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: