Agriculture / Animal Feeding / Animal Production / Biotechnology / Climate Change / Crop Residues / Crop-Livestock / India / Pro-Poor Livestock

Remembering Michael Blümmel


It is with great sadness that we report the death of Michael Blümmel, a principal scientist and deputy program leader in the feed and forage development program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Michael passed away on Monday, 12 Oct 2020, after a short illness in his hometown in Germany where he was receiving treatment.

ILRI animal nutritionist Michael Blümmel in his office at the ICRISAT campus in Hyderabad, India (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

His many friends and colleagues at ILRI and the broader scientific community registered shock and dismay at his untimely passing, with many remembering his thoughtfulness and kindness as a colleague and mentor, as well as his scientific skills in animal nutrition and feed production.

‘We will miss Michael not only for his scientific contributions but for the calm and caring human being he was’, said ILRI director general Jimmy Smith.

‘This loss will reverberate throughout the world of animal nutrition within CGIAR and many, many national partners as well’, said Shirley Tarawali, assistant director general at ILRI. She added, ‘Michael understood very well how sound science related to real issues facing farmers and others on the ground.’ 

Susan MacMillan, team leader in communications and advocacy at ILRI, remembered Blümmel for his ability to synthesize even arcane scientific facts into the bigger picture: ‘In Michael Blümmel’s technical proficiency, his mastery of his chosen discipline and his passion for science, he exemplified for me the “scientist’s scientist”, she said.

Blümmel was an animal nutritionist with a Dr. Sc. (1994) and a Habilitation (2004) degree from the University of Hohenheim in Germany. He had more than 30 years of experience in teaching, development, research and research management in Europe, US, Africa and Asia–many of those years with ILRI, with whom he had worked since 2001. He had more than 250 scientific publications, about half of them peer reviewed.

Blümmel had a passion for bringing science and development together, building partnerships with the private and public sector to mitigate feed and fodder shortages and generate employment and income opportunities for the rural disadvantaged. In one of his recent projects, he worked with small-scale women dairy producers in India to explore the benefits of growing forage plants as a cash crop.

In another, even more ambitious project, he sought to leverage spin-offs from second-generation biofuel technologies to upgrade animal feeding. Biofuel scientists have recently developed novel ways of splitting off the glucose in the plant cell walls to convert it into ethanol. By treating cereal straws and stovers—the ‘residues’ of cereal crops after their grain has been harvested—with these processes, he showed how these crop residues could be turned into nourishing feed for ruminant farm animals. That project demonstrated the reach of Blümmel’s ambition: Not only would the project help farmers meet their animals’ fodder needs and create new income opportunities for the rural poor, but by collecting for use rather than burning the residues, it would help reduce the air pollution that often afflicts many Indian cities.

Blümmel’s focus on topics like crop residues, which are not perhaps the most glamorous of issues, spoke to his immensely practical frame of mind. As he often noted, ‘Feed resourcing and feeding is at the very interface where the positive and negative effects of livestock, income, livelihoods and the environment are negotiated.’

‘Michael virtually single-handedly put the growing importance of crop varieties bred for animal as well as human consumption “on the map” in the global livestock-research-for-development agenda’, said MacMillan. ‘In this work, quite unusually for a “livestock scientist”, he worked intimately and brilliantly with crop scientists throughout the world and throughout his career.’

Memories and tributes to Blümmel continue to arrive as news of his untimely death spreads throughout the ILRI community and beyond. If you would like to pay your respects, please leave a comment in the comment box below this article as posted on the ILRI News blog site (https://news.ilri.org/).

Following are among the tributes that have already come in:

I have known Michael since 2001 when we were both were scientists at ILRI working on the improvement of feed quality of crop residues, the dominant feed for livestock in the developing tropics. From that time until his illness his passion for his work remained a constant—as was the diligence with which he ensured that his work benefitted small holder farmers. His legacy will be the in the conversion of legions of reluctant crop breeders who saw ‘grains’ solely as the target of their breeding programs, into advocates of breeding for improved feed value as well. We will miss Michael not only for his scientific contributions but for the calm and caring human being he was.

Jimmy Smith, ILRI director general

For all of us at ILRI, saying farewell to a friend, colleague and outstanding scientist in Michael Blümmel is deeply moving and painful.

