Sesnon Endowed Chair


UC Davis encouraged establishment of “endowed chairs” as a means of honoring prestigious faculty and providing them with additional support. In 1977, the first chair at the University of California, Davis — the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Animal Science — was created through generous gifts from Porter Sesnon, Barbara Sesnon Cartan, William T. Sesnon Jr. and the Cal Aggie Foundation.


The Sesnon Chair supports a distinguished animal scientist who provides intellectual leadership in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research for the Department of Animal Science, the College and the campus. The chair holder is expected to have made distinguished research contributions in the field of animal science relevant to the biology and production of livestock or aquaculture species.

Current Chair Holder:


Ermias Kebreab

Ermias Kebreab, Ph.D.
Professor of Sustainable Agriculture
Sesnon Endowed Chair
Department of Animal Science
University of California, Davis
2111 Meyer Hall,
One Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530)752 5907  Fax: (530)752 0175

Previous Chair Holders:


Lee Baldwin

Dr. R. Lee Baldwin
Sesnon Endowed Chair 1992-2000

Dr. Lee Baldwin got his B.Sc from University of Connecticut and M.Sc and Ph.D degrees from Michigan State University. He served in many capacities at the department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis including Chair (1978-1981). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. His research interest includes applications of systems analysis and modeling in support of nutritional and animal science research, physiology of lactation, nutritional energetic and ruminant tissue metabolism. He has published extensively and considered the father of mathematical modeling in animal nutrition. He held the Sesnon Chair from 1992 to 2000.




Robert Touchberry

Robert W. Touchberry, Ph.D.
Sesnon Endowed Chair 1982 – 1990

Dr. Robert W. Touchberry received a B.S. in animal breeding in 1945 from Clemson College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in animal breeding and genetics from Iowa State College in 1947 and 1948 respectively. He worked with advanced animal breeding in Sierra Leon and was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Denmark.

Bob Touchberry came to the department in 1981 as chair and Sesnon Professor of Animal Science, following 18 years as a faculty member in the Department of Animal at the University of Illinois and 12 years as head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota. During his career, he carried out genetics and breeding search on species from drosophila to dairy cattle. He was perhaps best known for work on the effects of crossbreeding in dairy cattle, in which he studied the effects on production, health and herd life, as well production per lactation. Upon his retirement in 1992, Bob and his wife Carol moved to Ely, Iowa, to live on the farm where Carolyn grew up. He held the Sesnon Chair from 1982 – 1990