Jared Decker Awarded Wurdack Chair in Animal Genetics

Jared Decker, associate professor in the Division of Animal Sciences, has been awarded the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genetics. The appointment is effective Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. The appointment will allow Decker to focus on leading the livestock genetics research program in animal sciences at MU.

Decker received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from New Mexico State University before earning his PhD in genetics from the University of Missouri in 2012. After earning his PhD, Decker served as a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow at MU for a year before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in the Division of Animal Sciences. In 2018, Decker was promoted to the rank of associate professor.

Through his Extension efforts, Decker has strongly influenced the Missouri beef industry to increase usage of genomically enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs). His blog, A Steak in GenomicsTM, is followed around the world. Decker has made broad contributions in research, ranging from improving our understanding of the evolution of cattle, to developing EPDs that assist producers in identifying cattle with superior environmental adaptability.

Decker has been awarded more than $5 million in grants during his career and has received numerous awards, including the Early Investigator Research Award honor during the 2020 CAFNR Celebration of Excellence virtual awards celebration. Decker has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and has been invited to give numerous professional presentations and seminars. He is a member of the American Society of Animal Science.

Hugo and Evelyn Wurdack established the Wurdack Natural Resources Research Fund through an estate gift received in 1998. This fund supports the Wurdack Chairs in Animal Genetics and Biochemical Sciences as well as the Wurdack Scholarship for CAFNR students.