The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has inducted animal-health researcher Max Paape into the agency’s Science Hall of Fame. Paape’s groundbreaking work in mastitis in beef and dairy cattle led to testing and treatment practices in place today. Paape, a researcher with the ARS Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., is an internationally recognized authority on bovine mastitis, the most costly disease to the U.S. cattle industry. In studies with researchers at OklahomaStateUniversity, he found that subclinical mastitis is common in beef cattle, but that giving antibiotics at weaning reduces its prevalence. The findings are credited with saving the beef industry $1 billion annually. He also developed several treatments for mastitis, including alternatives to antibiotics that changed the way many drug company scientists view the effectiveness of non-antibiotic therapies.

Early in his career, Paape developed procedures for using milk somatic cell counts (MSCC) as an index of udder health, and he was a pioneer in using MSCC to assess milk quality. He also led research into how long dairy and meat products should be withheld from the market after cattle are treated with antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration used the results in establishing relevant food safety standards.

The agency also inducted two other scientists this week for research accomplishments in   improving rice varieties and increasing crop productivity in arid climates. Click here for the full release from ARS.