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Dr. Paul Chandler passes

February 14, 2016

5 Min Read
Dr. Paul Chandler passes

Dr. Paul Thomas Chandler passed away after an illustrious career on January 8th, 2016.  Dr. Chandler made significant contributions in the field of Dairy Science & Research with over 70 authored or coauthored publications along with countless invited presentations nationally and internationally.  He also contributed significantly to the dairy industry with his applied on farm dairy nutrition knowledge with numerous articles in various industry publications. 

Dr. Chandler was well-known as a mentor, supporting and nurturing students, many of whom continue to make significant contributions to the dairy industry and in the field of human cancer research.  Paul often said, “My greatest pride and feeling of accomplishment is the many outstanding people that I have had the opportunity of coming in contact with and hopefully transferred a small amount of knowledge, support or help in achieving their goals”.  He also noted, “Everything that I know is due to a cow; either directly from or because of a cow”.  Paul T. Chandler was a very proud and humble man.

Dr. Chandler started his career 8 miles from the family farm at UT Martin (1955), NW Tennessee, with the goal of returning to the home farm one day.  He received his B.S., 1959, at the U Tennessee, Martin and M.S., 1962 at the U Tennessee, Knoxville.  Dr. Chandler always credited a stint at the Oak Ridge, TN, Agricultural Research Laboratory with "making a scientist out of me. I had contact with scientists from all over the world and it opened my eyes."

Paul went on to receive his Ph.D., 1965 at Penn State in Dairy Science, focusing on Biochemistry with Dr. Earl Kesler.  He continued at Penn State serving as faculty for another 2 years and then went on to Virginia Tech in Dairy Science in 1967 where he had a productive career in research and teaching for 10 years. 

Dr. Paul Chandler’s research on Methionine as one of the two limiting amino acids in high producing cows was ground-breaking. He was one of the earliest to use what is now called Meta-Analysis to prove or disprove various theories, assembling data from various experiments and developing a model to incorporate each set of data, making it possible to confirm or disprove a hypothesis.

After Dr. Chandler left Virginia Tech in 1977 he continued to have a huge impact on both the Dairy and the Feed Industries.  He founded his business (1978), Chandler and Associates, to provide “On Farm” nutritional consulting.  At one time he was providing nutritional consulting services for many large farms including Mason Dixon Farms in Gettysburg, PA., a number of large dairy herds in Virginia, and others in the mid-west.  Paul’s consulting helped him refine his use of Amino Acid Balanced rations.  He helped develop a ration balancing program that he used in his business to better balance rations for the total amino acid and energy needs of high producing cows.  In addition, he used this practical farm based knowledge to present numerous papers at conferences such as the Penn State Dairy Nutrition Conference, Cornell Nutrition Conference, and Mid-West Dairy Nutrition Conference.  Through these presentations he was able to transmit his knowledge of amino acid based ruminant nutrition to a very large group of dairyman and ruminant nutritionists.

Dr. Chandler also was a well-read author.  His monthly column in Feedstuffs was closely read by nutritionists across the country and the world for a number of years.  He distilled very difficult ruminant nutrition theories down to understandable concepts.  Feedstuffs is published by the Miller Publishing Company of Bloomington, MN.  It has a worldwide circulation and almost every livestock feed manufacturing company in the USA subscribes to it.  It is hard to estimate what the long term impact of his Feedstuffs articles have had on the feed manufacturing industry. 

Dr. Chandler was honored in 1997 with the ADSA Applied Dairy Nutrition award. In his nomination papers, he was called an innovative leader in applied dairy cattle field, with the unique ability to be research-based yet at the same time very practical.

Dr. Chandler was named the 2014 Dairy Science Distinguished Alumnus by Penn State's Department of Animal Science. Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "We look forward to welcoming Dr. Chandler back to campus and celebrating the outstanding contributions he has made to the dairy industry. He has had an enormous impact on both the industry and individual dairy producers through his ability to communicate effectively. His creative approach and forward thinking have been invaluable."

He served as a member of the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society of Animal Science, the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Animal Nutrition Research Council, Sigma XI, Gamma Sigma Delta and the American Registry of Certified Animal Scientists.

Dr. Chandler’s life ended on his family's farm in Dresden, where his educational endeavors began with strong support of his parents, Russell and Nannie Thomas Chandler. He expressed gratitude for the strong support of two "life mates." He was married to Jane Butts Chandler, a neighbor and lifelong friend with whom he reconnected after the death of his first wife, Patsy Miller Chandler, whom he met when she was a librarian at the Oak Ridge facility. He was survived by his wife Jane (Butts) Chandler, two daughters, Pamela (Ronald) Rogers and Paula (George) Browning, three grandchildren; Samantha Turner, Trey Browning and Crystal Browning.  1 great granddaughter, Kinsley Turner; one great grandson on the way in which Dr. Paul called “little Feed Bucket”, after Trey whom he called “Feed Bucket”.

Though Dr. Paul Thomas Chandler’s life has come to an end, his spirit shall always remain and we will keep him in our hearts forever.

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