Professor W. E. Petersen was a highly influential dairy scientist who was on the faculty at the University of Minnesota starting in 1921 until his retirment in 1960. The Danish-American professor conducted landmark research in the physiology of lactation and other aspects of dairy husbandry. He conducted fundamental research on udder development, milk secretion and milk composition. Professor Petersen earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in 1916, 1917,and 1928, respectively, from the University of Minnesota. Learn more about Dr. Petersen in an article published in the Journal of Animal Science (1997; 75:1431-1433) titled "William Earl Petersen, 1892-1971: A Brief Biography" (PDF).
To honor his memory, Dr. Petersen’s family established a fund in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota to sponsor dairy related symposia. The first symposium was held in December of 2000.
5th W. E. Petersen Symposium
"Challenges and Opportunities in Animal Science Education"
Presented by the Department of Animal Science
The 5th W. E. Petersen Symposium focused on graduate education and provided an overview of the needs in the Animal Sciences and what the future holds for students in Animal Science graduate programs. The goals of this symposium were to: 1) identify priority areas and the specific courses graduate students will need in the future to be successful, and 2) develop strategies for cooperation between universities in offering needed courses in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Future Graduate Education Needs—Academic Perspective (PDF)
- Jim Linn/Bill Dayton, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota
CIC and the CourseShare Program (PDF)
- Amber Marks, Committee on Institutional Cooperation
Multi-Institutional Alliance for Delivering On-Line Graduate Programs - Ag*IDEA (PDF) - Don Boggs, Kansas State University
Future Graduate Education Needs—An Industry Perspective
- Ronnie Green, Pfizer Animal Genetics
Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics On-Line: A solution to a Dilemma in Graduate Education
- Ron Lewis, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech University
4th W. E. Petersen Symposium
"Crossbreeding of Dairy Cattle: The Science and the Impact "
Presented by the Department of Animal Science, April 2, 2007
The 4th W.E. Petersen Symposium addressed the science and impact of crossbreeding of dairy cattle. Crossbreeding is the hottest topic at this time in dairy genetics, and the University of Minnesota has taken a lead in conducting new research. Furthermore, the University of Minnesota has provided international leadership in educating dairy producers on implementation of crossbreeding systems. Internationally renowned researchers, as well as dairy producers from Minnesota and California, discussed their perspectives on crossbreeding of dairy cattle at this symposium.
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Mechanisms of Inbreeding Depression and Heterosis for Profitable Dairying (PDF)
– Bennet Cassell, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Impact of an Old Technology on Profitable Dairying in the 21st Century (PDF)
– Brad Heins, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Experience with Crossbreeding–From Headaches to Happiness (PDF)
– Kevin Prins, Dairy Producer, Modesto, CA
Genetic Evaluation Using Combined Data from All Breeds and Crossbred Cows (PDF)
– Paul VanRaden, USDA, Beltsville, MD
Crossbreeding–An Important Part of Sustainable Breeding in Dairy Cattle and Possibilities for Implementation (PDF)
– Morten Kargo Sørensen, Danish Agricultural Institute, Foulum, and Danish Cattle Federation, Aarhus
3rd W. E. Petersen Symposium
"Exploring Viable Dairy System Alternatives for Minnesota"
Presented by the Department of Animal Science, April 25, 2005
The objective of the 3rd W.E. Petersen Symposium was to explore which dairy system alternatives are most likely to be successful over the next 10-20 years in Minnesota and identify likely impacts of the dairy industry moving in this direction. This seminar explored implications of various systems relative to economics, human resources, farm families, rural communities, environmental impacts and animal welfare considerations. Top experts at the symposium discussed the impacts of alternative dairy systems.
Economically Feasible Dairy System Alternatives for Minnesota (PDF)
- Stephen B. Harsh, Professor, Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University
Successful Transitions Engaging Everyone (PDF)
- Robert A. Milligan, Sr. Consultant, Dairy Strategies LLC and Professor Emeritus, Economics, Cornell University
Is the Family a Trampoline, a Press or a Pulley (Dairy Systems Impact on the Family (PDF)
- Sharon Danes, Professor and Extension Specialist, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota
Dairy Systems Impact on the Environment (PDF)
- Neil C. Hansen, Associate Professor, Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
Dairy Systems Impact on Animal Welfare (PDF)
- Daniel M. Weary, Professor, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia
2nd W. E. Petersen Symposium
"Reproductive Loss in Dairy Cows: is the Trend Reversible?"
Presented by the Department of Animal Science, April 8, 2003
The 2nd W. E. Petersen Symposium addressed reproduction in dairy cattle and explored biological and management factors that affect dairy reproduction. Top experts in dairy cattle reproduction discussed their views on the decline of fertility in cows.
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View Individual Articles:
Physiological Mechanisms Leading to Reproductive Decline in Dairy Cattle (PDF)
- M. C. Lucy, University of Missouri, Columbia
Has the Fertilizing Capacity of Bovine Spermotozoa Changed? (PDF)
- M. M. Pace, ABS, Global, Inc.
Nutrition and Reproduction Loss - Can We Feed Our Way Out of It? (PDF)
- W. R. Butler, Cornell University
Reproductive Program Aids-Beneficial or Band Aid? (PDF)
- J. S. Stevenson, Kansas State University
Is Genetics a Cure for Reproductive Loss? (PDF)
- L. B. Hansen, University of Minnesota
1st W. E. Petersen Symposium
"Dairy Genomics-Future Trends and Opportunities"
Presented by the Department of Animal Science, December 11, 2000
Dairy genomics was the theme of the first W. E. Petersen Symposium. The major objectives of the event were to: 1) provide our graduate students and colleagues with current information about advances in dairy genomics in the U.S., and 2) to provide a brainstorming forum to discuss the future of dairy genomics, possible development of a multi-state reserach program, and possible development of an F-2 Holstein population. The inaugural seminar was held on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus with 85 researchers and students in attendance.
Functional Genomics of the Mammary Gland (PDF)
- Tad Sonstegard, ARS, USDA
A Case for a Holstein-Jersey Crossbred QTL Mapping Population in Dairy Cattle (PDF)
- Curt Van Tassell, USDA
Design of Resource Populations for Dairy QTL Mapping (PDF) (Presentation & Manuscript)
- Yang Da, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota
A Genome Scan to Identify QTL Affecting Economically Important Traits in Dairy Cattle (PDF)
- Melissa Ashwell, USDA
Mapping Reproductive Trait QTL (PDF)
- Brian Kirkpatrick, University of Wisconsin
Effect of Selection for Milk Yield on Nutritonal Physiology of the Holstein Cow (PDF)
- Brian Crooker, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota
Dairy Genomics (PDF)
- Tom Lawlor, Holstein Association USA, Inc.
Mean Genetic Value / Waseca Control Sires (PDF) (Tables)
Future of Dairy Genomics-Brain Storming Session (PDF) (Notes)