Three U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have earned places in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Science Hall of Fame for discoveries that provide solutions for infectious animal diseases, improve breeding for beef production and enhance perennial grass breeding and bioenergy production systems. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.
Veterinarian Donald Knowles, animal geneticist Larry Cundiff and plant geneticist Kenneth Vogel were honored for their contributions. ARS established its Science Hall of Fame in 1986 to recognize agency researchers for their outstanding lifelong achievements in agricultural sciences and technology.
Knowles, a veterinary medical officer who heads the ARS Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, Wash., was recognized for his scientific leadership on multiple infectious animal diseases that impact national and global food security. Under his leadership, disease control methods and diagnostic tests, some of which have been licensed and are used worldwide, have been developed for infectious diseases that affect horses, sheep, cattle, goats and bison. He has created critical partnerships with industry, government and universities in the United States and internationally to address lentiviruses, anaplasmosis, malignant catarrhal fever, equine and bovine babesiosis and prion diseases that cause mad cow disease and scrapie in sheep.
Knowles has a long history of working with the sheep industry to provide meaningful solutions to animal diseases.