David Bruene, manager of the beef farms in animal science, is the recipient of the 2023 Professional and Scientific Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. His main audience is animal science students. It begins with an overview of the beef teaching farm on a hay rack. A sophomore beef class is the most hands-on and lab intensive group at the farm, as they learn the entire life span of the animal from conception to food. In a student’s junior and senior year, their classwork at the farm focuses on animal behavior and welfare, livestock judging and evaluation or the capstone senior beef class. A colleague states, “David exemplifies a P&S employee who is truly passionate about teaching and supporting those who teach. He desires to provide the best educational experience for whoever crosses his path.”
In addition to students, Bruene uses the animal science beef farms as an educational tool for visitors ranging from novice agriculturalists to experienced cattle producers from around the world. He has worked with chefs and educated them on the path their food took to get to their kitchen and the hard work and care that went into that animal prior to it becoming food. He helps them appreciate the science that goes into rearing the animal and the genetic process used to make the calf. This allows them to better understand what to look for when sourcing high quality products and telling the story of the animal industry to a different and diverse group of customers who do not always understand agriculture.