DelVal professor, equine breeding center manager, to retire after 42 years

May 07, 2012

Dr. Fredrick Hofsaess, distinguished professor of animal science and manager of the Markovitz Standardbred Breeding Facility, will retire this month after 42 years with Delaware Valley College.

Hofsaess graduated from Delaware Valley College with a B.S. in animal husbandry in 1967. He then went on to receive a M.S. and Ph.D. in animal science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University before returning to join DelVal faculty in 1970.

In the long career that followed, Hofsaess was involved in teaching meat animal and equine production courses and served as chair of the Large Animal Science Department from 1976 to 2002.

He was also instrumental in returning horses to campus for teaching purposes, nearly 25 years after the college’s draft horses departed.

“It took me 10 years to get horses back on campus,” Hofsaess explained. “But I brought a couple of Standardbred mares to campus in the early 1980s and the breeding program has grown from there. I’m proud of the growth and success of program – it has produced many good quality successful horses.”

Hofsaess supervised the management of the resulting breeding herd as manager of the Markovitz Standardbred Breeding Facility and taught courses in equine management, health, breeding, and business.

Standardbreds, a breed Hofsaess describes as being hardy and easy to work with, will also be a large part of his retirement. He is a licensed Standardbred trainer and driver and owner of Stonebridge Standardbred Farm, LLC. He will be moving his personal herd with him to northeastern Iowa, where he can be close to his children and grandchildren while continuing to breed and race horses. 

Hofsaess will also continue teaching part-time at Northeast Iowa Community College, where he’ll offer one horse production-related class per semester.

“It’s not retirement, it’s changing locations,” he said. “I enjoy teaching, have enjoyed my time here. I’ve had some influence on a lot of students who stay in touch and are good friends.”

Hofsaess said as a professor, he didn’t get a true appreciation for his impact on students until years after and he started to see how successful they became.

“The proof is in the pudding – how successful are the graduates?” he said. “I now have students who are working for pharmaceutical and feed companies, on breeding farms, for bloodstock agents, breed associations, and for vets and veterinary schools.”

“Dr. Hofsaess leaves a legacy on DelVal and the Standardbred industry,” said Russell Redding, dean of agriculture and environmental sciences at the college. “His 42 years of teaching and providing students hand-on experiences has led them to succeed in the equine industry.”