Rich Erdman, PhD, Named President of ADSA

American Dairy Science Association

Rich Erdman, PhD

Rich Erdman, PhD, retired professor and former chair of the Animal and Avian Sciences Department at the University of Maryland , assumed the role of president of the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA®) during the 2020 ADSA Virtual Annual Meeting held June 22 to 24. He will serve as president of the association for one year.  Dr. Erdman served as vice president of the organization for the past year.  He has been a member of ADSA throughout his career and served on the ADSA board of directors from 2010 to 2013 and as Production Division chair in 1993. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Dairy Science and numerous committees for ADSA. He chaired the Host Institution Coordinating Committee for the 88th ADSA Annual Meeting, held at the University of Maryland in 1993. In 2008, he served as president of the joint Northeast Section of ADSA and the American Society of Animal Science. Erdman has been a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists since 1987 and has served two terms on the Washington DC Area Chapter board of directors. Erdman and his wife live in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Erdman was born and raised on a dairy farm near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin– River Falls and obtained a BS in animal science in 1974. After a brief period farming with his parents, he went on to graduate school at the University of Kentucky, where he received his MS and PhD degrees in 1977 and 1979, respectively. He joined the Dairy Science Department at the University of Maryland in 1979 where he retired as a professor in the Animal and Avian Sciences Department. Erdman served as chair of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences from 1999 to 2007, where he provided administrative leadership to a department consisting of 22 faculty, 28 staff members, 240 undergraduate students, and 40 graduate students. During that time, the department’s undergraduate enrollment increased by 30%, research funding more than doubled, and nine new faculty members were hired.

Erdman taught undergraduate courses in applied animal nutrition and dairy cattle management. He has served as the academic advisor for more than 30 PhD and MS students who are now employed in academia, government, and industry. Erdman’s research focus has been on nutrition of the lactating dairy cow in the areas of energy metabolism and the influence of diet on milk composition, particularly milk fat secretion. The results of his research have been published in 99 journal articles, 146 abstracts, and 55 conference proceedings and popular press articles, and he holds two US patents. Erdman has been a frequent invited speaker at regional, national, and international dairy nutrition and management meetings, where he has given more than 100 invited research and extension presentations. Erdman was a member of the National Research Council (NRC) subcommittee that wrote the seventh revised edition of Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, published in 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. He currently serves as chair of the NRC subcommittee that is writing the eighth revised edition of the Dairy NRC. He received the Northeast ADSA-ASAS Young Scientist Award in 1990, the ADSA American Feed Industries Dairy Nutrition Research Award in 1996, and the Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work and Teaching in Agriculture from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland in 2006.




The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world’s population. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry.


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