COLUMBUS – A nationally recognized sheep breeder has been inducted into Ohio State University’s Department of Animal Science Hall of Fame.
Jeff Neal, best known for his development of three competitive sheep flocks – Suffolks, Polled Dorsets and Southdowns – joins the ranks of those honored by their peers for their significant contributions to the animal industry.
The induction took place May 16 on Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus.
Background. The Ohio State animal science graduate holds undergraduate and masters degrees in animal breeding and genetics.
“It’s a very humbling honor and an emotional ceremony for me,” said Neal, vice president of sales and marketing for Kalmbach Feeds, Inc.
“I’m so very thankful for all the people who have had a profound impact on my career and all the opportunities that was afforded to me. For one, I am fortunate to have developed my 4-H project into a successful career in the sheep industry.”
Champions. Neal, of Sycamore, Ohio, has bred and exhibited numerous state and national champions in sheep breeds for more than 20 years.
In addition to his commitment to the sheep industry, Neal has developed his career with Kalmbach Feeds, Inc.
Starting in feed sales, Neal has worked his way up from regional sales manager to vice president of sales and marketing, helping the company grow from a small family business to a large regional feed manufacturer.
He was instrumental in the development of the “Formula of Champions” show feed program and the “Heartland Wildlife Institute,” a wildlife feed division of Kalmbach Feeds.
Additionally, he and his wife, Francine, built and managed the first 1,000-head Kalmbach Feeds contract swine finishing building 15 years ago, and used it as a prototype to assist in the development of Kalmbach Feeds contract finishing programs.
Continued service. Neal has maintained ties to Ohio State by serving as a member of the Ohio State Animal Science Industry Advisory Committee.
He continues to contribute to the department of animal science by supporting the Livestock Judging Team, providing his time as a guest lecturer and industry resource.
Wisdom. He imparted a few words of wisdom to students in attendance during the ceremony regarding the industry challenges they will face in such areas as food production, animal diseases, food safety and animal and human health.
“We have to change and adapt as society changes. We in agriculture are constantly under society’s microscope,” said Neal.
“We have to recognize the challenges we are up against. There are a whole lot more issues on the radar screen now than even when I was in school.”
About the award. The Ohio State University Animal Science Hall of Fame award is presented to one person per year.
A portrait of the inductee will hang in the department of animal science building on the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus.
Animal science faculty has been bestowing the honor since the 1950s.
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