One of the world's most respected geneticists, Dr. Robert E. Walton, Sr. will be recognized this Friday for his
life's work. The former member of the WROF, Inc.'s Board of Directors will be awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by Iowa State University to alumni.
After he was awarded a Ph.D. in animal breeding, genetics, and statistics at Iowa State University in 1961, Dr. Walton transformed the dairy cattle genetics industry by designing and implementing the first progeny-testing program for dairy cattle at American Breeder Service in DeForest, Wisconsin,
where he later became CEO and Chairman Emeritus. By sampling young sires in 800 herds, representing 100,000 in 25 states, Dr. Walton developed a mathematical formula for selecting the top milk producers, which the USDA later adopted and is currently using nationwide. Dr. Walton's work promoted the use of frozen semen to make quality genetic material available to remote locations, which led to the development of artificial insemination schools nationwide.
While at American Breeder Service, Dr. Walton was also responsible for the design and implementation of the Genetic Mating Service, a computer program that determines and manages specific genetic inputs for commercial dairy herds. This program grew to include the annual enrollment of more than
500,000 dairy cows. Computerized mating services and genetic advisory recommendations are now used throughout the world.
Dr. Walton not only transformed the dairy industry, but he also played a major role in the beef cattle and plant genetics fields. His proudest achievement, however, is that his and his team's work in genetics has become a major factor in reducing the carbon footprint of agricultural production
worldwide. Dr. Walton is also noted for his great philanthropy. He created an undergraduate scholarship at Iowa State University, the Robert E. Walton Scholarship Fund, for students majoring in Animal Science with an interest in genetics. He was the longest-serving director of the World Dairy Expo, the founding director of the Holstein Association, and a part of the American Dairy Association, the National Dairy Shrine, and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, to name a few. We are honored for the time
that Dr. Walton served on the WROF, Inc.'s Board of Directors. You can read more about Dr. Walton's captivating life story in his book, A View from the Bull's Eye.
Please join us in giving Dr. Walton warm congratulations on receiving this high tribute in recognition of his revolutionary contributions to the field of genetics and animal agriculture.
The livestream of the award ceremony taking place on Friday, April 29, 2022, at 2:00 pm CT can be watched here: https://tinyurl.com/57ey2ceu.