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Prof R.A Leng



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Prof R.A Leng A.O DRurSc

Ron Leng is presently a retired Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry of the University of New England. He was a member of the Faculty of Rural Science for 37 years. It was as a member of the Faculty that he began his research into the utilization of poor quality forages by ruminants. His publications in this area found him in demand as an advisor to institutions overseas. The opportunity to travel and to study the constraints to animal production from uncommon feeds provided him with major insights for developing drought feeding strategies in Australia.

Ron Leng was born in England and became interested in agriculture through working his families small-holding. He went to University in Nottingham to study Agriculture in order to take up a career in farm management. However, at University his ambitions changed and his interest in animal sciences grew. He decided on higher education and came to Australia in 1959 to study in the Faculty of Rural Science. He was attracted to the Faculty because it had, in a very few years, established an international reputation for research in the nutritional biochemistry of ruminants.

On successful completion of his PhD he was appointed Lecturer in Nutrition in 1963 and he was progressively promoted over the next 10 years to a Personal Chair in Nutritional Biochemistry. He was the first to be awarded the degree of D.Rur.Sc in 1972.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991 for his contribution to development of systems of using poor quality feeds for ruminant meat and milk production in Australia and in developing countries.

Ron Leng has received a number of other awards including in 1966-67 an International Post Doctoral Award from The National Institute of Health, USA. He was Mid American State University Distinguished Visiting Professor in 1982 at Iowa University USA and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor in Nihon University in Japan in 1986. The Australian Society of Animal Production made him a Fellow in 1996.

Most recently, he received the 2002 Han Award from the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies ‘ in recognition of his outstanding contribution to animal production which is of international significance’.

During his career Ron founded ‘The Institute of Biotechnology’ at the University of New England. He has been a consultant to the governments of more then 30 countries through United Nations Development Programs. In 1990 he helped to establish The University of Tropical Agriculture in Asia and travels annually to lecture and examine students enrolled in higher degree courses at the campus in Cambodia and its newly formed campuses in Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.

Ron believes there is a lack of technology transfer to the livestock industries in Australia and has now written two books for grazers/farmers on drought and the nutrition of ruminants.

He has spent the last 7 years traveling extensively within Australia attempting to get his messages across by presenting seminars to grazers/farmers.


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Last modified: 07/28/05