seal  Purdue News

July 29, 2003

Purdue honors animal science industry professionals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Department of Animal Sciences will recognize four individuals with the 2003 Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni Award. They will be honored in two categories for their work and involvement in the animal science industry.

This award was created to recognize the achievements of graduates from the animal sciences program and recognize alumni for significant contributions to the animal science industry, as well as to provide current students an opportunity to view the pathways to success taken by alumni, said Alan Grant, head of the Department of Animal Sciences.

"The four recipients recognized this year have demonstrated excellence in industry, academia, governmental service or other endeavors related to animal sciences as exemplified by their leadership and accomplishments," Grant said. "We are very pleased to recognize these recipients."

The award recipients will be honored at the Department of Animal Sciences' homecoming gathering on Oct. 4 in the animal sciences tent on the Memorial Mall. There also will be an awards ceremony and roundtable discussion at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Lilly Building, Room 3-113.

Two individuals, Robert Book and Gary Cromwell, will be awarded the Lifetime Career Award.

• Book received his bachelor's degree in animal sciences in 1952. He spent 28 years with Elanco Animal Health where he started as a sales representative. He eventually became group vice president of agricultural marketing and held this position for 11 years. Book was instrumental in starting the Indiana Institute of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Inc. He also served on the board of directors for the Farm Foundation Inc., the United States Grain Council, The Center for Global Food Issues and other organizations. In addition to his professional duties, he served 35 years of active and reserve duty in the U.S. Marines. Book now lives in Carmel, Ind.

• Cromwell, of Lexington, Ky., graduated with a master's degree and doctorate in animal science in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He is a professor of animal sciences at the University of Kentucky, and his research focuses on the evaluation of nutrients and feed additives. Cromwell has authored or co-authored 950 publications. He has held various offices including the chair of the Committee on Animal Nutrition of the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council, national president of the American Society of Animal Science, and secretary and treasurer of the Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Sciences. He has received the Animal Industry Service Award, the Thomas Poe Cooper Award from the University of Kentucky and the American Feed Industry Association Award in Animal Nutrition.

The Early Career award recipients are Kristin Whittington and Todd Ripberger.

• Whittington, of Edinburgh, Ind., graduated with a bachelor's degree in animal sciences in 1992 and now serves as a consultant for Creative Ag Solutions. Prior to this position, she was the director of the Office of Agricultural Relations for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management where she assisted the animal industry with changes in state and federal environmental regulations. In addition to working at Creative Ag Solutions, Whittington owns Landmark Farms where she developed a horse riding and instruction program.

• Ripberger, of Windfall, Ind., received his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal sciences in 1993 and 1995, respectively, and is the marketing associate for Elanco Animal Health where he develops marketing plans for new cattle products. He is involved with various professional organizations including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association where he serves as a facilitator for the board of directors training and is an active member of their Allied Industry Council. Ripberger's accomplishments include the Eli Lilly Quality Advocate Award and the G.A. Ross Award, given annually to the Purdue's outstanding senior. In his spare time, he works on his small purebred cow/calf operation, Generation III Livestock.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Sources: Barry Delks, (765) 496-7234,

Alan Grant, (765) 494-4808,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page