Kenneth E. Turner, Ph.D.
Research Animal Scientist
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
(405) 262-5291 (telephone)
(405) 262-0133 (fax)
Grazinglands Research Laboratory
7207 West Cheyenne Street
El Reno, Oklahoma 73036
Dr. Kenneth E. Turner grew up on the family farm near Harrisburg, Illinois, where he was involved in the production of beef cattle, sheep, swine, hay, corn, soybeans, and wheat. Dr. Turner graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a B.A. in Microbiology (1979) and M.S. from Southern Illinois University (1984) in Animal Industries. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1989) in Ruminant Nutrition where his research focused on forage utilization by beef cattle, especially grazing methods to overcome problems of tall fescue toxicosis. His post-doctoral study in Agronomy at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville involved studies with the tall fescue endophyte and its association with plant drought resistance, and forage feeding and grazing to help minimize ergovaline toxin effects in ruminants for improved production.
Dr. Turner joined USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center, Beaver, WV as a Research Animal Scientist in March 1992. While at ARS, Beaver, WV, his research objectives were to understand components of grazing systems practices to synchronize better forage availability and quality to meet nutritional requirements of grazing livestock, and to provide environmentally sound grazing practices for Appalachia. Refinements to the components of grazing and browsing systems included using traditional as well as new and non-traditional forages to improve efficiency of protein-use in forage-based livestock systems and reduce impacts of gastrointestinal parasites on livestock performance. Emphasis was on pasture-based finishing systems for lambs and meat goat kids for ethnic markets.
In June 2012, Dr. Turner accepted relocation to USDA, ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory located in El Reno, Oklahoma. His research will focus on improving the efficiencies and sustainability of conventional forage-based components of beef and sheep production systems by development of more efficient management systems and through identification of animal genetics best adapted to forage-based production systems in the southern Great Plains.