David Thomas, 2013 recipient of the Spitze Land Grant Facuty Award for Excellence

Dean Kate VandenBosch and Dave Thomas

The Robert G.F. and Hazel T. Spitze Land Grant Faculty Award for Excellence was given to David Thomas.

Dave has made substantial contributions to international outreach activities. His early experiences raising sheep in Mineral Point, Wisconsin developed into a life-long career of research, teaching, Extension, and international activities in service to the sheep industry. His comprehensive efforts exemplify the ideals of the land grant mission.

Dave’s research program focused on the genetic improvement and management of sheep has gained a national and international reputation for excellence. Results of his research include 74 refereed papers, 75 abstracts, 46 invited papers, 22 contributed papers, and 68 technical reports.

In addition to his excellent research, Dave is a celebrated educator whose teaching style puts the student in the center of the learning process with active learning.

Dave’s own land grant philosophy stems from a long line of family members who have benefited from the land grant system. His parents, both sets of grandparents, and several aunts and uncles were farmers in southwestern Wisconsin. Dave understands the importance of the land grant tradition and has made it the core part of his teaching, research and outreach.