A. E. FREEMAN
OF ADSA FELLOW AWARD
A. E. FREEMANRECIPIENT
A.E. (Gene) Freeman, Professor of Animal Science and Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture, was named ADSA Fellow at the 1998 summer meeting.
Dr. Freeman is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in animal breeding, particularly dairy breeding, and for his contributions to graduate education. Dr. Freeman and his students have made major career accomplishments that have made large impacts on the dairy industry. He was the first to look at, and adjust for, biases in parameter estimation caused by culling of cows. He also was the first to assign measures of risk in sire selection. He adapted portfolio theory, used for stock and bond purchases, to dairy sire and cow evaluation that at first seem unrelated. Dr. Freeman, his student, and an AI organization developed the first evaluation of sires for birth difficulty in his daughters. That work was extended by Dr. P. J. Berger and is now used nationally. Use of this information has saved the dairy industry millions of dollars. Dr. Freeman and students determined a method to predict life expectancy of daughters of a sire from the linear type scores of the daughters with an upper limit in accuracy of about 0.58. This methodology was used with added information as the daughters were entered into DHIA programs, and the index is called "productive life."
Pictured with Dr. Freeman left to right are Drs. Norman J. Olson, Stanley J. Gilliland, and J. Murray Elliott who also received "Fellow" distinctions at the meeting.
Another new area of investigation that Dr. Freeman and colleagues investigated was the influence of mitochondria on production and health. They found markers that appear to be useful for production and health. As cows produce more, they tend to have more health problems. Dr. Freeman, colleagues, and an AI organization are determining whether the immune status of a sire can be used to predict the health incidents of the sires' daughters under farm conditions. This is an in-progress study and, if successful, will open a whole new area of study relating measures of immunity to improving health of cows under commercial conditions. Even though he and his students have developed these and other original ideas that have been used in dairy breeding, Dr. Freeman has solved many "work-a-day" problems that needed solving for dairy breeders to continue to make continued genetic progress.
Dr. Freeman has been a part of a very successful Graduate Program. He has had 52 students study under his direction. These students earned 31 M.S. and 39 Ph.D. degrees. He currently has four students working on Ph.D. degrees. Thirty-two visiting scholars from 13 countries have studied with him. In addition, Dr. Freeman has taught undergraduate classes until 1979 and since then has taught an undergraduate seminar.
Dr. Freeman received his B.S. degree and M.S. degree in animal breeding from West Virginia University and his Ph.D. degree in animal breeding from Cornell University. He joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 1957 as an assistant professor of Animal Science.