Our History and Mission

    The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) was formed on January 1, 1998, by mutual consent and for the mutual benefit of three founding member societies: the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), and the Poultry Science Association (PSA). Since the early 1980s, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ASAS discussed the possibility of having joint scientific meetings of these societies and forming federated societies. Initial efforts were not successful, but, from 1986 to 1988, considerable correspondence and face-to-face interaction took place, and, while C. Brent Theurer was President of ASAS (1987–1988), Presidents of three other societies or their representatives met to consider a proposal to establish a federation. These individuals were Jack Van Horn, ADSA; Michael Dikeman, AMSA; and David Snetsinger and Helene Cecil, PSA. The proposal was accepted and approved by the Board of each society. After considerable discussion, the officers and Board members of all four societies, and Robert Zimbelman, Executive Vice President of ASAS, agreed on the name, Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Sciences (FASFAS), which was established in 1989. In 1995, a society structure committee was formed to explore a new structure for the four animal science societies. Out of this committee came the formation of FASS in 1998 with ADSA, ASAS, and PSA as founding members. Currently, FASS provides services to over 10,000 professionals from animal agriculture. FASS purchased the building and assets originally owned by the American Dairy Science Association in Savoy, Illinois, as its first headquarters.

    The first FASS Board members were Robert Zimbelman, Chuck Sapp, Elton Aberle, Barbara Glenn, Henry Engster, Dennis Marple, Roger Natzke, Mary Ann Ottinger, Anthony Pescatore, William Sandine, and Larry Satter.

    The founding goals of and benefits for forming a federated society for the pursuit of scientific and educational good of animal agriculture can be summarized as follows based on FASS History and Bylaws.

    • To provide a forum for the societies to discuss common issues and to coordinate strategies and plans of action to meet public needs and to benefit animal agriculture.
    • To bring together scientists and educators in areas of animal agriculture represented by the Member Societies as a means of facilitating the dissemination of scientific and technical information through publications and scientific meetings.
    • To finance a Congressional Science Fellows Program. To identify annually an individual to work with Congress on key issues of interest to animal agriculture.
    • To develop and implement a new process to identify and address research priorities in animal agriculture.
    • To provide a unified voice in Washington, DC, for influencing legislation and funding on behalf of animal agriculture.
    • To assist, as needed, the Headquarters operations of the Member Societies located together in Champaign, IL.
    • To promote cooperation among all scientific societies that advance and support animal agriculture.
    • To serve in other capacities in which the Member Societies can function more efficiently as a group than as individual units.

    The Congressional Science Fellowship Program was established by FASFAS in 1990 and continued by FASS. Each year, PhD scientists in animal science compete for the opportunity to represent FASS in Congress. Many of these persons stay on the Washington scene after their year and continue to serve animal agriculture in significant ways. Those who have served in this capacity include:

    Congressional Science Fellowship Program

    The Congressional Science Fellowshp Program Is No Longer Active
    Angela Siemens
    1990–1991
    University of Missouri
    Patrick Donnelly
    1991–1992
    West Virginia University
    Michael Westendorf
    1992–1993
    University of Kentucky
    Gary Ziehe
    1993–1994
    Oklahoma State University
    John Goldberg
    1994–1995
    University of Vermont
    Natalie Di Nicola
    1995–1996
    University of Wisconsin
    Ellen Bergfeld
    1996–1997
    University of Nebraska
    Caleb Gilchrist
    1997–1998
    Texas A&M University
    Lisa Richards
    1998–1999
    New Mexico State University
    Jamie Jonker
    1999–2000
    University of Maryland
    Dana Hanson
    2000–2001
    University of Nebraska
    John Dobrinsky
    2002
    USDA-ARS
    Dana Allen
    2002
    University of Minnesota
    Brian Bowker
    2003
    Purdue University
    Marcia Noble
    2004–2005
    Georgetown University
    Ashley Peterson
    2006–2007
    University of Maryland
    Christy Oliver
    2007–2008
    North Dakota State University
    Murray Bakst
    2007–2008
    ARS-USDA
    David Edwards
    2008–2009
    University of Kentucky
    Bhushan M. Jayarao
    2008–2009
    Pennsylvania State University
    Avenel Joseph
    2009–2010
    University of Illinois
    Anne M. O’Donnell-Megaro
    2010–2011
    Cornell University
    Jessica Butler
    2011–2012
    Auburn University
    James Tyus
    2012–2013
    Tennessee State University
    Chasity M. Pender
    2013–2014
    Virginia Tech
    Cassie Welch
    2014–2015
    University of Idaho

    The FASS Board established three advisory committees to assist in the effort of providing a unified voice in Washington DC. These committees were:

    • Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Care, Use, and Standards
    • Scientific Advisory Committee on Environment, Waste Management, and Ecosystems
    • Scientific Advisory Committee on Food Safety, Animal Drugs, and Animal Health

    In 2002, in response to an increased informational demand, the Committee on Food Safety, Animal Drugs, and Animal Health branched off to form the Scientific Advisory Committee on Biotechnology.

    As the mission statement articulates: FASS strengthens the common interests and collective good of member societies through a unified science-based voice that supports animal agriculture, animal products, and food systems globally through effective and efficient management services.