Internationally renowned as a pioneer in record keeping for cattle breeding and the development of Line One Herefords.
1916-2005 | Artist: Walter Blakelock Wilson (1929-2011)
Impact & Accomplishments
Ray Woodward completed his master’s degree at Montana State University in 1939 and took a position at the Northern Montana Research Station in Havre. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then went to work at the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory.
In 1953, he earned his doctorate in animal genetics from the University of Minnesota, returning to Fort Keogh to become an internationally-known pioneer in record keeping for cattle breeding. Woodward was the geneticist who developed the Line One strain of Herefords, which became a pure new resource for purging dwarfism in the breed and a valuable source for genetic material to the beef industry, as Line One cattle were selected for rapid growth rate. His research demonstrated the value of progeny testing as well.
In 1960, Dr. Woodward began work for the American Breeders Service, introducing several exotic cattle breeds to the U. S., including Simmental, Tarentaise, and Maine Anjou. He returned to Fort Keogh, where he retired as director in 1979. Woodward was the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Society of Animal Science fellowship, the Beef Improvement Federation Research Pioneer Award (1979), the Simmental Association Golden Book Award (1986), and the Angus Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame Award (2002).
Did You Know?
Dr. Woodward flew more than 50 combat missions in WW II.
Tarentaise breed cattle were introduced to the U.S. in the 1960's.