Richard L. Willham
Emeritus Professor of Animal Science
C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor
Iowa State University
Doctor of Philosophy, Iowa State University: 1960
Master of Science, Iowa State University: 1955
Bachelor of Science, Oklahoma A and M College: 1954
2004: Portrait Award (Saddle and Sirloin Club)
Dr. Willham celebrated his retirement July 7, 1997, but continues to be very active.
Dr. Willham created the Computer Cow Game, used by extension agents and in undergraduate instruction internationally. He has taught livestock heritage (history), population genetics, and applied cattle breeding.
Dr. Willham's area of research was quantitative beef cattle breeding, including beef-dairy crossbreeding, three synthetic lines of beef cattle that differed in size, and studies on the genetics of body composition of beef cattle. He was a pioneer in utilizing field data for genetic analysis and is widely known as the "father" of expected progeny differences (EPDs). He also played a key role in establishing national genetic evaluations for the beef industry. In addition, Willham made major contributions to the development of theoretical population genetics.
Professional Affiliations and Committees
American Society of Animal Science - Breeding and Genetics Committee Chair Beef Improvement Federation - Charter Member, Genetic Prediction Committee Secretary, Board of Directors ex-officio member Living History Farm, Board of Directors
Willham, R.L. 1996. A heritage of leadership: A story of the first 100 years of the Animal Science Department at Iowa State University. Iowa State University Press, Ames.
Willham, R.L. 1993. Ideas into action: A celebration of the first 25 years of the beef improvement federation. University Printing Services, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK.
Willham, R.L. 1985. From husbandry to science: A highly significant facet of our livestock heritage. J. Anim. Sci. 62: 1742.
Willham, R.L. 1985. The legacy of the stockman. Winrock Intl., Conway Press, AR.
Willham, R.L. 1982. Genetic improvement of beef cattle in the United States: cattle, people, and their interaction. J. Anim. Sci. 54:659.
Saddle and Sirloin Club