In a recent election at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Juan Tricarico–Vice President of Sustainability Research at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy–was chosen as the President-Elect for 2018-2019. Dr. Tricarico has been involved with CAST since 2014 as the board representative for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. He also serves as the chair for the Animal Agriculture and Environmental Issues Work Group and lead for the Communications Strategic Plan Committee. Tricarico also serves as a task force board liaison for the forthcoming publications titled Impacts on Human Health and Safety of Naturally Occurring and Supplemental Hormones in Food Animals and High-tech Ag–Challenges of Using Drones and Robots to Manage Agriculture.
Tricarico became interested in agriculture while growing up on his family’s broiler and beef cattle farm. During his middle and high school years, he interacted with veterinarians and agronomists who visited the farm and provided practical recommendations. The conversations led him to ask about the basic biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying those agricultural recommendations and later inspired him to pursue a degree in biological sciences with a molecular biology minor. Dr. Tricarico then completed a Ph.D. in animal sciences (biology/biochemistry minor) at the University of Kentucky, where he currently holds an adjunct professor appointment in the Department of Animal and Food Science.
Tricarico’s professional development continued in the animal feed industry (Alltech, Inc.), where he spent more than 10 years as the research manager for ruminants focusing on the ruminal fermentations and digestions processes and their implications for beef and dairy nutrition, health, and production. Today, after seven years at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, he collaborates with scientists, nutritionists, veterinarians, producers, government officials, and NGOs who try to understand and communicate the scientific soundness, economic viability, and social responsibility of agriculture and food production in the United States.
He has received inspiration for his work with CAST through his eagerness to build the rich legacy and strong mission of communicating the latest scientific research on food and agricultural issues to nonscientists. “In this world where vast amounts of information and misinformation are available at our fingertips, being relevant to nonscientific decision makers in our society is what matters most.” He plans to continue to build on current momentum established by past and current leadership and leverage it to make CAST more widely recognized. “My vision is for CAST to be the number one go-to organization for decision makers, media, the private sector, and the public seeking reliable and truthful scientific information on food, agricultural, and environmental issues.”
Tricarico will officially assume his responsibilities as President-Elect at the conclusion of CAST’s fall board meeting in October. In 2019-2020, he will become the 47th president of CAST, a singular honor and responsibility dating back to 1972, when Charles A. Black and Norman Borlaug, along with other committed scientists, spearheaded the movement to “bring science-based information to policymaking and the public.”
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