Message from Bryon Wiegand

Annual message for the Animal Sciences alumni newsletter

Bryon Wiegand was recently named the director of the Division of Animal Sciences. Wiegand first joined Mizzou as an associate professor in 2007 and has served as a professor in the division since 2015, with assignments in teaching, research and Extension. He was named the associate division director in 2019. Photo courtesy of Bryon Wiegand.

As I reflect on three years in the “front office,” it seems nearly impossible that this amount of time has passed. Then again, there is never a dull moment in the Division of Animal Sciences, and you quite literally have no time for grass to grow under one’s feet (not because of the past two years of drought either). This is a special place to work. I thought it a truly special place to learn in the early 90’s, and though my hair (and beard) have some gray, I still ride for the brand with vigor. From the students to staff to faculty, the Division has eclipsed milestones that would have seemed impossible as we rolled out of the pandemic. 

As you will read later, the Academic Quadrathlon Team continued its prowess as one of the most academically accomplished group of students in this country. They tied for first place in the regional competition, and the only thing standing in the way of a third consecutive national title (read as dynasty) was the fact that there isn’t going to be a national competition this year as the American Society of Animal Sciences Annual Meeting is in Canada without a host institution. Also, we recently honored our undergraduate students at the annual awards ceremony and the room was filled with families, faculty, staff and fellow students to celebrate student scholarship, research, internships and general dedication to hard work. The only thing cooler that night was the Tiger Stripe Ice Cream at the end. 

Three capital/center projects are well underway with the National Center for Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) making significant renovation efforts at the Creed Barn located on the Beef Research and Teaching Farm (South Farm), University funding for the NextGen Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation (co-led by Drs. Kiho Lee and Bhanu Telugu), and the Meat Sciences Laboratory (funded in part by a $25M investment from the State of Missouri). These projects cross-sectionally serve all three legs of the land grant mission (Teaching, Research and Extension). This is a comprehensive approach to broad ranging topics linked to human and animal health, livestock production, workforce development and each supports stakeholder interests and the economic well-being of Missouri and beyond.

The fall semester will likely bring over 500 animal sciences majors to campus. We have welcomed new faculty, new babies, and new ideas to the Division over the past year. Additional new faculty will join us later in 2024. If you are in COMO, stop by for a visit to the ASRC on East Campus Drive. Someone is almost always around to tell you about Animal Sciences and Tiger Town.


Bryon Wiegand

Animal Sciences