Jim Thompson retires from UBC

Jim Thompson retires from UBC

Professor Jim Thompson, who was Director of the Dairy Education and Research Centre for 21 years, retired in December 2018.

Thompson received his Bachelors and Masters in Agriculture from UBC in 1964 and 1966, respectively. He then completed his PhD at the University of California (Davis) in 1971. He was a Professor in Animal Biochemistry at the University of Alberta from 1971-1992, before returning to UBC as Head of the Department of Animal Science in 1992. He later served as Associate Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Thompson’s research program concentrated on characterizing the metabolism of amino acids in skeletal muscles and measuring protein turnover in animals under a range of physiological conditions.

A Dairy Science program has been available at UBC since the 1920s, a time when dairy cattle and other farm animals were housed on the Vancouver campus. By 1997, the dairy cattle teaching and research program had grown to include an Animal Welfare Program.

In 1997, the Dairy Education & Research Centre opened in Agassiz, B.C., in the Fraser Valley, about 130 km from the UBC Vancouver campus. From humble beginnings with dated equipment and no permanent buildings, Thompson oversaw the development of the Centre into the state-of-the-art teaching and research facility it is today.

“We welcome students and scientists from around the world, and the modern facilities enable new advances in animal welfare and dairy science,” Thompson said. Two major achievements were the opening of a new lactating cow research building for 288 lactating cows in 2000, and a new on-site student residence in 2015.

Associate Professor Ronaldo Cerri was named the new Director of the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre on January 1, 2019.