Kott Retires after many Years of Service
(Nov. 1, 2013) At a retirement party in Miles City, Mont., in September nearly 300 people attended the “Roast and Toast” for Rodney Kott, Ph.D., long-time professor and sheep extension specialist from Montana State University (MSU). Friends, sheep industry members, former students and graduate students, colleagues and MSU staff, all commented on the role that Kott has had in the sheep industry during his career.
Kott’s accomplishments are many, but what is greatly appreciated is his dedication to the sheep industry and the many producers throughout the state of Montana. All of his research and extension efforts have been based on the goal of helping producers.
Kott received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and his doctorate from New Mexico State University in 1980. Kott then became the extension sheep specialist at MSU. Kott has provided leadership to Montana sheep extension programs for more than 33 years and more recently included activities at the Montana Wool Laboratory.
Through the years, Kott has been involved in national efforts such as targeted grazing, the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) and the Certified Wool Classing Program. In Montana, Kott has been involved in the utilization of sheep to manage invasive plants (targeted grazing), the restructuring of the wool pool marketing system and the use of genetic records at the Miles City Ram Sale. Research emphasis includes winter supplementation, lamb survival, objective measurement of wool and more recently the development of genetic records and selection indexes in sheep, and residual feed intake.
Kott received the Extension Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 1996; Hall of Fame from the U.S. Targhee Association in 2005; Outstanding Extension Worker from MSU Extension in 2007; Agency Weed Fighter from the Montana Weed Control Association in 2008; and the Flocktender Award from the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) in 2009. Kott continues to work closely with the Montana Wool Growers Association and ASI.
Upon retirement, Kott and his wife, Sharon, plan to move to Texas to the Kott family ranch near Fredericksburg.