April 2, 2013


John F. Smith, 51, of Oro Valley, Ariz., died Friday, March 29, 2013, at his home after a courageous battle with cancer.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Jefferson.

Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home in Jefferson is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.sliningerrossowfuneralhome.com.

A scholarship for animal science majors at Northwest Missouri State University has been established in memory of John. Contributions may be made to Northwest Foundation - John F. Smith Memorial Scholarship and mailed to the Northwest Foundation, 800 University Drive, Maryville, Mo. 64468.

John was born Feb. 2, 1962, in Nevada, a son of John and Karen Smith. He grew up in Jefferson, where he graduated from high school in 1980.

John completed his B.S. degree in animal science in 1984 and his M.S. degree in 1986 at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. In 1989, he completed his Ph.D. in dairy science at the University of Missouri.

From 1989 to 1995, John was an Extension dairy specialist, associate professor, at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

He then continued his career at Kansas State University in Manhattanas an Extension dairy specialist, professor, from 1995 to 2011. In 2011, John moved to Arizona to finish out his career at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

In 1993 and 1994, John was awarded the Salt of the Earth Award from the Dairy Producers of New Mexico.

In 2000 he was awarded the Midwest Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award, in 2002 the DeLaval Dairy Extension award, in 2008 he was selected as Western Dairy Business Magazine's Outstanding Dairy Educator/Researcher, and in 2010 John was recognized with the Jefferson Iowa Bell Tower of Fame Award for his efforts in dairy education and research.

John's professional interests and research centered on cow comfort, heat stress, milking parlor performance, and management of expanding dairies.

He was a co-founder of the Western Dairy Management Conference and High Plains Dairy Management Conference. John worked throughout the United States and internationally assisting producers with the development of efficient dairy operations.

John was a lifelong hunter and fisherman. He experienced hunting or fishing trips with dear friends in Alaska, Canada, Africa, and many other unique and interesting places.

One of his favorite passions was hunting with friends in Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. John was an avid fan of the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats and Kansas State University Wildcats. His greatest love, however, was spending time with his two beautiful daughters.

On Aug. 10, 1985, John married Debbie Schieber.

She survives him at home. Additional survivors include their two daughters: Jordan Smith of Corvallis, Ore., and Hope Smith at home; his parents, John and Karen Smith of Jefferson; three sisters, Rhonda (Joe) Coffman of Carroll, Debbie (Bob) Sees of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Diane Smith of Wichita, Kan.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Maureen (Ron) Lager of Maryville, Mo., Mike (Trish) Schieber of Hamilton, Mo., Charles (Margie) Schieber of Derby, Kan., Mary (Mike) Bryson of King City, Mo., Louis (Linda) Schieber of Conception Junction, Mo., Ann (Dennis) Gronniger of St. Joseph, Mo., Barb (Larry) Jensen of Conception Junction, Mo., and Joanne (Dave) O'Donnell of Conception Junction, Mo.; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and many friends.