What occurs to me is that this loss will reverberate throughout the world of animal nutrition within CGIAR and many, many national partners as well.  And why?  I think in many instances, a transformation of crop breeding approaches that for the first time took account of the feed value of crop residues has to be largely attributed to Michael.  I recall working in Nigeria in the 1990s when ILCA and then ILRI started to explore this issue, with IITA and ICRISAT initially.  While we had a lot of work that made the case – farmers’ and field studies, Michael took this to the next level and found ways to use smart science to bring this into the portfolios of crop breeding and selection where it remains to this day.

Michael also understood very well how this very sound science related to real issues facing farmers and others on the ground.  I recall visiting farms in Anantapur, seeing dual purpose groundnut varieties, touring sorghum stover markets in Hyderabad, with Michael always linking what we saw to what was going on in the labs and breeding fields.  And doing so with his typical humility, commitment and purpose.

Highly respected, totally practical, astute scientist, friend and colleague.  Michael you’ll be missed.  Rest in peace.

Shirley Tarawali, ILRI assistant director general and board secretary

I feel an enormous sadness following the death of my friend and colleague Michael Blummel. Michael was involved in my recruitment to ILRI in 2007. We worked closely over the years on many things in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and elsewhere. Michael came from the European community of ruminant nutritionists. He had a deep understanding of ruminant nutrition and was a welcome source of technical advice on all matters relating to nutrition. He maintained his reputation as a sound technical researcher throughout his career but I noticed a change in his approach over the years I knew him: he became increasingly attuned to the smallholder perspective and sought solutions that would make sense in the practical context of smallholder farming. He had little patience for well-meaning scientists who came with impractical solutions. I was sometimes shocked by his abrupt manner in meetings when dealing with such scientists, but he gained respect across the board as witnessed by the many glowing tributes that have been written since his passing. As well as his scientific credentials Michael was a very kind person. Beneath his apparently gruff exterior he hid great warmth. He was always keen to connect in Ethiopia when he visited from India and would often bring gifts of Swiss chocolate from Dubai. He showed great concern for his staff and colleagues. He had an excellent sense of humour – he was the master of the one-line emails which were often hilarious. Michael was rather shy by personality and would often avoid social gatherings. However, he would occasionally invite a few of us over when we were in Hyderabad and ply us with German beer over which we would while away a pleasant evening. Michael’s passing leaves a huge hole in our programme and his will be difficult shoes to fill. But he left a great legacy and achieved so much in his 20 years with ILRI. May he rest in peace….

Alan Duncan, principal livestock scientist, ILRI

Michael Blümmel’s scientific career embodied talent, productivity and more than occasional brilliance.

In my (former Berkeley) literary life, there were writers we cared about, and then there were the ‘writer’s writers’ we obsessed about. In Michael Blümmel’s technical proficiency, his mastery of his chosen discipline and his passion for science, he exemplified for me the ‘scientist’s scientist’.

Like the ‘writer’s writer’, while widely admired by his scientific colleagues, much of his communications, as critical and precise as only a German’s can be, were technically heavy-going—sometimes obscure to lay publics. He appeared to find it hard to ‘talk down’ to non-scientists, expecting, rather, that we simply apply ourselves to the logic and details of the matter at hand.

But Michael also had a knack for saying the essential things, for wide understanding and appreciation of ‘the big picture’ into which his meticulous science fit and advanced. Once, in just two minutes over a tea break at a research meeting, Michael explained to me in three ‘bullet points’ just why animal feed science was a cornerstone of sustainable development, positioned as it was at the very intersection of the future of environmental, economic and human well-being.

Michael was an exceptionally generous as well as productive scientist. He championed younger colleagues, inspiring confidence and—beyond normal loyalty—what can only be called ‘devotion’ among his many Indian technical staff in Hyderabad, India, where he ran an ILRI feed laboratory at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics for many years. On a field visit I made to his Hyderabad projects many years ago, one after another of his technicians took me aside to tell me that Michael was held in the very highest regard. They could only hope, they said, for the privilege of working with him for the rest of their professional lives.

Those of us at ILRI who had the privilege of working with Michael for many years will badly miss him and his wry sense of humour and kindly eccentricities, his mastery of his field and his scientific integrity, and—not least—his warm and enduring friendship.

