UW hires livestock specialistWritten by Christy Hemken
Lake, who hails originally from a cow/calf operation in Nevada, returned to Laramie in September from Purdue University, where he’s been a faculty member for the last three years. Previously Lake received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Reno, Nev. and attended the University of Wyoming for his PhD in animal science.
“When the opportunity came to get back to the West I jumped at it,” says Lake of his move back across the Mississippi. “Purdue’s a good school, and I learned a lot, but it’s good to be back in the West.”
Lake will work in Laramie in cooperation with UW Extension Beef Specialist Steve Paisley, who has moved his office to the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) in Lingle.
“Although I’m stationed in Laramie, a lot of our research will occur throughout the state at UW’s research centers and with producers,” says Lake. “We’re going to look at developing heifers and feeder calves on low-input systems and how that affects the longevity of the females and the carcass merits of the steers.”
He says the same studies will be conducted for sheep. “There’s not a lot of traditional work with sheep – especially ewe lambs,” says Lake. “We’ll also do some multi-species grazing work that will combine beef and sheep in the same pastures to see how that affects both forage quality and stocking.”
“We hope to get together as much as possible,” says Paisley of working with Lake. “The day-to-day management of the beef herd in Laramie will fall to Scott as he gradually takes over responsibility for the beef herd. We’ll have the grazing and the feedlot with a small herd at Lingle, and the replacement heifer, bred heifer and bred cow work will be done at Laramie.”
Paisley says he and Lake will also work together on things like the Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association, the Beef Quality Assurance program and the Range Beef Cow Symposium. “The hope is we’ll both find some natural fits and comfort levels, and as we discover those we may get a little more specific in how we share responsibilities,” he says.
“I’m excited about the new Livestock Specialist position because it’s a prime example of one plus one equaling more than one,” says Paisley. To date, Paisley has carried all responsibilities between the SAREC and Laramie herds. “I’m very excited about this. Scott has got some UW ties and he’ll work into the program very well.”
“Scott’s got ties to the West and he’s got a great background. It was obvious when we interviewed him that he has the ability to communicate with producers and tie things into Wyoming ranching,” says Paisley.
“I enjoy the producer aspect of working with Extension,” says Lake of his new job. “If we can help increase the profitability and sustainability of the producer – that makes the job worthwhile. It’s great to be back in the West.”