MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Roy A. Wallace Memorial Scholarships to Elle Moon and Lindsay Upperman June 8 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium hosted online. These scholarships were established to encourage young men and women interested in beef improvement to pursue those interests as Wallace did, with dedication and passion.
Elle Moon, Creighton, South Dakota, was this year’s undergraduate winner. She will graduate from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in May 2021 with a degree in animal science.
During her time at SDSU, Moon has served in many roles. She serves as a College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences ambassador; is actively involved in Sigma Alpha Omega sorority; serves on the Little International committee; and is a community leader in the University’s agricultural living-learning community, Pierson Hall, among other involvements. Additionally, Moon was a leadership delegate for Agriculture Future of America Track 3 in 2019 and has earned her American FFA degree.
This summer, Moon is returning as an intern to CATL Resources, St. Onge, South Dakota, to continue honing her beef reproductive abilities and complete a research project related to reproduction. Upon graduation, Moon plans to continue her education and earn her DVM.
“After my completion of four years of graduate school I strive to specialize in large animals, specifically cattle and practice in the Midwest,” Moon says. “My goal is to work under an experienced veterinarian for a few years before branching off on my own, while running and owning my own practice, still assisting and maintaining my involvement in cattle reproduction.”
The graduate student award was presented to Lindsay Upperman, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Upperman earned her master’s degree from the University of California-Davis and is working on a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Upperman’s master’s project focused on the management of lethal recessive alleles while optimizing genetic gain in beef cattle. Currently, Upperman is working with Dr. Matt Spangler estimating breed differences and genetic parameters for days to finish in a multi-breed beef population.
“I would describe my primary interest as the application of technologies and genetic research into the management practices of seedstock and commercial producers,” Upperman says. “Additionally, I am passionate about helping future generations of students learn about advanced genetic selection techniques.”
During Upperman’s graduate studies, she traveled abroad to Australia, New Zealand and Brazil to present research, attend workshops and visit operations.
“I believe that as beef production advances, through development of both new technologies and management practices, the education of the next generation is crucial for future advancements,” Upperman says. “In the end, I want to help educate college students, by combining the knowledge and skills I have gained through industry experiences, in order to mentor and shape the leaders of tomorrow.”
The Roy A. Wallace Beef Improvement Federation Memorial Fund was established by Select Sires to honor the life and career of Roy Wallace. Wallace, who worked for Select Sires for 40 years, served as vice president of beef programs and devoted his life to the improvement of beef cattle. He became involved with BIF in its infancy and was the only person to attend all of the first 40 BIF conventions. He loved what BIF stands for — bringing together purebred and commercial cattle breeders, academia and breed associations, all committed to improving beef cattle.
Wallace was honored with both the BIF Pioneer and BIF Continuing Service awards, and co-authored the BIF 25-year history, Ideas into Action. Two $1,250 scholarships are awarded each year, one to an undergraduate and the other to a graduate student. Criteria for selection include a demonstrated commitment and service to the beef cattle industry and a passion for the areas of beef breeding, genetics and reproduction, academic performance, and personal character.
To date, more than 1,000 beef producers, academia and industry representatives have registered to participate in the organization’s 52nd Annual Research Symposium — Online. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.
For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit BeefImprovement.org/symposium.