Chad Page Earns Sheep Heritage Scholarship

Chad Page Earns Sheep Heritage Scholarship

Arizona native Chad Page has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Sheep Heritage Foundation’s Memorial Scholarship.

It should come as no surprise that Page picked up the award in his second attempt, as he studied under three previous winners while pursuing his master’s degree in animal and range sciences at Montana State University: Megan Van Emons (2011), Tom Murphy (2013) and Whit Stewart (2014).

“I’m very honored to receive this scholarship,” said Page, who is now working under Stewart at the University of Wyoming as he pursues his doctorate in animal science and ruminant nutrition. “I first heard about it in the ASI Weekly newsletter when I was still in Montana, and then I found out that three of my professors had won the scholarship in the past. I’m honored to join them on that list.”

Page grew up with sheep and goats on a hobby farm in Arizona. He served on a two-year mission in Brazil with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints before attending Brigham Young University-Idaho and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in animal health and veterinarian science.

“I have been fortune in my career to work with some of the most passionate sheep scientists in the United States, both Dr. Thomas Murphy and Dr. Whitney Stewart,” Page wrote in his application. “Working with these sheep specialists has provided plenty of opportunities to serve the sheep industry. I am an ultrasound technician for the National Sheep Improvement Program, managed the Montana centralized ram test, and have spoken at multiple sheep extension meetings about applicable research, including my own.

“The first project that I carried out in my master’s program quantified trace mineral status in Montana ram lambs. Twenty-one sheep operations across the state participated in the study. The results from this study provided valuable information for ranchers and livestock nutrition companies. A new sheep mineral premix for the western half of Montana was developed based on our findings. I conducted a follow-up study investigating the effects zinc has on ram development. The findings from that study showed that dietary zinc concentrations above current recommendations increased average daily gain and wool growth in Targhee rams.

“I have authored two proceeding papers in the American Society of Animal Science western section, two extension papers and an article in the Montana Wool Growers magazine. I co-authored grant proposals that were funded by the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the Zinpro Corporation. I currently have a journal article discussing the Montana mineral survey accepted with revisions, and other projects from my master’s soon to be published. I hope to continue to produce and teach valuable and applicable information for the sheep industry and its producers.”

Page said he’d love to serve as an extension sheep specialist in the future, but would also be comfortable working in a nutrition role within in the industry.

“The objectives of my current research are to evaluate the effects of supplemental zinc on zinc status, lamb growth performance, lamb survivability and prevalence of mastitis in ewes supplemented varying concentrations of zinc during gestation. I am currently conducting this research at the University of Wyoming, while similar aspects are being conducted with our collaborators at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and Montana State University. We have completed the first year of our study with preliminary data showing increased lamb survivability with increasing supplemental zinc to ewes in gestation.”

Stewart offered a glowing recommendation letter as part of Page’s application for the scholarship.

“Chad is as comfortable speaking and working with sheep producers as he is in the laboratory or teaching in the classroom,” Stewart wrote. “I have no reservations sending him to the ranch to collect data or give a talk at a sheep seminar. Perhaps most unique to Chad is that he values producer experience and knowledge. He exemplifies the next generation of sheep specialists that I’m proud to train; hard working, independent thinking and committed.”

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