.S. Hoveland, and G.D. Lacefield. 
UGA Forages -
UGA Beef -
UGA Extension Publications -

53 Tangriani Simioni Assmann, PhD

53 Tangriani Simioni Assmann, PhD

May 6, 2021

Tangriani holds a doctorate in Agronomy at the Federal University of Paraná and INRAe -FR – Clermont-Ferrand. Her thesis was on nitrogen cycling in integrated crop-livestock systems. In 2015 she served as a visiting scientist in the Soil Management and Ecology team led by Dr. Alan Franzllubers at North Carolina State University. She is a full professor in the Department of Agronomy at the Federal University of Technology –  Paraná – Pato Branco. She teaches “Soil Fertility”(undergraduate)  and “Nutrient Cycling” (graduate).  Her research focuses on system-level fertilization, a concept that relies on biological nutrient cycling between rotation phases to achieve nutrient use efficiency, thereby reducing mineral nutrient inputs, avoiding losses, and maintaining long-term soil fertility. This approach contrasts with the more typical paradigm of fertilization of individual cash crops within a rotation, where the residual effect of fertilizers is considered minimal and is typically ignored. System-level fertilization considers all crops (pastures and cash crops) in the fertilization scheme with rotational carryover (i.e. either directly from inorganic forms or indirectly through organic N mineralization) as key components.

52 Joe Bouton, PhD

52 Joe Bouton, PhD

May 4, 2021

Serendipity in life. Mentors in careers. Importance of forage breeding. Addressing bottlenecks in Southeast US forage agriculture. 

Dr. Joe Bouton earned his B.S. degree at Miss. State Univ., and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the Univ. of Florida.  He was a Professor (now Emeritus), Univ. of Georgia; and a Director, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. He now owns Bouton Consulting Group LLC.

Dr. Bouton taught courses in plant breeding and genetics; and his research centered on development of forage cultivars. He released 28 cultivars with 12 still being sold, but is best known for development of ‘Alfagraze’ alfalfa, “Jesup MaxQ” tall fescue, and ‘Durana’ white clover . He now reviews research projects, writes producer articles, and gives talks at student seminars, and farmer and scientific meetings.

“The Wonder Grass: The Story of Tall Fescue in the United States” by D.M. Ball, G.D. Lacefield, and C.S. Hoveland.
Bouton, J. (2007). The economic benefits of forage improvement in the United States. Euphytica, 154(3), 263-270.
"Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History" by Mary Kilbourne Matossian

51 Adegbola Adesogan, PhD

51 Adegbola Adesogan, PhD

April 29, 2021

Working " sustainably intensify smallholder livestock systems in order to improve the nutrition, health, livelihoods and incomes of the poor."
Dr. Adegbola Adesogan is a professor of ruminant nutrition and director of the Food Systems Institute and Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. His research focuses on sustainably increasing animal-source food production and consumption; improving forage production, quality and preservation; and using feed additives, forages and byproducts to sustainably improve animal production and health.

Dr. Adesogan's Univ. of Florida page -
The Food Systems Institute -
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems - 

Adesogan, A. T., et al. (2019). Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition and sustainability solution? Perspective matters. Global Food Security, 100325. doi:

UNICEF report -
World Health Organization, 2014. World health assembly global nutrition targets 2025: stunting policy brief.

Papers mentioned:
Hulett, J. L., et al. (2014). Animal source foods have a positive impact on the primary school test scores of Kenyan schoolchildren in a cluster-randomised, controlled feeding intervention trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(5), 875-886. doi:10.1017/s0007114513003310
Neumann, C. G., et al. (2007). Meat Supplementation Improves Growth, Cognitive, and Behavioral Outcomes in Kenyan Children. The Journal of nutrition, 137(4), 1119-1123. doi:10.1093/jn/137.4.1119

50 Benjamin Bikman, PhD

50 Benjamin Bikman, PhD

April 27, 2021

Benjamin Bikman, Associate Professor at BYU. Author of "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It".
Dr. Bikman’s research focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate the disruption that causes and accompanies metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Driven by his academic training (Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and postdoctoral fellowship with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders), he is currently exploring the contrasting roles of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings. But he's also driven to communicate his research to the wider public.

Bikman Lab at BYU -
Insulin IQ -
HLTH Code -

49 Isabelle Baltenweck, PhD

49 Isabelle Baltenweck, PhD

April 22, 2021

Dr. Baltenweck is a development economist with twenty years of post-doctoral experience in agricultural systems in Africa, South and South-East Asia, with a focus on livestock value chains. Starting her career as a development economist with an emphasis on adoption and impact assessment studies in livestock systems, she has increasingly sharpened her skills in gender and social equity research, looking at how women and men’s needs and capabilities differ in terms of accessing and using technologies and practices, also resulting in varied, and sometimes opposite, impact. She has worked at the interface of research and development, working with private sector, farmers’ groups, ministries, NGOs and investors. Her work has a direct relevance to the activities of development practitioners and the private sector, and resulted in publications targeted at that audience. 

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) -
ILRI News -
Why Livestock Matter -

48 Nicholas Norwitz, PhD

48 Nicholas Norwitz, PhD

April 20, 2021
Nick on twitter - @nicknorwitz
Nick's story
Nick's new paper in "nutrients" - "Precision Nutrition for Alzheimer’s Prevention in ApoE4 Carriers"
"The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook"
Dr. Nicholas Norwitz is a new shining star in nutrition science. This 25-year-old Ivy League Valedictorian obtained his PhD at Oxford University in just two years and is now pursing his MD at Harvard Medical School. His research expertise is ketosis and brain aging; however, he has published scientific papers on topics ranging from neuroscience to heart disease to gastrointestinal health to genetics to bone health to diabetes.
Nick’s passion for Food as Medicine is founded a personal history. At eighteen years old, he developed severe osteoporosis, a bone disease that crippled his promising running career. Next, Nick developed ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease so severe as to cause him to lose twenty percent of his body weight in weeks and end up in the palliative care ward of a hospital with a heart rate in the twenties.
Through scientific self-study, Nick discovered his salvation in a ketogenic diet. He reversed his osteoporosis and colitis and is thriving! But Nick is grateful for his apparent misfortunes. In his words, “The most remarkable part of my story is that it’s not unique. The healthcare system isn’t built to address metabolic diseases. For that, we need metabolic medicine rooted in nutrition. My lifelong goal is to help reform the system and educate people. Plus, I’d like to think being a patient has made me a more compassionate person.”
47 Nina Teicholz

47 Nina Teicholz

April 15, 2021

"The executive editor of “The Lancet” wrote, “this is a disquieting book about scientific incompetence, evangelical ambition, and ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades…researchers, clinicians, and health policy advisors should read this provocative book.” A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said, “This book should be read by every scientist…[and] every nutritional science professional.” In the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the journal’s former editor wrote, “Teicholz has done a remarkable job in analysing [the] weak science, strong personalities, vested interests, and political expediency” of nutrition science.
"The Big Fat Surprise was named a 2014 *Best Book* by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mother Jones, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal."

While most folks from the human nutrition & metabolic health side of the Ruminati Herd will be familiar with her, "Big Fat Surprise," and her continuing work, she's always worth listening to!
"Nina  is a professor (adjunct) at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the  Executive Director of The Nutrition Coalition (a group devoted to evidence-based nutrition policy), an investigative science journalist and author. Her international bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat–especially saturated fat–and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy."
Nina's full bio -
Nina on Twitter - @BigFatSurprise
Nina’s website -
The Nutrition Coalition website -

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