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Mueller Wins Baker/Cundiff Award

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The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented the Baker/Cundiff Award to Maci Mueller, Davis, California, June 24 during the group’s symposium and annual convention in Des Moines, Iowa.

The annual Frank Baker/Larry Cundiff Beef Improvement Essay Contest for graduate students provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding student research and competitive writing in honor of Frank Baker and Larry Cundiff.

Mueller, originally from Princeton, Nebraska, is working on her doctorate at the University of California-Davis. Her essay was titled “Gene Editing as a Tool for Genetic Improvement of Beef Cattle.”

Historically, winning essays are selected and published in the annual BIF Research Symposium and Annual Meeting Proceedings. This year the winning essay is posted to the BIF website Mueller will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Baker is widely recognized as the “Founding Father” of the BIF. He played a key leadership role in helping establish BIF in 1968 while he was chairman of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Cundiff retired after 40 years as a research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. He was the research leader of the genetics and breeding research unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center from 1976 until 2005. Cundiff not only designed, conducted and published some of the most important beef breeding research of the 20th century, but also led in the transfer of new technology to the beef industry through his continued work in BIF and presentations made across the nation and around the world.

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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