Arthur W. Perdue Graduate Fellowship Program to be established at UD

September 19, 2013 under CANR News

Receiving gift from Perdue Company at the Carvel Research Center.  SHOWN: (l to r) Dr. Jack Gelb, chair of ANFS, Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown of Perdue, and Dr. Mark Rieger Dean of CANR.The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, has awarded the University of Delaware $125,000 over the next three-years to establish the Arthur W. Perdue Graduate Fellowship in the University’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

“The college is grateful to Perdue for providing funding for one of our greatest needs, graduate education,” said Mark Rieger, dean of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Beyond the funding per se, the gift allows for a closer relationship between UD and Perdue, and we will learn much from each other as we collaborate.”

“The generous contribution from the Perdue Foundation will be used to recruit outstanding graduate students to pursue the Ph.D. degree in poultry science,” said Jack Gelb, professor and chairperson of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. “In addition to working with faculty at UD, the chosen students will collaborate with scientists at Perdue, and will travel and attend scientific meetings in the U.S. and abroad. We are proud to be the recipient of this gift and look forward to training top young scientists and future leaders in poultry science.”

As Arthur W. Perdue Fellows, the selected students will focus on possible research through the University’s Avian Biosciences Center in the areas of broiler growth and efficiency, muscle biology and physiology, and emerging infectious avian diseases and their control.

Another area of possible research may focus on intestinal microbiology, physiology and impacts on microbial populations, including those that present foodborne disease challenges.

“The University of Delaware has been serving the needs of the poultry industry on Delmarva for more than 50 years,” said Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of food safety and quality at Perdue Farms. “We’re pleased to establish a new legacy of learning and higher education through this grant from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. We value the opportunity to provide research opportunities to aspiring scientists whose work will benefit not only Perdue, but others in the poultry industry. We see this as a mutually beneficial partnership.”

About Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms is the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness, and represents the Perdue family ownership.  Since its beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, through expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the Perdue brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, to the third-generation of family leadership with chairman Jim Perdue, Perdue Farms has remained a family-owned, family-operated business dedicated to making Perdue the most trusted name in food and agricultural products. To learn more about Perdue, visit the website.

The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue. The foundation provides grants on behalf of Perdue Farms in communities where large numbers of company associates live and work.

Photos by Doug Baker

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UD donors fund Equine Studies Program

January 22, 2013 under CANR News

Funding has been provided for an equine studies programStuart M. and Suzanne B. Grant of Greenville, Del., recently donated $1 million to develop and support an Equine Studies Program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware. With this generous gift, the University will create an equine studies minor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences that will be available to UD students.

“The Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS) has recognized for some time that our undergraduate programs could be significantly enhanced by the addition of a minor in equine studies,” said Jack Gelb Jr., chairperson of ANFS. “However, we have not had the resources to make an equine minor a reality.” That was, of course, before Stuart and Suzanne Grant generously stepped in.

Stuart Grant is co-founder and managing director of the Wilmington law firm Grant and Eisenhofer. A lawyer by trade and alumnus of Brandeis University and New York University Law School, he and his wife may not be the most obvious choice to endow an equine studies program at the University of Delaware. Their story, though, illustrates an interesting path of great affinity for both horses and UD.

In 2000, the Grants purchased their first racehorse. When that horse began winning races, the excitement propelled them to begin building a horse breeding and racing enterprise that today includes a horse farm, a training center and substantial racing and breeding stock – an impressive operation that provides employment for many in the South Carolina, Kentucky and Pennsylvania regions. Through it all, there was one thing about the horse business that bothered Stuart Grant.

“When my horses were being examined by the veterinary staff, I couldn’t always understand everything the vets were telling me — and I hated that,” he said. “I decided that I wanted to continue my education by taking pre-veterinary courses that would help me better understand the horses.”

In fall 2009, Grant gave up his position as an adjunct professor of law at Widener University School of Law and enrolled as a part-time student at UD, taking courses in animal science. A year and a half later, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell nominated Grant to the University’s Board of Trustees.

It is Grant’s subsequent relationship as a UD Trustee and student, as well as his enduring commitment to the horse breeding and racing industries, that prompted the Grants’ recent $1 million gift to CANR. The gift is most welcomed by the leadership of the college.

“The Grants’ gift will allow us to grow enrollment and interest in the college, which is a major priority at this time,” said CANR Dean Mark Rieger. “Though it will be open to students within CANR, we hope the equine minor also will attract students from outside the college. In doing so, the equine minor will allow non-CANR students to learn more about our college and career opportunities, which are plentiful and rewarding.”

Grant agrees, and said he foresees many students not currently involved in CANR being drawn to the college by the new equine studies minor. “More than half of the current members of the University’s equestrian team are majoring in disciplines outside of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” he said. “They may be business majors or health and human development majors, but their love of horses will likely compel them to pursue this minor as a complement to their existing studies.”

The mid-Atlantic region, in which UD is located, is home to a flourishing horse industry, including thoroughbreds, standardbreds and Arabians. This makes an equine studies minor a logical and welcome addition to the UD curriculum.

One person who welcomes the addition of the equine studies minor to UD is student Samantha Rosser of Amityville, N.Y., a senior. An animal science major and member of the UD equestrian team, Rosser is a lifelong animal lover who has been riding horses for the past 13 years. As she begins applying to graduate programs in animal behavior, Rosser is keenly aware of the opportunities this new minor will create for future UD students.

“The creation of an official equine minor will encourage students to expand their areas of study,” said Rosser. “I think it will provide a great opportunity for students to learn more about horses. The University has great resources in the equine industry, and with the addition of this new minor and more courses, I believe CANR will augment its appeal to prospective students.”

Article by Shannon Pote

Photo by Danielle Quigley

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Gelb Receives Poultry Research Award

August 21, 2012 under CANR News

Jack Gelb, Jr., chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, was awarded The Bruce W. Calnek Applied Poultry 
Research Achievement Award at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP). The award is presented annually by the AAAP to an individual in recognition of their outstanding research contributions resulting 
in a measurable and practical impact on the control of important diseases of poultry.

Gelb was honored for his work related to the control avian infectious bronchitis virus, an important respiratory disease of chickens.

The Bruce W. Calnek Applied Poultry Research Achievement Award was first presented in 2004 as a result of a gift from 
Bruce Calnek of Cornell University.

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