Dr. Ben Bartlett, recently retired from Michigan State University where he worked as extension dairy and Livestock agent (for which he received MSU’s Distinguished Extension Academic Staff award), shares his expertise as a livestock consultant specializing in grazing practices, low stress animal handling, and new enterprise analysis. Trained as a veterinarian, Dr. Bartlett is also a certified Educator in Holistic Management and served as past board chairman of Holistic Management International, a private non-profit foundation promoting healthy and profitable land management. He was chairman of the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) committee; acted as co-leader for 10 Michigan and Great Lakes Grazing Conferences; a member of the Upper Peninsula Wolf Management Taskforce and published a self-funded Ag Newsletter for over 13 years. Throughout all these actives he has, with his wife, owned and operated Log Cabin Livestock, a cattle and sheep grazing operation in Traunik Michigan.
He has won numerous awards and has extensive international experience, studying grassland and grazing systems throughout the world.
The following excerpt highlights perfectly why Dr Bartlett has been invited as a keynote speaker and workshop presenter.
“Ben Bartlett has three decades of experience with Michigan State University prior to his retirement and has been one of the most visible figures in upper Midwestern grazing. Ben and his wife operate a 640 acre grass farm in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 2011 Ben and his wife lambed 400 ewes, produced 640 lambs and backgrounded 200 dairy steers. Ben has been a leader in the Holistic Management school of grazing and has applied these principles to his farm where over the past thirty years he has dealt with the encroachment of woodlands and predatory wildlife including bear, wolves and coyote. Holistic Management is often considered to be a Western rangeland management system. Ben will share how its principles are applicable in northern environments, or wherever grazing is practiced.”
Dr. Lyle McNeal, Sheep, Wool and Range Specialist, is a Carnegie Professor at Utah State University. This prestigious award recognizes ‘outstanding professors for their influence on teaching and their commitment to teaching undergraduate students’. This is only one in a long list of teaching awards conferred on Dr. McNeal making him one of the land-grant university system's most decorated teachers.
As well as teaching some of the largest enrollment courses within the College of Agriculture, he serves as the Animal Science Program Faculty Coordinator, Honors Adviser, Internship and Cooperative Extension Supervisor, adviser to the USU Sheep Club, and academic adviser to more than 125 animal science majors and minors, and a member of the Curriculum Committee. He has served as a member of the Utah Wool Growers Association and the USU annual "Sheep and Goat Day" Planning Committee since its inception.
In addition to his skills as an educator, Dr. McNeal is widely known and respected for his work with the Navajo Nation. Together with his wife, he founded the Navajo Sheep Project; Serving People, Preserving Cultures, Inc., est, 1977. His almost 30 years of pioneering work in genetic conservation of domestic animals with the Navajo-Churro sheep, and outreach education in the Intermountain West and on the Navajo Nation has brought national and international recognition to that program. On the reservation, Lyle McNeal was adopted by the Begay family, who called him "The Blue-Eyed Warrior."
Lyle and his wife, Nancy have been married for 50 years (this year), have eight children (4 boys and 4 girls), a Navajo foster daughter and ten grandchildren.
This is not Dr. McNeal’s first trip to Alaska. In 1997 he judged the sheep and fiber show at the Alaska State Fair, Palmer and gave presentations to Alaska sheep producers – and many years ago, did fiber analysis in his Wool & Animal Fiber Lab at USU, for the Musk Ox Project in Palmer’. Welcome back Dr. McNeal!