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USDA Awards Missouri's Sutovsky with Research Award

Jennifer Martin (202) 720-8188

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WASHINGTON, May 4, 2005 – USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) Administrator Colien Hefferan today awarded Dr. Peter Sutovsky, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, for his research in animal fertility. Dr. Sutovsky will receive the first National Research Initiative (NRI) Discovery Award for his work, which has led to a patented procedure that shows potential for improving livestock fertility. The award includes a plaque, a $10,000 supplement and a one-year extension of the project.

“Dr. Sutovsky’s work demonstrates the world class science that is supported by the National Research Initiative, and the Discovery Award highlights the impact of that science on our Nation’s agriculture,” said Hefferan, who presented the award today at the University of Missouri campus. CSREES National Program Leaders Chavonda Jacobs-Young and Mark Mirando also attended.

Sutovsky’s research has led to a patented procedure for rapidly and inexpensively assessing the fertility of genetically-superior males. This test may replace the current use of breeding large numbers of females to each male and waiting for the pregnancy outcome – a very expensive and time-consuming approach. Sutovsky’s findings greatly improve the understanding of sperm function and provide potential for improving fertility in livestock, thereby increasing economic opportunities for agricultural producers.

The NRI Discovery Award recognizes outstanding researchers in agriculture who have supported the CSREES mission “to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities.” The award also highlights the exceptional scientific and economic impacts of NRI funded projects. The NRI program is the largest peer reviewed, competitive grants program in CSREES, and its purpose is to support research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information visit the CSREES Web site.