Sarah Retherford Awarded 2022 NAAB Doak Graduate Fellowship

March 27, 2022




The National Association of Animal Breeders is pleased to announce Sarah Retherford has been selected to receive the 2022  NAAB Doak Graduate Fellowship Award.

Sarah is the fourth recipient of the NAAB Doak Graduate Fellowship and impressed the selection committee with her enthusiasm for male bovine reproductive physiology. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science in Animal and Veterinary Science from The University of Wyoming in May 2021. She will pursue her graduate degree focused on improving reproductive efficiency in cattle through understanding the role of the seminal plasma microbiome on sperm viability, function, and fertility.  Sarah will continue her MS program at the University of Wyoming under the guidance of Dr. Jeremy Block.

Sarah became involved in agriculture at an early age when her family moved to Wyoming.  Her desire to pursue a career in agriculture evolved from her involvement in 4-H, FFA, rodeo, working on ranches or farms, owning and caring for her own horses and working at a local tack store.  These experiences provided the foundation for her approach to life, academics, and her career pursuits.   Following graduation from high school, Sarah enrolled at the University of Wyoming and majored in Animal and Veterinary Science.  After completing a class in reproductive physiology, she began working in Dr. Block’s laboratory as an undergraduate and continued working in the lab following graduation.  She has gained valuable skills including in vitro fertilization, embryo multiplication and endometrial cell culture and has been involved in hands-on research projects involving semen collection, cryopreservation, estrous synchronization, embryo transfer as well as laparoscopic artificial insemination. 

Тhе NAAB Doak Graduate Fellowship is а unique opportunity for individuals planning to pursue а career in the bovine genetic improvement industry to earn а Master of Science degree in bovine genetics or bovine male reproduction physiology. The fellowship was established to develop talent with the technical and management competencies as needed by the future cattle industry. As such, the award is intended for individuals who have long term aspirations in the genetic improvement industry as exemplified by Dr. Gordon Doak, who dedicated 42 years to developing NAAB programs. "Given Sarah’s passion for research and her experience in Dr. Block’s reproductive physiology lab, she has a good foundation and understanding of the skills required to conduct meaningful research” states Jay Weiker, President and  СЕО of NAAB. "Sarah represents the caliber of student that we seek and we are especially pleased that she has interest in researching male bovine reproduction related to fertility.  This is a field of study that can use much more research."


NAAB is the national trade association for artificial insemination businesses. NAAB members  account for about 95% of dairy and beef semen sold in the USA and market semen to more than 100 countries around the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             *  *  *