Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Affectionately know as "Dr. Tot", Totusek was passionate about animal science and livestock judging.
1926-2014 | Artist: Richard Steward Halstead (born 1947)
Impact & Accomplishments
Raised on a Garber, Oklahoma, farm, Robert Totusek completed his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma A&M College in 1949 and competed on the 1948 championship team at the International Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest. He then earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in animal nutrition at Purdue University.
In 1952, Totusek returned to Oklahoma to join the animal science faculty, and he coached the livestock judging team there from 1953 to 1961. Dr. Totusek served as department head at the school, renamed Oklahoma State University, from 1976 to 1990. He expanded the curriculum in the department, reestablished the horse program, and authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, particularly in the field of beef cattle range management.
Dr. Totusek has been an American Polled Hereford Association Hall of Merit recipient and an American Society of Animal Science Fellow. In 2005, the Livestock Publications Council honored Totusek with a Headliner Award, and two years later, Purdue named him to the Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni. Many of his 5,000 former students helped to fund an endowed chair in his name at OSU in 2005.
Did You Know?
Born on a farm between Kingfisher and Garber, Oklahoma, Dr. Totusek was the son of Aloise Karbusicky Totusek and Emil Totusek. Both of his parents' families immigrated from Czechoslovakia and were active in the local Czech communities.
“A relentless thinker and proactive leader, Dr. Tot always knew how to guide others in the right direction, get you to consider a new perspective or challenge you to act,” said Mark Johnson, DASNR animal scientist who was the first holder of the OSU Robert “Bob” Totusek Endowed Chair in Animal Science. “Dr. Tot had an uncanny knack for connecting to people of all ages, and was so extremely genuine and sincere that he made a lasting impression on the students he met, related to and remained in contact with throughout his life,” he said.
Courtesy of Oklahoma HorizonTV