Susan MacMillan, team leader, communications, awareness and advocacy, ILRI

The very sad news of Michael’s passing left us shocked in Addis Ababa today. We are deeply saddened and cannot find the right words to express how we feel. We all thought that he will be back from Germany soon to continue the work which he was so passionate about. We enjoyed working with him in various projects. We will carry memories of his hard work and deep knowledge in food-feed research. We say thank you for his innovative ideas, mentorship and immense contributions to the scientific world. He will be dearly missed by colleagues and the partners across the globe.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. We pray that God will comfort them at this sad time. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Siboniso Moyo, director general’s representative in Ethiopia, ILRI

Dr Michael Blummel was a great and true scientist who contributed to ILRI’s feed science in so many ways. His contribution to India is beyond parallels. Michael’s work in India spanned for about three decades. During this period he tirelessly worked to bring together crop and animal scientists of national and international centres for multi-purpose crop improvement. He challenged the conventional fodder development approach and worked on improvement of crop residues with the support of spectroscopic tools. His recent work on deconstruction of ligno-cellulose for converting roughages into concentrates is a pathbreaking venture, which he left for others to complete. It can be declared without doubt that he created a vacuum, which others can’t easily fill.

Padmakumar V, acting head, feed technology research platform, ILRI, Patancheru, India

Dr  Blummel’s association with ILRI India was started in way back year 2000 as a consultant from USDA and then from 2001 he joined as ILRI Animal Scientist for Crop livestock interactions with multi-dimensional crop improvement work. Whereas his association with ILRI (the then ILCA) started way back in year 1980 during his Master’s degree program in University of Aberdeen as a research scholar. During his journey within ILRI and other CG centers and also with NARES he has created many partnerships and path breaking collaborations which led to new dimensions in Full purpose crop improvement work. His vision with meticulous work created and addressed many problems in agriculture and animal agriculture biochemical studies and modelling. His knowledge in spectroscopy & chemometric modelling and integrated sciences, especially created many ground breaking spectroscopic models which are used by many agriculture scientists in across globe and it has become a global phenomenon now….as a mantra like “NIRS Calibration models” besides coupling and synergistics of many other ideas on markets and traders behaviour in feed markets. His focus was always on economically viable technology options whatever project he takes up by involving many stake holders without any disagreements.

Prasad KVSV, feed and forage development, ILRI

Michael was not only a brilliant mind with a meticulous eye for detail, he also had the uncanny ability to translate his research into real world outcomes that impacted people’s lives. He was generous with his time, committed to supporting the learning and development of those around him. We have lost a fantastic colleague and a good friend.

Chris Jones, program leader, feed and forage development, ILRI

This morning, Muhammad Ibrahim informed me the sad news of the departure of Michael Blummel, with whom I had the opportunity to interact several times since the time he was based on India, and later in Addis as the Leader of the Feeds and Feeding Group, as well as under CRP 3.7.

I do recognize that ILRI losses an excellent nutritionist with a clear understanding of what smallholder farmers in developing countries need for improving animal productivity and the livelihoods of the rural poor. His work on food-feed systems was unique and a great contribution for designing and understanding relevant options for improving crop-livestock systems in the tropics. I will always remember Michael as a kind friend and a colleague with whom I enjoyed interacting and learning about new methodologies and approaches for feed evaluation.

In this time of mourning, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family, and the whole ILRI staff, but particularly to his friends and colleagues of the Feed and Forage Development Program, and the Livestock Feeds and Forages Flagship of the CRP-Livestock.    

 —Danilo A. Pezo, researcher/lecturer, livestock & environmental management group, country offices coordinator, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Unlike many people here, I never had the privilege of meeting Michael in person. But I did get to work with him on a chapter for the annual report about his work on feed conversion. The first draft he sent in was technical and written in a way only his fellow scientists could have understood. I was initially intimidated about asking him to simplify the text so that laypeople could follow along. Michael could come off as very precise and exacting in his presentation. But in fact I needn’t have worried—he put up with all my (no doubt naïve) multiple rounds of questions and edits with patience and good humor. As we talked I realized just how extraordinary and interesting his work was—and what promise it held for not only alleviating rural poverty but even potentially at reducing air pollution. I was then relatively new at ILRI and his work helped me understand the broader importance of the work being done by the Institute.

David Aronson, team leader, media and communications, ILRI

A reminder: If you would like to pay your respects, please leave a comment in the comment box below this article as posted on the ILRI News blog site. We will assemble them for a future commemoration and forward them on to Michael’s family.

Correction: Please note that an earlier version of this article stated that Michael Blümmel passed away on Tuesday, 13 October 2020. In fact, he passed away on the night of Monday, 12 October. The text above has been corrected.

