Sometimes the little things are just as important as the big ones.
Dr. Jesse Goff, professor of biomedical sciences and holder of the Anderson Chair in Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, would echo that sentiment. At least when it comes to the opportunities that have been afforded to him by the funding provided by the Anderson Chair.
“My lab does a lot of basic research to prove concepts that ultimately are made into commercial products,” Goff said. “These are practical, niche studies we typically wouldn’t get major funding for, but have proven to be essential in improving the health and productivity of cows.
“We’re able to do these smaller studies because of the funding provided by the Anderson Chair. Without that funding, it would be much more difficult to do.”
Anderson Chair funding has helped Goff study a wide variety of smaller projects including how to change diets of cows to reduce milk fever.
“These are high-risk, low-impact studies that could lead to something bigger,” Goff said. “The funding from this chair has allowed me to ‘throw a lot of stuff on the wall and see what sticks.’”
The Anderson Chair funding allows Goff to hire veterinary students to conduct the studies, primarily during the summer months. Students are not only paid for their time, but gain valuable professional experience.
Without the Anderson Chair funding, Goff would either have to forgo these studies or conduct the research himself.
“When I was a younger guy, I would sleep by the cows to conduct some of my studies,” he said. “Now I’m able to let the vet students do this.”
In addition to these type of studies, Goff has previously used funding from the Anderson Chair to pay for salaries for a technician and a research associate. But in recent years, he has received external grant money to pay for these individuals, freeing up the Anderson funds for other uses.
The Anderson Chair in Veterinary Medicine is one of a dozen named faculty positions in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Each has a long-term impact on the excellence of the college, allowing Goff and other holders the flexibility in pursing scholarship in any number of ways.