News Releases

Date: 7/27/2012

Title: 2012 W.D. Farr Scholarships Presented to Students in Animal Science, the Environment

DENVER – Two graduate students, one studying animal science and the other agricultural water management, are the recipients of the 2012 W.D. Farr Scholarships from the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. The $12,000 awards recognize superior achievements in academics and leadership and will allow the students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry. The presentation was made at the 2012 Cattle Industry Summer Conference here today.

The recipients are:

Curtis Pittman of Glenford, Ohio., a Ph.D. candidate in animal science at Colorado State University (CSU). Pittman received his bachelor of science degree Cum Laude with Distinction in Animal Science from The Ohio State University (OSU), and his master of science degree in animal science from CSU. He expects to receive his Ph.D. in December, 2013.

Pittman has managed the CSU Meat Science Laboratory and been a CSU graduate teaching assistant since August 2010. He has completed five research projects at CSU, where his master’s thesis was on the Validation and Evaluation of Commercially Available Compounds for use as Beef and Pork Antimicrobial Interventions.

The recipient of numerous awards during his academic career, Pittman was on the Dean’s List at both CSU and OSU, and was the Student Leadership Committee Chair of the American Meat Science Association. His career goal is to share his passion for meat science with following generations through academics, and engage in research that enhances the wholesomeness and eating experience of fresh meat products through improved cattle management strategies and post-harvest interventions.

Jenna Rodriguez of Linden, Calif., a Ph.D. candidate in hydrologic sciences at the University of California, Davis. Rodriguez received her bachelor of science in environmental science from UCLA, and her master of science in hydrologic sciences from UC-Davis. Her master’s project involved research of irrigation techniques in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Among Rodriguez’s interests are applying remote sensing and satellite imagery analyses in agricultural environments and forage crops to better manage irrigation. Her career goals include helping position the industry to better address drought crises, preserve the legacy of soil and water quality essential to agricultural, and champion environmental stewardship through responsible use of irrigation water.

Rodriguez grew up on an alfalfa farm and drove cattle with her grandfather, which she said helped establish her passion to explore agricultural irrigation in new and different ways. In a letter of support, one of her instructors said Rodriguez “is one of those rare individuals who is not only ambitious as a scientist, but also has a clear understanding that the purpose of her career is to bring the virtues of compassion and sacrifice to bear on societal problems related to water in agriculture.”

The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship awards were established by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2007 to recognize outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture. W.D. Farr was the first president of the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and served as president of the American National Cattlemen’s Association, which would later become the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. His career spanned 75 years and included innovations in cattle feeding, uniform beef grading, water conservation and banking. Farr died at age 97 in August 2007.


The NCF advances the future of the beef industry by assisting in the education of the next generation of beef industry professionals. For more information, visit

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