44 thoughts on “Remembering Michael Blümmel

  1. I have known Michael from the time he was based in India leading the food-feed crops research projects which we were doing in Ethiopia. He was always keen to integrate the feed aspects of food crops and as such contributed a lot to narrow the gap between the crop and livestock science/scientists. I have known him closely since he was based in Addis and became my direct supervisor. He was always to the point and tells what he wants or thinks direct in simple words and expected the same with no waste of efforts or time. He was clear and focused with special thoughts on what goes in to the farmer’s pocket after all the scientific jargons (he was very sensitive to the science as well). We all miss him and his immense potential. May God comfort all!
    Aberra Adie – Research Officer, Feeds and Forages Development Program, ILRI.

  2. I am deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Michael Blummel, a fantastic colleague and researcher. He did not leave any stone unturned in pursuing his passion for crop cultivars that can produce food and good quality fodder, without tradeoffs. Driven by this passion, he collaborated with crop breeding teams in the development of crop cultivars for the food and feed. His contribution in standardizing NIRS protocols for fodder quality analysis was instrumental in improving fodder quality of the crop cultivars at ICRISAT and national programs in India. His work with CRP-GLDC enabled crop-breeding teams to assess quality of the breeding lines to make selection decisions.

    In this difficult time, my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at ILRI.

    Janila Pasupuleti,
    Principal Scientist (Groundnut Breeding)
    Leader of Flagship on “Variety & Hybrid Development’ of CRP-GLDC
    ICRISAT-Patancheru
    Hyderabad, India

  3. Words don’t express it adequately, but I would only say that the world has lost its highly distinguished and great scientist whose contribution in the field of Animal Nutrition was simply unparalleled. For those of us who have worked under his supervision, the pain is to much to swallow. The untimely death of our icon, mentor, and close friend has left us devastated. A minute of discussion with Michael was like several days of lecture. He was a true genius, who worked tireless to cultivate young scientists, bring the issue of livestock feed development agenda in the forefront, and redesign crop breeding programs across several countries.

  4. The news of Michael Blummel’s death is shocking and very sad. We are simply helpless when death took away our dear one. Well, this is the brutal reality of life as there is no discharge from the call of death. What a reminder that life at best is brief and that life is now. As many have commented, Michael’s passion for his work is exemplary. He successfully merged good science with practical application for the benefit of the rural poor. I have learnt a lot from him over many years of working together on feed issues in West Africa and he will surely be missed!

  5. This news came as a shock, surely to me, and probably to many of ILRI IREC members. Dr Michael Blummel was an ILRI IREC member since 14th March 2018 and thus worked closely with him on many IREC related issues. Sadly, I kept assigning him reviews even a day before Dr Boni shared the news that he passed on! He will be greatly missed by our ILRI IREC fraternity. My thoughts are with his family.

  6. While I didn’t have a chance to meet Michael, his scientific work on the in vitro gas production technique contributed a lot to my MSc studies. Now at ILRI, I was planning to let him know about it but I have not got a chance! May the family be strengthened in such a trying moment.

  7. Dr. Michael was a broad minded scientist not only in his well-known field of Agriculture and Animal Nutrition but also in utilization of technology such as Near Infrared Spectroscopy and its application in agriculture. He was pushing on experimenting different spectroscopy gadgets to get more efficient and cost-effective tool to advance the research in animal nutrition.
    Yonas Asmare, ILRI-Addis Animal Nutrition Lab Technician.

  8. Michael Blummel was a dedicated, thoughtful scientist; always keen to bring the best out of people, especially young scientists. A great mentor; we will miss his attention to detail in project execution and experimentation. He made the challenges of working in places like Malawi a breeze. 2 months before the end of the CLIMM project he would go to eternal rest. The CLIMM team, and I will miss his wisdom and candor. May his family, colleagues and friends find comfort in the knowledge that he made a positive difference in the science he loved and the lives of many. May His Soul Rest In Peace

  9. I am very shocked and saddened by the loss of Dr. Michael Blummel. I had interacted and worked him during the last almost 6 years. He was a great scientist who always willing to help and support. I can witness his helpfulness and supportiveness to many researchers at EIAR and EBI in Ethiopia working. He is someone you always look for to give you to ideas and solutions. His departure is a big loss not only ILRI but also to many researchers across the globe particularly those Africa and Asia. He will always remembered by his work and contribution to nutrition improvement and capacity building.

