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Ignacy Misztal Honored
with BIF Pioneer Award


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (June 14, 2013) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Ignacy Misztal with the Pioneer Award during the organization's 45th annual meeting and research symposium in Oklahoma City, Okla., June 12-15, 2013. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.

Misztal received his doctrate from the Poland Academy of Sciences in computer engineering. However, his desire was to apply his knowledge of computing to the field of agriculture. In 1986, he came to the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral associate working with Dan Gianola. In 1995, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Georgia and is now a professor in the UGA Animal and Dairy Science Department.

Misztal’s research on computing algorithms has led to the development of unique tools to analyze complex models and large livestock data sets. In 1997, he began development of a suite of software programs, BLUPF90, that could be used by scientists conducting research in the field of animal breeding and genetics.  This set of programs can be used to predict genetic values on virtually any size population for a large variety of models and traits. 

Because of the ability of Misztal’s lab to provide efficient computing implementations for complex methodologies, his research and programs have been utilized for genetic evaluation by the biggest entities/companies in the U.S and beyond.  His research has been implemented in both dairy and beef cattle, as well as in the swine and poultry industries.

Currently, Misztal’s  focus is on the development of a “unified” methodology that combines pedigree and genomic relationships plus all phenotypic data in a single step. This methodology has been termed the “single-step method” and provides a practical approach to combining large amounts of SNP markers with large numbers of pedigree and phenotypic data.

Throughout his career, Ignacy Misztal has provided tools to the beef industry to solve complex problems. He was presented the BIF Pioneer Award at a luncheon Friday, June 14, in Oklahoma City.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about the BIF organization, visit www.beefimprovement.org.


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