Jason Ross, Lloyd L. Anderson Endowed Professor of Physiology and department chair of animal science, is the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Ross served as director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center from 2015-2022, and his interactions with industry stakeholders can be summarized as being available and responsive. He has worked diligently to establish strong working relationships with industry leaders built on trust, integrity, common goals and a shared vision for the Iowa pork industry. An example of this is Ross’ leadership in forming an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional team led by the IPIC to improve pig survivability. The $2 million, five-year effort funded by the National Pork Board and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture, encompasses research, education and extension efforts with the goal of reducing overall mortality in the U.S. commercial swine industry.
For the past seven years, Ross has also led the coordination and delivery of Iowa Swine Day. The 2019 event had a record registration of 651 individuals, consisting of key decision makers across all parts of the Iowa pork industry. The 2020 event switched to online delivery due to COVID-19. Registration increased to more than 700 and the profile of attendees altered to include not only local, but national and international participants. Ross’ extension effort also has a solid foundation in on-farm research carried out in stakeholder facilities. This demonstrates the growing and essential role that his program plays in mounting the resources at Iowa State to help solve industry problems. A colleague states, “Throughout his career at Iowa State, Jason has exemplified the land-grant mission of our university through his impact in teaching, research and extension.”