  10. I knew Michael for many years when I was at ILRI. He was an unusual and surprising character – he could seem gruff and abrasive, he was tough and exacting and loved rigorous technical arguments. Sometimes it seemed he just refused to listen to logic! Then some months later you would suddenly realise he had been listening intently, taken on board what you said that make sense – adjusted to it – and left anything that make sense. Fundamentally he was kind, thoughtful, generous and committed. I didn’t see him after I left ILRI – I always seemed to miss him when he passed through Nairobi. But he made an impression on many people including me. Personally I shall continue to remember evenings around glasses of whiskey and delicatessen goodies brought from around the world to India and rummaging around the Hyderabad fodder markets with him and Mario Hererro. He was a good man as well as a clever one and my sympathies go out to his family

  11. Michael, i’ll remember you as the exemplary scientist of the CGIAR that you were and will remain, the one capable of linking upstream research to impact on the ground, the one that was always trying to reach out. This is how we connected. I liked your directness in the way you talked, no BS, no messing around, straight to the point. I’ll also remember and cherish those moments we shared at the ICRISAT campus in Patancheru, at your house full of books, or when we were coming across in my runs and your walks with Shifta. You were a colleague, you were a friend.

  12. I was very much shocked when I read the recent email with bad news. I could not believe Michael’s death. Michael was an asset for ILRI. He was a person that knows how to use time. I enjoyed working with Michael when he was my second supervisor. Michael was a scientist that would like to see new inventions/creativities. Michael was friendly and a good model for most of us. We will miss him very much. Let his soul rest in peace.

  13. I joined the organization relatively recently (3 years). During this time, I had the opportunity to know several of the qualities of Michael, already posted. His patient guidance in terms of science topics in animal nutrition, so humble and considerate, giving that I come from a different background.
    As a working mother and scientist, I had to attend to one of our meetings in Africa with my baby (I am based in Colombia). The working days were hard, considering the jetlag of both baby and mother, plus the awakening every three hours to feed – nappy change – put baby to sleep (parents would understand my point). I was feeling zombie during the day, and am deeply grateful by the support and understanding of the team. In special, I remember the support provided by Michael. Explaining the topics, covering my back when we needed to guide a conversation to the goal, synthetizing main ideas and so on. I think, this highlights the quality of human being of Michael.
    I feel fortunate for having had the opportunity to meet him and want to send to his family my deepest and most sincere condolences.

  14. Michael brought knowledge, wisdom and passion to the researchers, stakeholders and farmers, in projects like the one in Malawi. He never stopped challenging us with his clear understanding and questioning the way how things were done. I can still see Michael’s smile that took form in so many ways – when our research focus sharpened up, experiencing his joy with the farmers and finding German beer in unexpected places. I will always remember him for his kindness, that came straight from the heart.
    Sending deep sympathies to his family, as well as colleagues and staff at ILRI.

  15. When I heard the news of Michael’s passing, I was deeply shocked and very sad. This is a great loss for the scientific community in general and our livestock community in particular. Michael was a very creative scientist with innovative ideas and a profound knowledge. There was still so much he could have contributed. A good example is his idea on leveraging spin-offs from second-generation biofuel technologies to upgrade animal feeding which could be a potential game changer for animal feeding and the environment.
    Whenever we met for a short chat on Addis campus, I left with some food for thought. I shall truly miss him.
    My deepest condolences to his family and friends!
    Barbara Rischkowsky, Director, Resilient Agricultural Livelihood Systems, ICARDA

  16. Very terrible news when we heard this yesterday.. It is a very sad situation for many of us and most importantly an untimely death..of Dr Michael. We pray God to give strength and comfort to his family members during this tough time.

    Please accept our condolences and prayers.

  17. I was very much shocked when I read the recent email with bad news. I could not believe Michael’s death. Michael was an asset for ILRI. He was a person that knows how to use time. I enjoyed working with Michael when he was my second supervisor. Michael was a scientist that would like to see new inventions/creativities. Michael was friendly and a good model for most of us. We will miss him very much. Let his soul rest in peace.

  18. I was very much shocked when I read the recent email with bad news. I could not believe Michael’s death. Michael was an asset for ILRI. He was a person that knows how to use time. I enjoyed working with Michael when he was my second supervisor. Michael was a scientist that would like to see new inventions/creativities. He was friendly and a good model for most of us. We will miss him very much. Let GOD help his soul rest in peace.

  19. I was very much shocked when I read the recent email with bad news. I could not believe Michael’s death. Michael was an asset for ILRI. He was a person that knows how to use time. I enjoyed working with Michael when he was my second supervisor. Michael was a scientist that would like to see new inventions/creativities. He was friendly and a good model for most of us. We will miss him very much. Let GOD help his soul rest in peace.

