Contact: Rusty Burgett, National Sheep Improvement Program
NSIP Hires Program Director
Harlan, Iowa [April 3, 2015] – The National Sheep Improvement Program will enter a new era when Rusty Burgett takes on the position of Program Director in mid-April. Burgett will be the first paid program director for the organization in many years.
“I’m ready for this, and NSIP is ready for this,” says Burgett, who has served as treasurer on NSIP’s Board of Directors for the past 18 months. “It’s exciting breaking new ground and taking NSIP to a new level.”
NSIP Board Chairman Reid Redden says, “NSIP is thrilled to have Rusty on board. He’s an extremely well-qualified addition to our program and our mission.”
Burgett hails from Ohio, by way of Ohio State, Iowa State, and University of Wisconsin-Madison sheep programs. He holds a Masters degree in ruminant nutrition, and has experience in the production, meat, and research sectors of the industry.
In his most recent position, he directed the nation’s only dairy sheep research program at the University of Wisconsin’s Spooner Agricultural Research Station. “We dealt with all facets there,” says Burgett, “nutrition, reproduction physiology, genetic improvement.”
In his new role for NSIP he will be based in Ames, Iowa.
Education and awareness are primary goals of NSIP, and Burgett will be traveling the country meeting with producers in all facets of the industry.
“NSIP advocates industry improvement through technology. My goal is to educate those within the industry about the advantages of quantitative genetic selection,” says Burgett. “Everyone, all up and down the production chain, can benefit as we strive to help the industry meet consumer demands.”
“It’s important that both seedstock and commercial producers understand this technology to help move the industry forward,” echoes Redden.
In addition to expanding NSIP’s education opportunities, Burgett will be providing leadership to NSIP which until now has been a committee-based, volunteer-driven effort. “These incredibly devoted people have done a great job, but they all have professional commitments as well as their own flocks to manage. I will be able to devote my full attention to NSIP,” says Burgett.
“Burgett is very passionate about the industry,” says Redden, “and we’re always looking for ways to improve our effectiveness. NSIP is the only American organization to offer U.S. sheep producers a proven genetic selection system by which to improve flock productivity and quality. We’re grateful to be able to seize this opportunity to expand our reach and message.”
“Being associated with NSIP has been a fun ride so far, and I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going,” adds Burgett. “Our goal is for all producers and all breeds to work together toward a common goal – the continued improvement of the American Sheep Industry.”
Burgett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-708-8850. More information on the National Sheep Improvement Program can be found at www.nsip.org