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Hinrichsen, Franco Win BIF’s Roy Wallace Scholarship

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The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented the Roy A. Wallace Memorial Scholarships to Eva Hinrichsen and Gessica Franco June 23 during the group’s Annual Research Symposium and Convention hosted in Des Moines, Iowa. These scholarships were established to encourage young men and women interested in beef improvement to pursue those interests as Wallace did, with dedication and passion.

Eva Hinrichsen, Westmoreland, Kansas, is this year’s undergraduate winner. She currently attends Oklahoma State University (OSU) where she majors in animal science.

At OSU, Hinrichsen is a member of the Block & Bridle Apparel Committee, Student Foundation Membership Committee, and serves as the Student Foundation Membership Retreat Committee Chair. Hinrichsen is also a member of the McKnight Scholars Leadership Program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society and was selected one of the OSU Top 20 Freshman Women. Additionally, she served as the 2020 Miss American Angus and plans to participate on the university’s livestock judging team.

“After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I would like to continue onto graduate school to pursue a masters in ruminant nutrition and livestock reproduction and then acquire my doctorate degree to teach at a land grant university,” Hinrichsen says. “Outside of my career, I plan to remain involved in my family’s cattle operation and continue growing my own herd of registered Angus cattle.”

The graduate student award was presented to Gessica Franco, College Station, Texas. Franco is currently working on her doctorate degree in physiology of reproduction at Texas A&M University. She currently works with Dr. Ky Pohler researching the traditional view of male effect on pregnancy outcomes in cattle and the significant impact it has on improving the sire fertility evaluation system.

“Highlights from my research include characterization of sire fertility regarding pregnancy loss in cattle, correlation of current sire fertility evaluation methods with reported field fertility, complete characterization of bovine conceptus development in early to mid-gestation, use of parthenogenetic bovine embryo to characterize parental genetics contribution to pregnancy development,” Franco says.

During Franco’s graduate studies, she has authored/coauthored 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts, two book chapters and six conference proceedings.

“My passion to translate complicated scientific findings to tangible profit driven results for producers inspire me to transition from the academic to industry environment,” Franco says. “My goal upon graduation is to pursue a career where I can continue to collaborate on improving beef production.”

The Roy A. Wallace Beef Improvement Federation Memorial Fund was established by Select Sires to honor the life and career of Roy Wallace. Wallace, who worked for Select Sires for 40 years, served as vice president of beef programs and devoted his life to the improvement of beef cattle. He became involved with BIF in its infancy and was the only person to attend all of the first 40 BIF conventions. He loved what BIF stands for — bringing together purebred and commercial cattle breeders, academia and breed associations, all committed to improving beef cattle. Wallace was honored with both the BIF Pioneer and BIF Continuing Service awards, and co-authored the BIF 25-year history, Ideas into Action.

Two $1,250 scholarships are awarded each year, one to an undergraduate and the other to a graduate student. Criteria for selection include a demonstrated commitment and service to the beef cattle industry, along with a passion for the areas of beef breeding, genetics and reproduction, academic performance, and personal character.

More than 400 beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 53rd Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, and another 250 registered to participate online. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of symposium and an archive of the presentations, visit

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