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Jeff Vallet

Associate Director

(309) 681–6601

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Dr. Jeff Vallet was appointed as the Midwest Associate Director, effective March 15, 2021. Dr. Vallet fills the second Associate Director position in the Midwest Area Director’s Office. Dr. Vallet is no stranger to the Midwest Area previously serving as the Acting Center Director of the U.S. Dairy Forage Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin in 2018 and as the Acting Associate Director in the Midwest Area Director’s Office in 2019.   

Dr. Vallet received his B.S. degree in 1983 from Cornell University, and his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees from the University of Florida. From 1988 to 1990 he was a Research Associate at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, working on mechanisms of luteolysis and maternal recognition of pregnancy in sheep.  

From 1991 to 2005, he was a Research Physiologist at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center NE, where he investigated factors contributing to uterine capacity in pigs. In 2005, he became Research Leader for the Reproduction Research Unit at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Unit scientists focused on aspects of swine reproductive physiology, swine genomics and beef cattle reproductive physiology. Dr. Vallet’s research contributed significantly to the area of pregnancy physiology in pigs including control of uterine development, control of uterine protein secretion, aspects of fetal development, and factors contributing to placental function. He also performed research on factors influencing preweaning survival in piglets.

Dr. Vallet served as the National Program Leader for Food Animal Production (NP101) and co-led the National Program for Grass, Forage and Rangelands Agroecosystems (NP215) from 2016 to 2021. The National Program for Food Animal Production focuses on research to improve nutritional and reproductive efficiency in livestock, enhance animal welfare, develop genomic selection in livestock, and improve meat quality. The National Program for Grass, Forage and Rangelands Agroecosystems focuses on foundational science, genetic and genomic selection of forage plants, agroecosystem monitoring and modeling, and systemwide management methods to enhance pasture and rangeland function.