Smith earns WAES staff award

Travis Smith portrait
Travis Smith

Travis Smith, beef unit manager for the Laramie Research and Extension Center (LREC), has earned the 2018 Kathleen Bertoncelj Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) Staff Award. Smith was recognized in December for contributions in the three areas of the University of Wyoming land-grant mission – research, teaching, and outreach.

He ensures approximately 250 beef cows are bred, fed, grazed and remain healthy; livestock research is managed with reliable experimental controls; and UW classes and student employees gain real-world experience.

In research, Smith has helped coordinate experiments for faculty investigators and graduate students, including the logistics of moving animals, synchronizing breeding protocols, supervising calving, and managing animal handling and sampling. Smith often contributes to scientific papers, which in 2015 included serving as co-author on research published in the Journal of Animal Science and Rangelands.

In his teaching role, Smith has coordinated student laboratories for UW beef production classes and taught artificial insemination and breeding exercises. Smith has served as adviser and co-adviser for the UW Ranch Horse Team, helped re-establish the UW ROTC mounted color guard, and supervises student workers.

Smith has gained notoriety for managing Pistol and Pete, the pair of Haflinger draft horses that pull the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources sheep wagon and other wagons in parades and events around the state.

Friends and supporters made gifts to establish the Kathleen Bertoncelj AES Staff Award in 2016. Bartoncelj is a former senior office associate in AES who worked at UW for 38 years, the last 16 in WAES.

As the research unit of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Wyoming AES funds and actively promotes investigations to increase agricultural productivity, natural resource stewardship, and community well-being. The LREC is one of four research and experiment stations AES operates around the state.