Jones Selected to Receive the
Mark and Eva Gardiner Innovation and Excellence Faculty Award at K-State

Cassie Jones

Dr. Cassie Jones, K-State Animal Sciences and Industry professor and teaching coordinator, has been selected to receive the 2023 Mark and Eva Gardiner Innovation and Excellence Faculty Award.

Jones joined the K-State faculty in 2012 after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from K-State and a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences from Iowa State University. Jones has taught more than 2,500 students in eight different classes. She currently teaches freshman orientation, fundamentals of nutrition, principles of feeding and monogastric nutrition. She is a faculty advisor to more than 80 students and serves as teaching coordinator for the ASI major, which is the largest major on campus.

In addition to her contributions in teaching, Jones leads a highly productive research program that focuses on preventing disease transmission through the feed supply chain, including the prevention of foreign animal disease. Collectively, she has published more than 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts and $8 million in grants and gifts to support K-State’s teaching and research programs.

Jones is also the recipient of the 2023 University Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentoring of Undergraduate Students in Research, the 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture Excellence in College and University Regional Teaching Award in Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the 2021 Mortar Board Outstanding Faculty Award.

She and her husband, Spencer, have three children, Ty, Hayden, and Hadley, and raise Angus cattle in Wabaunsee County.

“We are grateful to Mark and Eva for recognizing Cassie with this award. She is one of the most productive faculty members in the department with a tremendous capacity to positively impact our teaching, research and extension missions in ASI,” said Ernie Minton, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.

In announcing the award, Mark Gardiner said, “As K-State alums and generational beef producers, our family is profoundly aware of the value of our education at the nation’s first land grant university. If American agriculture continues to be the world’s beacon to address global food insecurity through agriculture and meat protein production, faculty members like Dr. Cassie Jones will lead us to those outcomes. Eva and I are grateful for her commitment to excellence at K-State.”

Gardiner Angus Ranch is a family owned and operated beef operation that produces registered and commercial Angus cattle. The original ranch was homesteaded near Ashland, Kansas, in 1885 by Henry Gardiner’s grandfather. Today, Gardiner Angus Ranch is one of the largest registered Angus seedstock and commercial operations in America and continues to make genetic advancements using only artificial insemination and embryo transfer.


The Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry serves students, livestock producers and the animal and food industries through teaching, research and education. The K-State ASI department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science and food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills.