Jeff Firkins

Professor, The Ohio State University

Jeffrey L. Firkins is a Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences of The Ohio State University.  Firkins was raised on a grain and livestock farm in northern Illinois and developed his interest in dairy cattle by working on his uncle’s nearby dairy farm. Following postdoctoral research in dairy nutrition at Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, he was hired as an Assistant Professor of dairy cattle nutrition in the Department of Dairy Sciences (now the Department of Animal Sciences) in 1987 and has moved through the ranks to full Professor in 2000.  

Dr. Firkins conducts applied research to answer immediate and long-term concerns of the dairy industry in three main areas: studying the interface between nutrition and microbiology to enhance the conversion of dietary protein into microbial protein (and thereby milk protein) and reduce enteric methane production; studying the interactions of physical, chemical, and microbiological processes related to fiber and starch degradation and passage and biohydrogenation in dairy cattle; and improving the quantitative prediction of protein and carbohydrate digestion and microbial protein production in dairy cattle. 

Dr. Firkins has served multiple terms as a journal editor, panelist or manager of USDA competitive grants, and on planning committees for international conferences in gut microbiology and ruminant physiology. He has been a principal investigator or co-PI on over $4 million in grants and has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and 200 invited presentations.