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Michael Thonney

Michael Thonney


114 Morrison Hall
(607) 592-5891

Michael L. Thonney earned graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota and first joined the faculty in Animal Science at Cornell University in 1975. He was promoted to Professor in 1988. He has taught courses in introductory animal science, beef cattle, sheep, and the biology of growth. Research interests have ranged from the relationship of mature size to body composition and growth of cattle and sheep to vaccination of sheep. He has taken sabbatical leaves at the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1984), University of California (Davis, 1993), Massey University (New Zealand, 2003), and Washington State University (2012). His current research revolves around nutrition and management of milking ewes in short and frequent lactations.

Research Focus

Nutrition, health, and management of sheep and cattle.

Sheep management

Outreach and Extension Focus

Evaluation and dissemination of information on management, nutrition, health, selection, and marketing strategies for highly productive sheep systems.

Teaching Focus

Muscle Biology and Meat Processing: ANSC 3500 - Meat

Biology and management of sheep (Animal Science 3800) and cattle (Animal Science 3600), each in alternate years. The focus is on applying biological knowledge to properly manage the well-being of livestock for profitable farm production.

Awards and Honors

  • William J. Boylan Distinguished Service Award (2016) Dairy Sheep Association of North America
  • Distinguished Graduate: Science, Education, & Technology (2015) Department of Animal Science, Washington State University
  • New York Shepherd of the Year (2011) Empire Sheep Producers Association

Presentations and Activities

  • Economics of Twinning in the Beef Herd. NYBPA Winter Management Program. January 2011. New York Beef Producer's Association. Syracuse, NY.