University of British Columbia, 1950, BSc, Agriculture (Food Science and Poultry Nutrition)
Robert Young was born in Calgary, Alberta on February 10, 1923. His parents moved to Chilliwack, BC, where Bob grew up on a dairy farm. After graduating from High School in 1942, he enlisted in the RCAF. After his discharge as a Flying Officer in 1945 he enrolled in the University of British Columbia. He graduated in 1950 with a BSA (Honours) degree. He majored in Food Science and Poultry Nutrition. His major professors were Blythe Eagles and Jacob Biely. Bob was awarded the Wilfrid Sadler gold medal for graduating first in his class in Agriculture.
Bob and Greta (Milne) were married June 16th of that year and moved to Ithaca, NY, where Bob had been awarded a fellowship in the Graduate School at Cornell University. He studied in the Nutrition Division in the Department of Poultry Science under Dr L C Norris. In 1953 he received his PhD in Animal Nutrition. At that time he received a three-year Research Associate appointment in the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research at the University of Toronto where he conducted research on metabolic liver diseases.
In 1956 the family moved to Glenview, IL where Bob had a position as Research Scientist with International Minerals and Chemical Corporation. His research was in mineral metabolism of poultry, primarily phosphorus availability. He and a colleague made the discovery that zinc is an essential nutrient. After two years he moved to the Research Division of Proctor and Gamble Co. in Cincinnati, OH.
When Dr Leo Norris retired from the Cornell Poultry Nutrition Division Bob was offered the position of Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition in the Department of Poultry Science. In February of 1960 the Youngs with their son Kenn and daughter Donna returned to Ithaca. In 1961 Dr Young was appointed Acting Head of the Department of Poultry Science when Dr. Bruckner, the Head, became ill and wasn’t able to return to the Department for a year. In 1965 he was promoted to Professor and was appointed Chairman of the Department of Poultry Science, a position that he held until 1976. During the same ten year period, he was also Chairman of the Interdepartmental Task Force for the control of agricultural waste and nutrient runoff. The research group consisted of six faculty members from five Departments in addition to fifteen to twenty Research Associates and Graduate Students. This group conducted research on agricultural waste management that affected air, soil and water pollution. Their work was published in numerous papers and a book on Agricultural Waste Management.
In 1976 Dr Young was asked to take over Chairmanship of the Department of Animal Science; a position that he held until his retirement. This Department, with 34 faculty and 200 employees had over 800 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. Faculty responsibilities included teaching, research and extension in animal breeding, nutrition, reproductive physiology and management of dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine and sheep. During his professional career Dr Young published some eighty-seven scientific and technical papers primarily on poultry and animal nutrition, metabolic diseases and control of agricultural waste. With two other faculty members he coauthored the book Nutrition of the Chicken, which has since gone into several editions.
After retirement he was asked to continue in the administration of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences first as Associate Director of Research for a year and then as Associate Dean for another year and finally as Director of the College’s physical facilities. In 1986 he retired for the -second time.
Dr Young directed the research of several graduate students, was faculty advisor for many undergraduate students and taught courses in animal nutrition and fat metabolism.
He spent a sabbatical leave in Sweden at the University of Lund. His second sabbatical in 1973 was at the University of British Columbia with Professor Biely.
He had the opportunity to travel to several countries around the world on various assignments. One such assignment was in 1976 for the U.S. Feed Grain Council where he spent five weeks in Greece. During the previous five years the Cornell plant breeders had been so successful on advising the Greek farmers on the production of wheat that for the first time in centuries they had a surplus. On this trip he was asked to lecture and set up research projects throughout Greece on the use of wheat in animal feeds. In 1979 he was invited to Argentina along with the Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell to advise the Argentinians on the curriculum for their schools of Veterinary Medicine. In 1980 Dr Young was one of six faculty from Cornell invited by the Chinese Government to visit five of their principal Colleges of Agriculture that were severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution. They established a plan for rebuilding the five colleges and a graduate training program in the United States to train China’s best students as future faculty and agricultural scientists in China.
In 1990 Bob received a Lifetime Career Accomplishment Award from UBC during the 75th Anniversary Celebrations for outstanding contributions to advanced education. In addition he received one of the LFS Centenary Awards in 2008 from UBC for his outstanding career achievements.
Bob and wife Greta continued to live in Ithaca, New York. Bob passed away in 2010.