Small Ruminant Extension Specialist hired

Contact: Dave Thomas, 608-263-4306, dlthomas@wisc.edu

The University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension; the University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Department of Animal Sciences; and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) created a new position through joint funding to serve the sheep and goat industries of Wisconsin. These organizations are pleased to announce that Dr. Claire Mikolayunas has been hired into the new position of Small Ruminant Extension Specialist.

Claire will provide state-wide educational leadership in sheep and goat production for small ruminant owners and develop programs to improve net farm income in the production of meat and milk from sheep and goats, wool from sheep, and mohair and cashmere from goats.

Claire grew up in Maryland and completed a B.S. degree in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. She obtained her graduate degrees from UW-Madison with an M.S. degree in Agronomy and Animal Sciences in 2006 and a Ph.D. degree in Animal Sciences in 2010. Her graduate research was focused on nutrition of grazing dairy ewes and was conducted at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station.

She has practical experience in small ruminant production through working on commercial sheep farms, owning her own small dairy sheep flock, and working on a goat dairy farm. She has worked as a program assistant for the Dairy Goat Initiative of WDATCP and is currently employed as the Dairy Sheep Specialist with the Dairy Business Innovation Center in Wisconsin. Claire served as President of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America in 2008 and 2009.

She will be officed in the Department of Animal Sciences on the UW-Madison campus and can be reached at the Animal Science Building, 1675 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706 or mikolayunas@wisc.edu starting Monday, August 2, 2010.

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