  20. I have been saddened and shocked at the news of Michael’s death. I feel like he’s someone I have known for much longer than the two years since I joined the Institute and met him for the first time. From different angle, Michael stood apart as someone special – a leader in his field, a scholar, a mentor for many young scientists, colleague and friend.

    Having worked closely with Michael over the last two years, I have learned a great deal about his remarkable commitment, passion and work ethic to research focused on improving the livelihood and the lives of smallholder farmers through the improvement of mixed crop-livestock farming system. He is one of those people of whom it can truly be said that he made the world a better place, both for those of us who know him in person, and globally for millions of people who never met him, but benefited from his work. In addition to his devotion to his work, Michael has genuine love for his family especially he frequently speaks about his father’s birthday.

    From afar Michael seems to be a quiet and private person. However, he was a person who combined incredible professional achievement with a great sense of humor, courtesy, frank expression of thoughts, kindness, care and compassion to everyone around him. In many ways, Michael had his own style.

    We corresponded throughout until the last few days of his life, and Michael was looking forward with so much optimism about his recovery and return to work. He’s been taken from us so soon. Goodbye Michael, and rest in peace!!

    Getachew Beyoro, Program Manager, feed and forage development, ILRI

  21. I still remember when I first met Michael at the Zebu Club at ILCA in Addis Ababa in 1989 and he started talking to me about roughage evaluation and how to unlock more of that energy in them. He never stopped this passion of developing solutions for better use of low quality forages by smallhoder farmers. For better lives and better environment. When we met last a couple of years ago in Addis we discussed steam explosion of straw and the potential application for the unused or burned straw in Northern India. The finest scientist you could encounter, ready to challenge common views and to bring forward novel thinking with courage. Thank you Michael. I will miss you.

  22. My family and I were greatly saddened by the sudden loss of Michael who was our neighbor (in India), a good friend and colleague. When Michael left India, we adopted his beloved dog Shifta and looked after him. This linked Michael and us more closely. Michael represented the best of CGIAR scientists – he was immensely practical, straight to the point and applied his deep knowledge of feeds and forages to helping smallholder farmers. No nonsense, no institutional barriers, just patiently pushing the science, the partnerships and the innovations to bring highly impactful technologies and practices to crop-livestock farmers right across South Asia and Africa. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Michael’s family and friends and may he rest in peace.
    Anthony Whitbread 16.10.20

    • It is a shocking news to my family. We all knew him very well from our stay in Hyderabad and working with Michael. Michael is quite but he establishes deep relation. His support through during my time at ILRI and latter at my current position is incredible. I learned a lot from Michael and he is high level professional and very kind . My family thoughts , and condolence go out to his family and friends and may he rest in peace!

  23. He was truly genuine, professional and kind person. It is hard to believe that he is gone. Dear Michael, Rest in Peace!

  24. Really I am shocked to hear this Sad News. I can’t believe that he is not with us now. I had long working experience with him. Though, I was not from animal feed back ground, I have learnt so many new ideas on animal feed and its importance in economics of milk production. Always he invoked me to think farmers’ perspective. He always think when a smallholder will accept new feed technology, that we scientist should think. Without knowing his health condition, I wrote mail twice in April and July to enquiry about COVID situation in Germany and his health. I extended my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. May God give strength to his family during this difficulty time. May his soul be at peace in heaven.

  25. What a new Michael, I can’t believe you are not amongst us anymore. For me you were such a gentleman scientist, I met you nearly 20 years ago first in India, a meeting I will never forget. I had met a scientist 150% dedicated to the well being of the smallholder. So, I was so please that you move later to Ethiopia, we could then discuss more and more science. We will all miss you deeply. All my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. Rest in peace Michael, you will always remain in my memory.

  26. Fare thee well, Michael and may your soul rest in eternal peace. ILRI was privileged to have you.

  27. I had the chance to meet and interact with Michael just a couple of times, and everytime we spoke, I could feel the love he had for India and how much he missed being there. This is such a big loss not only to the institute but to the larger scientific community and to the millions of farmers for whom he dedicated his life to. This is a loss which will be hard to come to terms with. May God give his family his loved ones the strength to deal with this loss. Rest in peace. Om shanti Om shanti Om shanti…..

