Washington State Sheep Producers
Jan Busboom, a Washington State University Extension meat specialist, has received the 2017 Golden Sheep Hook from the Washington State Sheep Producers. It is the organization’s highest honor.
The organization gave Busboom the award in recognition of his “outstanding service to the sheep industry,” according to a press release.
Busboom grew up in the industry, raising and showing sheep with his father as his mentor. They were recognized as top quality Columbia breeders across the U.S.
He pursued a degree in animal sciences and received a Ph.D. at Michigan State University.
When Busboom arrived at WSU in 1989, he “quickly became a valuable asset to the world of academia, extension and the sheep industry here,” according to the organization.
Busboom is the WSU Meat Evaluation and Analysis Team (MEAT) team leader for the Lamb 100, 200 and 300 program and was “instrumental” in delivering the programs in Washington, Oregon, California and the Rocky Mountain region.
“A sheep judge in all climates, he shares his expertise with those passionate about sheep,” the Washington State Sheep Producers stated. “His calm demeanor and steady personality make Jan easy to work with and he excels in mentoring youth as a tireless, dedicated 4-H leader.”
Busboom and his wife, Janice, manage a flock of Suffolk-Hampshire crosses and lead the Albion 4-H Sheep Club.
He has served as mentor to “countless” graduate students for 25 years. He’s also been involved in the annual Northwest Junior Sheep Expo and represented WSU by sharing knowledge on carcass and meat qualities.
He is currently a team member on a WSU Sheep Endowment ram management study on reproductive fitness of breeding stock and working with a group to create a Spanish language resource guide for sheep herders. He received a University of Idaho grant to conduct training for ultrasound technicians specializing in sheep evaluation, to take place in the summer of 2018.
Busboom will retire from WSU in September, “but will forever remain passionate about education, meat science, genetic improvements, youth, mentoring, research and the sheep industry,” according to the organization.