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American Agricultural Editors' Association reports:

A world-renowned animal geneticist and three legendary agricultural communicators will be honored with special American Agricultural Editors' Association awards during the upcoming Agricultural Media Summit (AMS).

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Max Rothschild, C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics at Iowa State University, is the 2009 recipient of the AAEA Distinguished Service Award.

Rothschild holds the M. E. Ensminger International Chair and is the National Pig Genome Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in charge of maintaining the pig gene map, sharing mapping information and supplies, and developing the map's database.

"Dr. Rothschild is one of the most recognized and productive swine genetics researchers in the world," said Maynard Hogberg, professor and chair of the Department of Animal Science in the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in his letter of nomination. "His early efforts concentrated on classic quantitative genetics studies. He was one of the first swine geneticists to realize the potential of molecular genetics and marker assisted selection.

"He quickly transformed his research program to take advantage of this new science and to make it a tool for improving swine genetics. He has served as the coordinator of the USDA-CSREES Swine Genome Project since its inception in 1993 and continues to lead this group. These responsibilities include leading the coordination of the mapping of swine genes, maintenance of the database and setting research priorities."

Leading the nomination was past president of AAEA, Betsy Freese, Living The Country Life.

"I have known Max Rothschild for 29 years," Freese wrote. "In the fall of 1980 I was a freshman ag journalism student at Iowa State University and Max was in his first year of teaching at the school. He was the professor in charge of the Block and Bridle Swine Interest Club. On a field trip we struck up a conversation about Maryland blue crabs. I was from Maryland, and very homesick. Max had just moved from the University of Maryland where he had been an assistant professor. I had found someone in Iowa who could talk about Maryland, and that was wonderful."

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