Professor David E Beever
31st March 1944 – 16th June 2014
David Beever was a courageous scientist of unique abilities, who made a huge contribution to the world of agriculture.
David was born on a small South Yorkshire farm and went on to gain a primary degree and PhD at Newcastle University.
In 1969 his long and successful career in ruminant nutrition began at the Grassland Research Institute in Hurley, becoming head of ruminant nutrition.
In 1992 he became Professor of Animal Science and Head of CEDAR at the University of Reading.
In 2007 he was recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize for 2007 to the IPCC.
In 2009, David was very proud to be awarded the RABDF Princess Royal Award for his outstanding services to the dairy industry.
In 2004 after leaving Reading, he joined Keenan as Chief Scientific Advisor. Gerard Keenan says “David first challenged and argued. Later, supported by other leading scientists, David was to develop the connection between rumen function, better feed conversion efficiency, improved farm margins, and reduced environmental impact.”
David worked worldwide for Keenan including China, India and the USA. His huge personality and passion for the dairy industry made him unforgettable, and he commanded great respect and admiration wherever he travelled, as he spoke the unvarnished truth. He really loved the underdog, and his interests were in the farmers that would listen and respond, who would appreciate what he could do for them. Often these farms were small or medium, but he just wanted to help.
At David’s funeral personal tributes were paid from colleagues in research from the USA, the UK and Ireland. Jim Drackley, Professor of Animal Science at Illinois said “I first became familiar with his name and research in the 1980’s. He was one of those names I looked at in awe as a young aspiring scientist. His research was classic and has assumed renewed relevance today in light of issues of climate change and sustainable agriculture.”