  28. It is so sad to lose such a good person and great scientist. Michael will always help me buy medicines from India for my mom and bring them to Nairobi. You will be missed for your genuine compassion, kindness and scientific talent. Rest in eternal peace and may God comfort your family and close friends during this sad time!
    Roger Pelle

  29. I met Michael during an audit assignment of ILRI office at ICRISAT HQ, I observed he was very at home in Hyderabad and had strong passion and dutiful to his work, and calm and supportive in his approach to various issues we discussed, making all of comfortable around him. We will sadly miss him. May the Lord rest his soul in peace and give comfort to his family.

  30. I heard the bitter news of the sudden demise of Dr Michael Blummel, Deputy Director, Feed and Forages, ILRI who is one of my beloved mentors from my ILRI colleagues, Hyderabad. I never expected that I have to write this in such a short time after leaving ILRI in 2016. I started my journey with Michael Blummel in the year 2003 and continued until his demise. The last mail I received from him is just a week before his demise on a magazine cover story of National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India on his pioneering work and the cover story is “Intensification of Livestock Systems through Multi-Dimensional Crop Improvement Program for Better Livelihoods”. I joined ILRI office, Patancheru, Hyderabad during the year 2012 as a Senior Visiting Scientist under his leadership and continued for 4 years under him. During my stay at ILRI, Patancheru I observed both the dimensions of a task master when it comes to research work and great and kind hearted human being when it comes to help people. Really, he inspired me, poked me, challenged me and accepted me as and when required. As a scientist, I did most satisfied job in my career when I was with him only and I am really fortunate and blessed to that extent. Dr Michael Blummel is a strong believer of science and also publish or perish concept. He made a remarkable contribution to the crop-livestock research and left inerasable big strides in this area of research. No doubt he greatly influenced the crop-livestock scientists globally through his passion for research and improve the livelihoods of small holders. He is the man who showed that crop residues are invaluable and can’t be replaced even in the near future in the mixed crop livestock systems. It’s painful to lose him, but the real tribute from us to him is taking forward his vision and philosophy for the wellbeing of small holder farming society. I convey my deep condolences to the bereaved family and pray the eternal for his soul to rest in peace.

    Dr Y. Ramana Reddy
    Director
    NRLM, NIRDPR
    Hyderabad

  31. I am deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. My condolences. May God give you the peace that you seek.

    Tushar K Dey
    GF-ILRI
    Bangalore, India

  32. I’m deeply sad and feel sorrow when I was heard his passed ,he is a quite and deeply focus every things, he is respect full person and see every people equally and give respect ,kind person .
    I want to say for his family and all people knows him may GOD give you strength in this hard condition.
    Dr. MICHEAL,!
    you never can`t come here again ,But we will come there ,depend on our order, until may almighty GOD rest you in peace.

  33. A great soul that Michael was! He leaves behind fond memories that will last for many years to come among those who knew him. I will miss his soft-spoken words about his passion of finding solutions to nourish both humans and animals through food-feed research. My deep condolences!

  34. On Sunday evening, I sent Michael an email as my Graduate Fellowship supervisor. I was surprised that Monday passed by without a reply. He never delayed in responding to emails. I made a decision to send him a reminder Tuesday evening. Then same day afternoon, I hear he has passed away. What a shock. Very sad.
    I knew Michael in 2017 as the brain behind my PhD studies in a quest to look at better ways to utilize crop and crop residues in Malawi under the CLIMM project. In him, I had a supervisor, a mentor and a scientist of vast knowledge and experience in animal nutrition. In a few words, he could set forth the tone and momentum for the work to be done. And all this is gone with your passing.

    Fare thee well Michael. As your apprentice scientist, I have lost a guide. Commiserations to the family, friends and ILRI family.

  35. I was shocked to read on the ILRI  website the news of the passing of Michael Blummel. I had not heard about his illness and evacuation to Germany. Michael and I  had had some skype conversations a few months back; I needed to pick his brains about some feed innovations I was reviewing. As was usual for Michael, he actively engaged in the conversation, had very thoughtful comments and we talked about getting together here in Germany. This shall not be….
    Many have written about Michael’s focus on science for development, his scientific rigor, his talent for mentoring younger colleagues, his modesty and kindness. I can second all those observations. Michael’s legacy will inspire young colleagues at ILRI and beyond to pursue research ideas at the intersection of solid science and relevance for poor livestock keepers in the global South.

    May his soul rest in peace!

