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SEC Honors MU Professor with Faculty Achievement Award

April 8th, 2015

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Michael Smith, Curators Teaching Professor and professor of reproductive physiology in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Division of Animal Sciences, has won the Southeastern Conference’s Faculty Achievement Award for 2015. The award qualifies Smith as MU’s nominee for the SEC’s Professor of the Year award, to be announced April 29.

The SEC academic awards are organized by the SECU, which is the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. The purpose of SECU is to promote achievements in research and teaching at the 14 universities comprising the conference, and to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among SEC university professors.

Smith earned the award due to his research in ways to increase reproductive efficiency in beef cattle, which can help cattle farmers be economically successful and feed a growing world population. This work includes studying the reproductive cycle and the establishment of pregnancy of cattle in order to better increase the efficiency of cattle reproduction. He works alongside leaders in the field, such as Jerry Taylor, who is a Curators Professor of Genetics and Animal Sciences at MU.

“It is a real privilege to be associated with the very best researchers in the field,” Smith said. “MU has the opportunity to be a world leader in reproductive biology and genomics involving cattle fertility issues.”

Smith started at MU as an assistant professor in 1980. Ten years later he became a full professor. He served as interim director of the Division of Animal Sciences from 2001 to 2006. In 2013, Smith became a fellow of the American Society of Animal Science. The fellowship is one of the highest recognitions from a professional association.

Smith holds a master’s and a doctorate in reproductive physiology from Texas A&M University. For more information about the SECU, visit