2017 John Shelle

Block & Bridle Honoree


Dr. John Shelle hails from Medina, Michigan. At nine years of age, he started working after school and in the summers at Taylor Pony Farm in Hudson. He traveled the U.S. with his brother-in-law Dr. Tom Taylor showing ponies. He continued working for Taylor Pony Farm throughout high school and while attending Jackson Community College. After transferring to MSU he completed his Animal Husbandry degree in 1973. He was hired by Professor Byron Good to manage the Horse Teaching and Research Center where he had worked during his undergraduate program. As farm manager, he expanded the Arabian Breeding Program and provided the opportunity for students to train and show MSU Arabians at state and regional shows. At that time he completed his MS (1980) and PhD (1984) degrees under the guidance of Dr. Duane Ullrey. He was hired in 1984 by Dr. Ron Nelson to start the Institute of Agricultural Technology Horse Management Program and peripherally develop the Animal Science Horse Program, and to be the Faculty Coordinator at the Horse Teaching and Research Center. During his tenure in the Animal Science Department, Dr. Shelle taught over 25 different courses and advised over 1000 Students. He served as the advisor to the Block and Bridle Club for seven years, the MSU Horseman’s Association for eleven years, the MSU Polo Club for nine years, and the MSU Equestrian Team for twelve years, and coached the Horse Judging Team for eighteen years. Dr. Shelle served as the department’s Undergraduate Program Coordinator (2005-2015) and Associate Department Chairperson (2009-2015). Other recognitions he has received include: the Institute of Agricultural Technology Outstanding Faculty Member, Alpha Zeta Distinguished Faculty Teacher, CANR Outstanding Advisor, CANR Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Member, Distinguished Study Abroad Service Award recipient, the Camden Endowed Creativity/Teacher/Scholar, Outstanding Contributions to the Michigan Horse Industry from the Arabian Horse Association of Michigan, the National Horse Judging Team Coaches Association Leadership Award, the Michigan Horse Council Industry Catalyst Award, and the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society Outstanding Educator Award.