    Carlos Sere

  36. I was literally shocked for a moment and could not digest the news that Dr Michael Blummel is no more and he passed away. He was my supervisor since 2001and trained me in all the areas of animal nutrition. He used to explain every detail with great patience. He shown us the invitro digestibility studies, agronomical data collection, lab biochemical studies, nirs and mobile nirs work. His love for science was unimaginable and always encourage the students to learn more. He used to send us science conferences and asked us to interact with experts of the field to understand more. Dr. Blummel, we all miss you and remember for ever in our hearts. We pray the almighty that your soul must rest in eternal peace. We also convey our heart felt condolences to your family members, friends and fellow colleagues.
    Challuru Rama Krishna Reddy
    ILRI
    Hyderabad

  37. I was literally shocked for a moment and could not digest the news that Dr Michael Blummel is no more and he passed away. He was my supervisor since 2001and trained me in all the areas of animal nutrition. He used to explain every detail with great patience. He shown us the invitro digestibility studies, agronomical data collection, lab biochemical studies, nirs and mobile nirs work. His love for science was unimaginable and always encourage the students to learn more. He used to send us science conferences and asked us to interact with experts of the field to understand more. Dr. Blummel, we all miss you and remember for ever in our hearts. We pray the almighty that your soul must rest in eternal peace. We also convey our heart felt condolences to your family members, friends and fellow colleagues.
    Challuru Rama Krishna Reddy
    ILRI
    Hyderabad

  38. So many valued the excellent science Michael brought to livestock feeding and nutrition – a very daunting and increasingly challenging area for the livestock sector, especially Asia and Africa where his work recently focused. He had the extra gift of being able to translate his work into immediately applicable solutions for farmers small and large, and across a range of livestock subsectors and production systems. His devotion to work was exemplary and less than 2 weeks ago he was to have participated in a workshop supporting a WB financed project we collaborated on in NE India, where considerable of his work was set to be applied. He will be greatly missed. As a testament to the great work he did and the professional person he was, hopefully a symposium might be organized in his memory.
    With deepest sympathies to Michael’s family, friends and colleagues,
    Helen Leitch, FAO Investment Center

  39. I am deeply shocked to hear about the sudden death of my former colleague Michael. We were working together in establishing the first truly regional MSc programme in SADC in the early ’90. Michael was essential in establishing relevant research facilities, etablishing innovative methods in his field of animal nutrition and contributed through lecturing and supervising to train a significant number of students. He was always highly respected by the academic and local community and he is still remembered by all his former students, some of them hold professorships today. Later on, I was very happy that he joined ILRI and the he could develop his ideas further. I am very sorry.

    Clemens Wollny, Dean TH Bingen, Germany

  40. Having spent a substantial period of his time in India, Dr Michael was well known in the nutrition fraternity in India for his scientific contribution and the pioneering effort in promoting food feed crops. His sudden demise came as a shock for many and we found it hard to accept this. People always looked forward to listen to his presentations as his way of approach and scientific vision always made lot of sense and grounded to the real life situations. I had the opportunity to work with him and though he was a man of few words, I always appreciated his passion and commitment to the science, caring nature and his guidance in approaching/addressing an issue. His sudden departure has created a void that would be hard to fill. I personally and professionally lost a guide and mentor and the entire nutrition fraternity here in India will miss him.
    S.Anandan
    ICAR-NIANP,
    Bangalore-India

  41. I join others in expressing my shock and sadness in learning of Michael Blümmel’s passing. His career as a meticulous scientist led to important advancements in multipurpose crop research, including techniques for evaluation. He continually assured that his research provided useful information for both smallholder farmers and the broader scientific audience. I met Michael when he came to Montana to work with us at USDA and teach us new methodologies. While there, he was able to enjoy Montana-life, including a little hunting. We kept in touch through work on manuscripts, reengaging when I moved to ILRI. Joint work on manuscript reviews and editing continued through my time at university and then USAID. I am now glad that I was able to visit with Michael during a trip to Ethiopia last year, not knowing it would be our last. Even though we could butt heads at times, Michael had quite an impact on my life through my research and career choices. He always challenged others to strive for improvement. I know I will continue to think of him often and will feel regret and sadness at not being able to reach out to him. May he rest in peace.

    Elaine Grings
    Cheyenne, Wyoming USA

  42. I heard about demise of beloved scientist and mentor when I was taking a lecture. I was shocked and unable to believe. Still there is a feeling that he is with us guiding us. I knew Dr Blummel since 2010, He was mentor and advisor for the master thesis. Since then working with him in many projects, he is very professional and give space for all collogues to contribute development through intellectual way. He was key in my professional growth and I pray for his soul rest in peace. Let us continue working hard towards his vision for sustainable livestock growth through availability of quality and quantity feed.

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