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UW Extension recognized

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

UW Extension recognized

University of Wyoming (UW) Extension Sheep Specialist Whit Stewart and recent alumnus Ryan Knuth received honors from the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science (WSASAS).

Stewart, who is also an associate professor of animal science, earned the 2022 WSASAS Extension Award. Knuth, a recent PhD graduate in animal and veterinary science, received the Young Scholar Award. 

Awards were presented at the 2022 WSASAS Section meeting in Park City, Utah on Sept. 22.

Extension award

A skilled juggler of research, teaching and Extension programming, Stewart exemplifies the Extension mission of service and outreach.

“While Whit is a respected and accomplished researcher himself, his ability to apply results from his and other’s experiments to real-life production scenarios is perhaps his best professional attribute,” writes one nominator.

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Stewart coordinates the UW Intercollegiate Wool Judging Team, organizes ram tests at the UW Laramie Research and Extension Center, helps manage the UW research flock and coordinates and judges the Wyoming State Fair wool contest. He also coordinates the Wyoming 4-H Wool Judging program and has organized educational programs at ram sale symposiums in Montana and Wyoming. 

He has published more than 40 Extension publications on topics ranging from sheep parasite management to mineral requirements and supplementation. He is an enthusiastic advocate for producers and the sheep industry.

“Dr. Stewart is very well known by sheep producers in the state of Wyoming and beyond and is highly respected and valued for his thoughtful approach to helping solve problems,” a colleague comments. “He also has an intrinsic ethic of service motivating him to respond proactively to the needs of producers.”

Young Scholar Award

UW graduate Ryan Knuth was one of three researchers selected for the 2022 Young Scholar Award, which celebrates the accomplishments of current or recent PhD and Master of Science students in the Western U.S.

Knuth completed his doctorate at UW in August 2022 and recently accepted a faculty position at the Minnesota West Community & Technical College in Pipestone, Minn.

His doctoral research focused on the microbial communities of ewes, lambs and the environment, aiming to identify possible pathways for bacteria to enter the mammary gland and cause mastitis. 

Published in multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, this research has contributed to the accumulation of excellent datasets, comments Bledar Bisha, head of the UW Animal Science Department and one of Knuth’s advisors.

“He is without a doubt one of the most productive graduate students I’ve had the honor to work with,” Bisha notes. “Ryan is a lifelong learner, consistently able to learn new techniques, and inclined to incorporate novel approaches as an investigator.”   

Knuth says he hopes both scientists and producers can use and build on his research findings to continue improving sheep performance, production and profitability.

This article is provided by University of Wyoming Communications and Technology Writer and Editor Brooke Ortel. Send comments on this article to

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