Nicholas Rood Ittner was born in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. The family moved to California when he was a child. He graduated from UC Davis in 1934.
Following graduation, Nick was Swine Herdsman at the great Fontana Farms Company, Fontana, California. He returned to Davis after four years, assuming the research position he held until his passing.
From 1942 to 1946 he served as an officer in the United States Army in the North African campaign and Normandy landing.
Upon his return to the University in 1946, he was assigned to the Meloland Experiment Station in the Imperial Valley as a Specialist in Animal Husbandry. His research record was outstanding. During the 16 years he served the University he authored or coauthored more than 45 research publications. His research programs were carefully planned and meticulously executed. Some of his early studies were with Elmer Hughes on Swine Nutrition. Later he cooperated with the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Research Service, USDA, in a series of very fruitful studies concerning livestock adaptation to hot climates. Two of these joint papers were selected as being among the five outstanding papers in Agricultural Engineering for the years 1950 and 1954 and a third was selected as most outstanding for 1955.
Nick is remembered for his devotion to his research and his pleasant, happy personality. He was interested in the American Society of Animal Production and was a regular contributor to the Journal of Animal Science. He always kept close contact with his Davis colleagues. In fact, he was on his way to report on some of his recent research results when he met his untimely death.