Montana Sheep Specialist Receives National Wool Excellence Award


Dr. Rodney Kott, who spent more than three decades implementing sheep and wool educational programs as the Montana State University extension sheep specialist and was instrumental in the development and continuing evolution of the National Sheep Improvement Program, will receive the esteemed American Wool Council Wool Excellence Award during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) Annual Convention taking place in Reno, Nevada Jan. 28-31, 2015. 

Kott, along with fellow wool industry veteran Parvez Mehta, will be honored during the Wool Recognition lunch on Thursday, Jan. 29. 

Raised on a sheep and cattle farm near Fredericksburg, TX., Dr. Kott received his B.S. and M.S. from Texas A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in 1980. 

After graduation, he joined Montana State University (MSU) as an Assistant Professor of Animal Science and Extension Sheep Specialist. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986, became a full professor in 1994 and served in that position until his retirement in 2013. 

During his 33 years at MSU, Dr. Kott made significant contributions to teaching, extension, research and service to MSU and the State of Montana as well as the national sheep industry. At MSU, Dr. Kott developed programs for providing educational support to county agents and producers in areas of sheep management, nutrition, breeding, reproduction and wool production. 

With his participation in the Sheep and Skeen Institutes, Dr. Kott reinvigorated the wool pools in Eastern Montana enabling them to participate in a global market. 

“Dr. Kott has been the standard bearer in establishing extension programs that are timely, relevant and of high value to individual sheep producers and the agriculture community,” said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI's wool marketing director. “He reinvigorated the Montana wool pools so that they may participate in a global market.” 

Douglas Steele, vice provost and former director of the Montana State University Extension, said that Dr. Kott has the unique ability to take research-based knowledge and put it to practical use for sheep producers in Montana and the West. 

“While Dr. Kott is a recognized leader in the field of Extension sheep education and outreach, I believe that it is his personal characteristics that set him apart from others. He has the highest level of integrity, his energy level is unsurpassed and he quietly leads by example,” said Steele. 

The Wool Excellence Award is sponsored by the Wool Roundtable, which includes representatives from various segments of the wool trade, such as wool research, buying, production, warehousing, processing and fabric manufacturing. 



Source:  American Sheep Industry Press Release

Posted by Jami Howell

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