Animal Science Professor Earns National USDA Teaching Award

October 31st, 2014

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty member has received the annual U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agricultural Sciences Regional Excellence in Teaching Award.

Curtis Youngs was one of 10 professors nationwide to be recognized at the 127th Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting in Orlando on Nov. 2. The annual Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards For Food and Agricultural Sciences honor university faculty for their use of innovative teaching methods and service to students. The elite award program is sponsored by the USDA, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and APLU.

Youngs, an Iowa State professor of animal science since 1989, was recognized for his 28-year career of excellence in instruction, including the development of courses that examine the biological and ethical aspects of modern animal reproductive biotechnologies. He created the only embryo transfer lecture and lab courses available to undergraduate students in the United States. His areas of research includes factors influencing embryo development and survival in domestic farm animals and applied reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

Youngs is the eighth ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty member to receive an award in the national program during the past nine years.

ISU students have ranked Youngs at or near the top of faculty teaching required animal science courses.

“Teaching is not just important to me it is the career to which I have devoted my life. I am passionate about helping students develop themselves as professionals, and I am constantly seeking to improve my classroom teaching and academic advising,” Youngs said. He adds that he was drawn to teaching by students’ inquisitive nature and interest in science — traits he shares.

“My goal is to give students the tools and confidence they need to succeed in whatever life adventure they choose, and I am truly blessed because on a regular basis I see the phenomenal accomplishments of talented and trail-blazing students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” he said.

Youngs also teaches career preparation in animal science, advises undergraduate students and has served terms as faculty adviser for the Block & Bridle and Dairy Science clubs.

Since 2007, through the USDA Borlaug Fellowship program, Youngs has helped young scientists in Peru, Kosovo and Ethiopia.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is North America's oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico. Annually, APLU member campuses enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.



Curtis Youngs, Animal Science, (515) 294-5541,
Barb McBreen, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-0707,