A longtime West Texas sheep and goat industry leader was recently recognized with the renaming of a wool and mohair research laboratory and with the creation of an endowment to help support it.
The newly named Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory is located at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. The endowment is the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Foundation Fund. The interest from the fund, with an initial target goal of $25,000, will be used to pay a student worker or to purchase equipment for the lab.
Sims is a rancher, former county AgriLife extension agent, past executive director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association (TSGRA) and a retired Texas state senator. He was instrumental in getting the research laboratory equipment moved to Texas after a U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service laboratory closed in Albany, Calif., in 1983, said Chris Lupton, Ph.D., the AgriLife research scientist who has headed the lab since its San Angelo opening.
Sims continued his support by also helping to secure funding to house and operate the facility at San Angelo.
Lupton said San Angeloans Pierce Miller, past president of the TSGRA, the American Sheep Industry Association, State Representative Drew Darby and John Walker, Ph.D., AgriLife director of research at the center, all helped secure the authority needed to make the name change, which became official at ceremonies held during the center's Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day on Sept. 2.
Lupton said the laboratory started operations in San Angelo in 1985 to address specific needs in the national sheep and goat, wool and mohair research programs. It is one of only four in the nation.
Those wishing to contribute to the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Foundation Fund may do so by sending checks payable to: San Angelo Area Foundation with Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Foundation Fund on the memo line. Mail checks to: San Angelo Area Foundation, 2201 Sherwood Way, Suite 205, San Angelo, Texas 76901.