Professional Highlights

Over the years, I’ve been involved in many wonderful projects and programs, and I’ve helped quite a few folks. Here are some of my significant activities:

  • Wrote the book: From The Feed Trough – Essays and Insights on Livestock Nutrition in a Complex World
  • Self-sustaining private Rancher Study Groups. I am the facilitator.
    • I developed the program where groups of producers (and other interested agricultural professionals) meet monthly to take pasture walks, network, exchange ideas and suggestions, and learn about technical subjects. I facilitate three forage groups in western Oregon. These groups began in 1995, 2000, and 2002 respectively, and are currently very active. We have held a total of more than 500 meetings.
  • Private, multi-week courses in Forage & Pasture Management, Livestock Nutrition.
    • I have developed and taught 18 of these courses, held in various places in western Oregon. Courses meet once each week for 8-10 weeks. For farmers, ranchers, ag personnel, veterinarians, beginner farmers, long-time producers, agency employees, etc. Very practical, based on rock-solid science. These courses provide students with a framework of knowledge so they can make better decisions more often.
  • Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, Cornell University, Dept of Animal Science
    • My Ph.D. degree dissertation was “Weaning Lambs To Dry Diets at 14 Days of Age: Studies on Their Management and Physiology” (completed in 1984). My M.S. degree thesis was “The Effects of Butylene and Propylene Glycol on Fatty Acid Synthetase Activity and VFA Utilization in Fattening Lambs” (completed in 1978). My Cornell training was superb. The world-famous faculty, my top-notch graduate student colleagues, and the tough courses comprised one of the great, most highly-respected Animal Science departments in the world.
  • Writer, monthly column for The Shepherd magazine.
    • The column is called “From The Feed Trough . . .” It’s usually about livestock nutrition, but it can also be about forages, grazing, genetics, history, and whatever else I write about. I’ve been writing these columns since 1993.
  • Created the videotapes Lambing Time Management
    • 3-videotape set, 2.5 hours of instruction. Together with Dr. Don Bailey, DVM, Oregon we formed a partnership called Garden Valley Productions. These videotapes were marketed from 1993-2010. Unfortunately, no longer available.
  • ASI Sheep Production Handbook, Editor & Contributor
    • I helped develop the 1992 and 1997 editions of the classic ASI (SID) Sheep Production Handbook, especially designing the user-friendly reference sections to help readers find information. Also wrote the “Intensive Grazing Management Systems” section of the Forages Chapter, 2002 edition.
  • State Extension Sheep and Beef Cattle Specialist, Wisconsin
    • 1980s. faculty, Dept. Animal Sciences, University of Wisconsin. Statewide responsibilities for information transfer and educational leadership, especially concerning nutrition and management.
  • NSIP, Operations Manager
    • 1999-2001. The National Sheep Improvement Program — the American genetic program using EPDs (now called EBVs). I helped reorganize NSIP into a decentralized system, wrote the data-entry spreadsheets, coordinated the data coordinators. and conducted many genetic workshops. I became the operations manager after NSIP had effectively stopped functioning, and I was instrumental in putting it back on its feet.
  • Allegheny Highlands Project, West Virginia
    • 1970s — This was a legendary livestock project. I was assistant animal scientist on a team of professionals (animal scientist, agronomist, ag economist, veterinarian), working with beef cattle and sheep producers in the mountains of West Virginia. A innovative forerunner and prototype for the Integrated Resource Management programs that are used throughout today’s livestock world.
  • National Shearing School Program, Co-coordinator
    • 1987-1995, Co-coordinator. Together with Sherril Wells, a dean at a local Oregon community college, and also utilizing instructors from the New Zealand Wool Board. This financially self-sufficient program conducted as many as 14 shearing schools each spring (six 5-day beginner schools and eight 3-day advanced schools) across the U.S. This was nearly 20 years before ASI became involved with shearing instruction.
  • United States Shearing Championship Committee, Executive Secretary
    • This organizational committee existed from 1993-1998. We organized teams to compete in World Shearing Championships in Wales (1994), New Zealand (1996) and Ireland (1998), the New Zealand Shearing Championships (1994), and also the U.S. Championship in Dixon, CA (1993, 1994).
  • Shearing sheep
    • Yes, I did this (semi-)professionally, all through graduate school and in Wisconsin and then Oregon until around 2000. I’m afraid that we all get older. But I can still do it, long blow and all, including knowing how to set the gear.
  • Peace Corps Volunteer, Sarawak, Malaysia
    • A long long time ago, in a distant universe, I served for 2 1/2 years in the Peace Corps. My posting was in Sarawak, East Malaysia (on the island of Borneo). I worked in the Public Health Department and spent lots of time in longboats (dugout canoes) going to upriver villages (longhouses). Main things relevant here are that I gained appreciation for how other people lived, that there are many ways of accomplishing things, and the it’s so important to walk in another person’s shoes before giving advice.