Inaugural Professor Creates Sustainability in Southern Utah
Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013
Utah State University Extension Professor Kevin Heaton is passionate about three things, people, livestock and agriculture. Heaton has the opportunity to work around all three at USU.
“I had a career goal to be in the agriculture business, and USU gives me the opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives. You get to be out on the ground dealing with real issues,” said Heaton.
Heaton gave his Inaugural Lecture Series presentation Feb. 25, the tenth lecture of this academic year’s installment. His lecture, “Sustainability in the Face of Geographic and Economic Isolation,” described the importance of sustainability in agricultural and natural resources in Kane and Garfield counties.
“It is an important topic for our area because we have one of the highest poverty rates in the state of Utah. Sustainability is an important driving factor to our economy,” said Heaton.
Heaton teaches in the Cooperative Extension Education, and is responsible for bringing applied research to the citizens in Kane and Garfield County.
“I teach a lot of workshops and bring in outside professionals to help bring science and research to those counties,” he said. “I held the first beef cattle pregnancy diagnosis workshop for producers in the state of Utah.”
Heaton graduated from USU with his bachelor’s in agriculture business. He continued his education and earned his master’s in meat science from USU.
Since joining USU, Heaton has worked on a variety of projects, including the introduction of stock water monitoring systems to Southern Utah.
“This program allows ranchers to check to see if their livestock have water remotely via satellite without driving two to three hours per day to check. It saves some producers around $500 a month,” said Heaton.
Heaton collaborates with extension specialists across the Western United States who have the same goals and passion. Through this network he looks for new problems to address.
“Five years ago the remote stock water wasn’t on my radar screen, so finding out what’s the issue is always important,” said Heaton.
Currently, Heaton is working with the grazing issue on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
“It’s been a collaborative effort with environmentalists and ranchers to reach the best solution for both parties,” said Heaton.
Having grown up in Southern Utah, Heaton enjoys working and living in the same area as his childhood with his wife and six kids
Contact: Kevin Heaton, 435-644-4918, Kevin.Heaton@usu.edu
Writer: Jaron Dunford, 920-246-2863, firstname.lastname@example.org