Louis J. Boyd of Bogart, Ga., began his 41-year career of service to animal agriculture as an extension specialist at UK before moving on to distinguish himself at the University of Tennessee, Michigan State University and the University of Georgia.
Boyd received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture in 1950 and 1951, respectively and his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois in 1956. He has been a dedicated steward of agricultural research, teaching and extension throughout his life.
His contributions to animal and dairy science, especially his research in breeds and genetics, have enabled countless producers a more profitable business and livelihood. He created a Dairy Herd Health Record System that was widely used and continues to influence modern record keeping systems. He spent a year working for the British Meat and Livestock Board and British Milk Board conducting research on reproduction in dairy and beef heifers.
In 1972, he was named head of the Animal Science division at Georgia, overseeing research, teaching and extension of six departments. During his tenure he attracted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service to work with UGA faculty on swine reproduction and growth. The laboratory soon became internationally recognized and is often cited as an example of federal/state partnership.
From 1979 to 1992, Boyd coordinated sponsored programs for Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences working to increase external funding for the college and Agricultural Experiment Station. Under his leadership founding grew from $3.8 million in 1980 to $17 million in 1990.
Boyd was a mentor to students, student clubs and teams receiving the coveted Mule Harnessing award from students at UT and the outstanding advisor award from the student branch of the American Dairy Science Association.
He was also instrumental in building the UGA alumni association and college development activities by establishing a lifetime alumni membership, a scholarship foundation for dairy students and hired the first full-time fundraiser for the college. Boyd hasn’t forgotten his roots either. He is a member of the UK alumni association and the UK Ag&HES alumni association.
Upon his retirement, Boyd established and led the advisory board for the Georgia Experiment Stations and four years later worked with college administration to merge it with the extension advisory council, forming one advisory group of industry leaders who advocate for Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He went on to serve as executive secretary for 16 years.
Boyd is one of only two animal scientists to ever serve on the boards of directors of both the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science. In addition to his professional achievements, he has given generously his time and talents to his community and church.