Dec 092008
October 28th, 2008

> About This Issue

> Introducing The ASM “Video Link of the Month”

> In Focus: The Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference

> Keeping the Happiness—and Passion—in Your Job

> Coming Up in the Next Issue . . .

About This Issue

People are passionate about a lot of different things . . . their hobbies, their favorite sports team, even their spouse. But what about their job? Believe it or not, there are many people who are passionate about what they do for a living. In this issue of The Animal Science Monitor, we tackle this issue, partly drawing upon the work of the Dalai Lama. Because if there’s one thing that we’re passionate about, it’s making sure that The ASM is the best publication it can possibly be. We hope that you enjoy this issue and that passion is part of your everyday life. .

—Dan and Don

Introducing The ASM ‘Video Link of the Month’

You didn’t think we were going to forget, did you?  October is Beef Month at The Animal Science Monitor, and once again, we’d like to celebrate with our “Video Link of the Month.”

And really, how could we not provide you with a link to the commercial that started the whole “Where’s the beef?” fad of—hold onto your seats—nearly 25 years ago?  That’s right, back in 1984, the Wendy’s fast-food franchise launched a series of commercials with the catchphrase “Where’s the beef?”  Little did company officials know it would earn a place in pop culture lore.

To access a clip of this classic commercial, click here.  For some of you who weren’t even alive in 1984, this might just be the first time you’ve ever witnessed it.

The ASM is currently providing links to humorous (and appropriate) videos regarding any aspect of the animal science industry in select issues of our newsletter . . . and you can help us.

We’d like you to send us your favorite animal science video clips.  Send an email, with your link included, to, and your clip might be featured in a future issue of the newsletter.  If your clip is included, we’ll also publish your name as its contributor.

In Focus: The Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference
(By Matt Deutsch)

At The Animal Science Monitor, we’re big advocates of continuous training and improvement, which is one reason we promote industry conferences and conventions on a regular basis within the pages of our newsletter.  One such upcoming event is the Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference.

This conference, scheduled for Wednesday, November 12 and Thursday, November 13, will be held at the Holiday-Inn in Grantville, Pa.  This workshop is designed to provide applied dairy nutrition information and training to feed industry professionals.  This year’s topics include mineral nutrition, cow comfort, nutrition in a world of high-priced feeds, farm safety, analysis of corn grain and silage, links between Johne’s disease and Crohn’s disease, mycotoxins, reducing nutrient excretion, and communicating risks to consumers.

Assisting with the workshops are faculty and staff from Penn State’s Dairy and Animal Science department, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Crop and Soil Sciences, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, the School of Forest Resources, and numerous Cooperative Extension personnel.  In addition, among those in attendance will be our own Dan Simmons.

Dan has been a regular attendee of the Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference for the past few years, and he will be there again next month.  If you’re planning to attend, make sure that Dan is one of the people you seek out and talk with.  He’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.

Networking, training, and certification
For those who are interested, there will also be a “Feed Management Planner Symposium” the day before the official start of the conference.  The date of the symposium is Tuesday, November 11.

In addition to the numerous networking opportunities that will be available at the conference, there will be many training and certification opportunities, as well.  Some of these are as follows:

  • American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) members can earn up to four credits for attending the “Feed Management Planner Symposium,” up to eight credits for the first day of the conference, and up to seven credits for the second day.  Details of the credits allowed for each session will be provided after the conference.
  • Pennsylvania veterinarians will also be able to earn up to 15 continuing education credits. Veterinarians from neighboring states are encouraged to seek reciprocal approval.
  • Certified Pennsylvania nutrient management plan writers can earn one credit for attending the “Feed Management Planner Symposium,” a 0.5 credit for attending the “Nutrient Movement Through Soil” session on November 12, and a 0.5 credit for the session on “Reducing Nutrient Excretion in the Mid-Atlantic” on November 13.

Send Dan an email!
If you’re in the Grantville area, this is definitely an event you should consider attending.  The registration cost to attend the two-day conference is $110. However, if you’d also like to attend the “Feed Management Planner Symposium,” the cost of doing so is an extra $30.

For more information about the conference, including the full agenda and directions to the Holiday Inn, click here or call Colleen Jones at (540) 997-5809.

