Dr. Mark Boggess has been named Director of the US Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison.
He comes to the USDFRC from Beltsville, Maryland, where he served as the National Program Leader for USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) programs in Food Animal Production and Pasture, Forage and Rangeland Systems in Beltsville, Maryland. In this role, he provided primary leadership for ARS research across the US, including programs for genetics and genomics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, animal welfare and meat quality for the food animal industries. He also provided leadership to develop and integrate and improved pasture and rangeland management practices and land-use/renovation strategies. These programs are focused on optimizing economic viability and environmental sustainability for diverse stakeholder groups responsible for managing forages, vegetation, livestock and natural resources on private and public lands.
Boggess was raised on a diversified family farm in rural southwest Iowa. He attended Iowa State University receiving a BS degree in Animal Science in 1983. After receiving an MS degree from Cornell University with a major in Animal Breeding in 1985, he returned to Iowa State University, receiving his PhD in 1990, also in Animal Breeding.
Boggess has a diverse, industry based background in animal sciences and production. After graduate school, he served as a swine and beef cattle extension specialist with the University of Idaho in Twin Falls from 1990 to 1994. In this role he was responsible for swine extension and educational programming and served as the animal breeding resource specialist for the University of Idaho beef extension team. In 1994 he became President of Salmon Creek Farms, LLC where was responsible for development of the Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork program and branded product line, at Independent Meat Company in Twin Falls, ID. In 2004, Boggess assumed the position of Director of the Animal Science Committee for the National Pork Board where he was responsible for program direction and industry funding coordination for research in pork quality; nutritional efficiency; sow lifetime productivity; genomics-genetics; alternatives to antimicrobials; production-management systems and bio-technology. He also served as the NPB liaison for animal science to producers, academia, media, regulators and the National Pork Producers Council and directed numerous pork industry-based advisory groups. From 1996 to 2008 he was an owner/operator for a 450 cow purebred Angus and Simmental beef seed-stock operation.