From a childhood spent on his family’s farm to his work as a West Virginia University professor of reproductive physiology, Keith Inskeep has spent a lifetime concerned with the well-being and profitability of sheep. So it’s only natural that he’s assumed a leadership role with one of the industry’s major research publications.

Inskeep has been named editor of the Sheep and Goat Research Journal, published online by the American Sheep Industry Association. The Sheep & Goat Research Journal was launched in the 1980s because sheep producers, extension professionals, researchers and others saw the need for a vehicle where practical, adaptive sheep research could be published. The Journal provides authors an avenue to publish peer-reviewed research.

In 2005, the Journal, once only published periodically, became an online forum for current scientific, peer-reviewed information that is ready to be utilized in the field by sheep producers.

“I view being asked to take the editor role as a huge honor and responsibility,” Inskeep said. “I have been thinking about how to maintain and grow the Journal, and how to make it more valuable to more readers.”

The Journal accepts research-based submissions on a wide variety of topics that advance the American sheep and goat industries in the realm of production and marketing, communicating sound science to producers and other industry affiliates.

“The journal serves researchers in sheep and goat management and sheep and goat producers,” Inskeep explained. “The goal is to report sound science in terms that laypersons can understand and apply to their businesses.”

Inskeep has amassed considerable experience in communicating science to producers in his over 40 years on the faculty of WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. He is also one of the founding scholars behind the creation of the West Virginia Small Ruminant Project in 1998.

The project, a collaborative effort among the Davis College, WVU Extension Service and West Virginia Department of Agriculture, helps farmers increase the economic efficiency and overall profitability of their small ruminant enterprises through improved production practices and through the introduction of new technologies to help revitalize this industry in West Virginia and the surrounding region.

Project research extends in a number of different directions, from breeding to health to marketing. Inskeep and his colleagues have studied and promoted of out-of-season breeding to meet seasonal and regional demand for lamb. Davis College faculty have recently embarked on studies to address one of the sheep industry’s most pressing problems, drug-resistant parasites. Sheep have been incorporated into the Davis College’s research and outreach into feed efficiency.

Use of data on residual feed intake as a measure of feed efficiency is a major thrust of the Small Ruminant Project in the Ram Lamb Performance Test at Wardensville. This test, done in cooperation with WVU Extension and West Virginia Purebred Sheep Breeders, helps producers identify animals that show maximum growth with minimum feed input. This year’s test sale at Wardensville on Saturday, July 21, will offer performance-tested and fall-born ewe lambs, some of which are products of out-of-season research by Inskeep and graduate student Matthew Deacon on a cooperating farm.

-WVU-

dw/07/10/12

CONTACT: David Welsh; Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
304.293.2394; dwelsh@wvu.edu

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