Company: Department of Animal, Dairy & Veterinary Science, Utah State University
Location: Logan, Utah, United States
Dr. Lyle G. McNeal, Professor in the Department of Animal, Dairy & Veterinary Science at Utah State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in science education.
An expert in sheep and wool production and international and national range management, Dr. McNeal has dedicated more than 50 years to pursuing his calling. He started his professional journey as a ranch hand at Bar Lazy B Ranch in Montana in 1959 and quickly worked his way up through the industry. He became an assistant ranch manager for Hidden Trails, Ltd., in California in 1960, a swine herdsman and a horse handler in the Animal Husbandry Department of California State Polytechnic University in 1961, a shepherd in the Animal Husbandry Department of California State Polytechnic University in 1962, and a manager and co-owner of Quaking Aspen Ranch and a graduate research assistant at the University of Nevada in 1964.
In 1966, Dr. McNeal joined the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension as an extension agent, and in 1969, he joined the Animal Science Department of California Polytechnic State University as a professor. Other positions include seasonal staff scientist for the United States Sheep Experiment Station through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, associate staff scientist for the International Sheep and Goat Institute at Utah State University, administrator of the Animal and Equine Science Internship Program, and cofounder of the American Polypay Sheep Association. He has been a professor in the Department of Animal, Dairy & Veterinary Science at Utah State University since 1979 and a faculty adviser of the Sheep and Goat Club at the school since 2003.
One of the highlights of Dr. McNeal’s career came in 1977, when he became the founding director of the Navajo Sheep Project at Utah State University. Through the project, he rescued the first domestic sheep brought to North America by the Spanish conquistadors from extinction and saved and bred the famous Navajo-Churro sheep for the benefit of Navajo and Hispanic cultures. He remains with the project as a technical consultant. Dr. McNeal is also proud of his roles as the author of the “Wool Grading and Fleece Evaluation Training Manual” for the USDA-IIRD Program, the author of magazine columns for Livestock Q and A and Hobby Farms through EG Media Investment, LLC, and the author of “Small Ruminant Production Medicine and Management” for Animal Health Publications. Over the years, he has also authored pieces like “In Your Hands, Do-it-Yourself Veterinary Guide,” for Hobby Farms Magazine,” and co-authored pieces like “An Introduction to Sheep and Goat Parasite Management in Hawai’i.”
Dr. McNeal prepared for his endeavors by earning a a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from California State Polytechnic University in 1964, a Master of Science in animal breeding and range management from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1966, and a PhD in the physiology of reproduction and range science at Utah State University in 1978. Additionally, he was certified as an OFDA Australian wool tester by the American Sheep Industry Association in 2010, and certified in radiological monitoring by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense in 1966. He garnered hands-on experience in a variety of ways, including as a feeder, handler, brooder, egg collector, sanitation worker, and packaging worker at Liggett Farms, as a cattle feeder in Feed Mill Operations at the Ellsworth Feedyard, as a resident live-in and general horse manager at Gimple Training Stables, and as a veterinarian’s assistant to Dr. Kurt A. Schilling, DVM, P.C.
In recognition of his hard work and dedication, Dr. McNeal was selected to receive the Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award from Utah State University in 2017, the Animal Science Professor of the Year Award from Utah State University and the Foreign Agricultural Service Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Iraq in 2013, and the Foreign Agricultural Service Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Armenia in 2011. He was further honored with the United States Army Freedom Award from Utah State University in 2009, the U.S. Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation between 2007 and 2008, the National Faculty Advising Award from NACADA in 2005, the Robbins Award for Faculty Adviser of the Year from Utah State University in 2004, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Utah Wool Growers in 2004. Other notable accolades include a National Excellence in Teaching Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a Goldtooth Begay Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award from ASAS, the Camptender Award from the American Sheep Industry Association, and the America’s Conservation Breeder of the Year Award from The Livestock Conservancy. His achievements have been highlighted in 12 editions of Who’s Who in America and two of Who’s Who in the World.
Looking to the future, Dr. McNeal intends to indulge himself in his love for history, World War II, and the Indian Wars. His interest stems from his own service as an operations officer for the 125th Composite Squadron and a pilot for the 2848th Air Base Wing of the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962 and as a first lieutenant at the Norton Air Force Base through the United States Air Force from 1959 to 1961.
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