Pope to head Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. John Walker, 325-653-4576, jwalker@ag.tamu.edu

 

SAN ANGELO – Dr. Ronald E. Pope has been hired as the Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in charge of daily operations of the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory.

The lab is part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center complex, located on U.S. Highway 87 N., San Angelo.

“We are pleased to have Ron join us in this key industry position,” said Dr. John Walker,  AgriLife Research resident director of research at the center. “He’s well known throughout the wool,  mohair and ranching industry in Texas and nationally. With his background and passion for the industry, we feel his  presence here will do nothing but build upon the already strong natural fiber research component the center provides and the industry expects.

“Ron will fill on a part-time basis, the position formerly held by Dr. Chris Lupton who established the lab in 1984 along with Faron Pfeiffer, his longtime AgriLife Research associate. While Chris has retired, Faron remains actively involved in the lab’s daily operation. He and Dr. Pope know each other through industry-related work the two have collaborated on through the years, so I predict a seamless working relationship for years to come.”

Walker said Pope will be responsible for planning, conducting, interpreting and reporting AgriLife Research results relating to measuring animal fibers, fiber preparation and marketing, along with methods for increasing the quantity and quality of fiber production.

“Dr. Pope will also manage the facility, its personnel and budgets,” Walker said. “In addition, he’ll write, submit and manage the grants needed to fund the lab’s research program.”

Pope remains the general manager of Producers’ Marketing Cooperative Inc. with warehouse and office at Mertzon. As the general manager since 1997, he manages the wool and mohair cooperative’s operations that include marketing raw wool and mohair to domestic and international buyers and value-added processing.

Before joining the cooperative, Pope worked for the Englewood, Colorado-based American Sheep Industry Association. From 1995-1997 he was the director of Raw Wool Services-International and oversaw the association’s international marketing to select foreign markets. From 1991-1995 he was the association’s director of Raw Wool Services, responsible for overseeing national programs to improve domestic wool marketing options. This included working with producers to encourage them to use internationally accepted wool preparation and packaging standards in preparing their clips for market.

He also coordinated with U.S. wool warehouses to market properly prepared raw wool in a manner that encouraged value-based pricing and a more streamlined marketing process.  Pope currently serves the association as a Raw Wool Services consultant.

Pope holds a doctorate in wool science from the University of Wyoming at Laramie and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in animal science from Tarleton State University at Stephenville.

Pope is the Community Life Group Leader at PaulAnn Baptist Church in San Angelo, serves as a director of the Tom Green County Farm Bureau, and is a past chair of both the Texas Farm Bureau Sheep and Goat Commodity Committee and of the American Farm Bureau Sheep and Goat Advisory Committee.

The center’s wool and mohair laboratory is named for former State Senator Bill Sims of San Angelo. Sims was also executive secretary of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association for many years and was instrumental in the laboratory’s establishment.

For more information, contact Walker at 325-653-4576, jwalker@ag.tamu.edu .

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