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July 2008

Bucholtz Retires after 36 Years

This summer, after 36 years of working with Michigan’s dairy producers and scholars, Herb Bucholtz retired from Michigan State University. Herb came to Michigan as a graduate student in 1968. Four years later, he assumed his first professorship at Michigan State University, the institution at which he would remain until his retirement. Over the last three and one-half decades Herb has proven himself to be a committed proponent of dairy, consistently making the connections and sharing the knowledge that strengthen our industry.

“Herb’s belief in education extends past the dairy farmer of today to include the dairy farmer of tomorrow,” said Karen Plaut, chair of the MSU Department of Animal Science. “He has never been worried about what credit he will get or from whom he will receive recognition for his work. His goals are simply to develop our Michigan dairy farmers and he has truly made a difference in students’ lives and to many careers in the dairy industry.”

There are several standout accomplishments from Herb’s productive career that typify his impact on dairy Extension education of professional dairy nutritionists and farmers in the U.S. and Michigan. Firstly, he has been a key leader, pusher, facilitator, and contributor of the Spartan Dairy Ration Evaluator software series. He has been instrumental in each version of Spartan, from Spartan 1 in the mid-1980s to Spartan 3.0, now in development. Herb has been the main interface and facilitator in the field with users of the program worldwide and his contributions have made Spartan 3.0 a user-friendly tool for dairy producers and professional nutritionists. Secondly, Bucholtz is one of the founding fathers (along with M. Eastridge and T. Johnson) of the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, perhaps the preeminent conference of its kind in the U.S. today. This Conference attracts professional nutritionists and the most progressive and innovative dairy producers from across the U.S. and several foreign countries each spring. Finally, in the most recent years Herb has been a key leader, facilitator of and presenter in the MSU Dairy Nutrition Roundtables. This program, held in December each year at several sites in Michigan, aims to bring the latest in research and “hot topics” to about 50 professional nutritionists working in Michigan. Typically at these meetings are dairy nutritionists responsible for providing feed supplements, ration formulations, and feeding management programs for about 2/3rds of the dairy cows in Michigan. These three signal accomplishments signify the importance and impact that Herbert F. Bucholtz has had on dairy Extension programming during his career. It is truly outstanding.

On the lighter side, Herb is fondly known as the consummate Extension Specialist who can take a single overhead and present an action-packed, day-long Dairy Nutrition Short Course to a room full of attentive dairy farmers, looking to enhance nutrition and feeding programs of their herds. With self-deprecating humor, he can dispel any notion that his ideas are those of an out-of-touch ivory-tower professor. Herb has a knack for putting things in practical down-to-earth terms. Perhaps one reason he is so good at this is because he has a great deal of practical experience as a former dairy farmer and dairy farmers can sense that he knows what it is like to be in their boots. On the serious side, Professor Bucholtz’s numerous impacts on the dairy industry in the U.S. and especially in the Tri-State region (Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio) and in Michigan during his 36-year career have been immense.





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