And don’t forget to meet with Dan.  In fact, email him in advance of the event at to let him know you’ll be in attendance.  He’s looking forward to seeing you there!

Keeping the Happiness—and Passion—in Your Job
(By Don Hunter)

How do you keep the passion in your job?

This is a complex and multi-faceted issue, mainly because there are so many variables involved.  The workplace is such a varied place that people often find themselves in a number of different situations, with circumstances that are unique to those situations.  They might include the following scenarios:

  • A person truly enjoys what they’re doing for a living.  They believe it’s what they were meant to do, and as a result, they’re passionate about their job.
  • A person was once passionate about what they do, but has since lost that passion, for one reason or another.
  • A person is not passionate about what they do at all and has never felt passion for their work.

As you can see, it’s easier for some people to keep passion in their job than for others, and that’s based simply upon the situation in which they find themselves.  But what if you’re in the latter two scenarios described above, the ones that are vastly more challenging?  Then what?

‘The Art of Happiness’
To help answer this question, we’re going to draw from The Art of Happiness at Work, by Howard C. Cutler, M.D., and the Dalai Lama.  (Yes, the Dalai Lama.)  This book is the second collaboration between Cutler and the Lama.  The first one was titled simply The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

According to the Dalai Lama, who was interviewed by Cutler for the content in both books, happiness at work and passion in your job stems from within, not from without.  This is a rough corollary to the axiom of “You have no control over what happens to you, but 100% control over how you react.”  However, Happiness at Work delves into more detail.  Before exploring those details, though, let me offer a word of caution.  None of the steps that the Lama advocates are easy.  Of course, you probably already knew that.  If they were easy, everybody would be happy at work.

  • Self-awareness and analysis—These are critical components of the process.  Taking a personal inventory is not an easy task, mainly because it’s difficult to do so in an impartial manner.  We have a built-in bias.  However, by conducting this inventory, you can more easily identify your strengths and weaknesses, both personally and professionally.  Believe it or not, that’s half the battle.  You can’t address an issue if you don’t even know what the issue is.
  • Balance—According to the authors of The Art of Happiness at Work, “No matter how satisfying our work is, it is a mistake to rely on work as our only source of satisfaction.”  This is why a healthy work-life balance is very important.  Without that balance, it’s more difficult to find happiness in your job and then to cultivate passion for it, as well.  Simply put, balance is crucial to personal well being.
  • Attitude—As you might imagine, the Lama encourages an attitude that includes, among other things, honesty, tolerance, and compassion.  For a moment, envision yourself practicing these attitudes with everybody you work with . . . and I mean everybody.  Not easy, is it?  That’s why the Lama suggests that training is necessary for a person to reach this point.
  • Sense of meaning—Which brings us to the big one, the one to which all others flow.  Human beings crave a sense of meaning when it comes to just about everything they do, and this especially pertains to their work life and their job.  Even if a person is in a position about which they are not innately passionate, they can still find meaning in what they do if they focus not on themselves, but on others.  If they are able to see how what they do positively impacts those around them, then they’ll find the meaning they’re looking for.  By focusing on helping others, they’re actually helping themselves by finding meaning in their work.

Reaching the next level
Of course, even if you’re able to find happiness in your current position, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to remain in that position forever.  There are always varying degrees of both happiness and passion, and it’s possible that a climb up the career ladder could bring more of both.  However, it’s imperative that a person is able to develop the ability to find happiness and keep the passion in any job, because that allows them to thrive in any situation and under any circumstances.

Perhaps you’d like to take that next step in your career, but you don’t have the time to devote to doing so.  If that’s the case, then I can help.  Send me an email at  I’d be happy to discuss your career goals with you, specifically those things about which you are the most passionate.  And of course, any exchange of information, including resumes, will be kept in total confidence and handled in a discreet fashion.

In the meantime, strive to be self-aware, to achieve balance, to hone the best attitude possible, and to help others and find meaning in what you do.  That’s the path to happiness in your job . . . as well as the key to creating and keeping your passion.

Coming Up in the Next Issue . . .

One of the things about which many people are passionate are their pets.  With that in mind, November will be Pet and Companion Animal Month in The Animal Science Monitor.  Also in the next issue, Dan invites you to meet with him at the Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference, and Don will discuss how loading up your employee toolbox is a great way to advance your career.

The next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, November 11.



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