Emeritus professor establishes first endowed faculty position in animal science

Emeritus Professor Robert Everett and his wife Anne have committed $2 million to endow the Robert and Anne Everett Professorship in Dairy Cattle Genetics, the first endowed position in the Department of Animal Science.

Everett, an emeritus professor of animal science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, dedicated his career to dairy cattle genetics. He came to Cornell in 1966 as a postdoctoral fellow, and in 1968, was hired as an assistant professor to work in research and extension in dairy cattle genetics.

For more than four decades, Everett made advances in the approaches and principles of dairy cattle breeding that improved the efficiency of milk production, ensuring greater profitability for dairy farm families and more affordable dairy products for consumers.

"As an emeritus member of the faculty, Bob has an invaluable perspective on the importance of endowment funds that support faculty excellence," said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "In making this wonderful gift, Bob and Anne are helping to ensure the continued intellectual vitality and positive impact of our faculty. We thank them very much for their strategic partnership and generous support."

In making the gift, Everett wanted to support continued advances in dairy cattle genetics, his wife Anne said. "My husband always valued the innovation that occurred at Cornell University, and he was so proud to be part of this special institution," she said. "Endowing a professorship was truly a dream we had for many years. Fulfilling this dream brought Bob great happiness."

One of Everett's notable achievements was creating a valuable management tool for dairy farmers, called the Test Day Model, to use data to document their operations, evaluate management practices and make genetic improvements in their livestock that would improve their farm's performance and profitability.

"Bob was highly regarded and respected as a faculty colleague, collaborator and friend," said W. Ron Butler, professor and chair of the Department of Animal Science. "His research emphasized manipulation and analysis of large data sets from the industry related to dairy bull genetics and management factors affecting improved milk yields."

Everett also taught classes in animal breeding, international agriculture and dairy cattle selection, as well as mentored graduate students and served as an academic adviser to undergraduate students.

Raised on a dairy farm in New Jersey, Everett attended the National Agricultural College, now known as Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa. He received master's and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University. He retired from Cornell in 2008.

Sheri Hall is a freelance writer in Ithaca, N.Y.

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