Wyoming Wool Initiative




Our mission is to open the door to new, innovative sheep and wool projects and initiatives that will help economically sustain the fabric of the rural west.

University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources began the Wyoming Wool Initiative in 2022 to support and grow Wyoming’s sheep and wool industry. In the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Wyoming ranked No.1 in wool production with 2,796,792 pounds shorn. Wyoming’s wool leaves the state for military contracts or sold as an international commodity where value is added outside Wyoming. The Wyoming Wool Initiative recognizes the value and potential of the raw wool produced in our state. Wyoming Wool Initiative wants to generate processes and resources that will allow Wyoming to add and retain value to its wool. By investing in the wool industry, Wyoming Wool Initiative is utilizing a sustainable material that already exists in the state. As Wyoming Wool Initiative continually works to grow the wool industry it is also maintaining Wyoming's agricultural heritage.

To ensure this unique heritage thrives, Wyoming Wool Initiative is actively engaged in research, programming and innovations that bolster and increase Wyoming’s ability to add value to its abundant supply of raw wool. Wyoming Wool Initiative is a non-profit organization supported by The University of Wyoming, public-private partnerships, and donations.

Meet Our Team

Whit-StewartWhit Stewart

Dr. Whit Stewart is an Associate Professor and Extension Sheep Specialist for the state of Wyoming. His interests are conducting applied research and extension education for the betterment of the commercial sheep industry. As such he has an interest in placing students in careers that support the lamb and wool industries in the U.S., either directly or in support allied industries of nutrition, lamb processing, marketing, animal health, extension, and non-profit industry groups. Whit is also the advisor for the UW Collegiate Wool Growers and UW Intercollegiate Wool Judging team.


Kalli Koepke

Kalli Koepke is an LREC assistant manager and sheep unit manager and works alongside Drs. Cody Gifford, Whit Stewart, Hannah Hollinger, Derek Scasta, and Jeremy Block on various research projects. Kallie received a bachelor's degree from UWYO in animal science production with an emphasis in sheep production. Kalli is an essential team member in many of LREC’s programs and initiatives. She works diligently to support the annual Wyoming Wool Growers Ram Sire Tests, Lamb-a-Year Program, Wyoming Wool Initiative. Outside of work, Kalli is an active member and contributor to Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Albany County 4-H.

Lindsay StewartLindsay Conley-Stewart

Lindsay is the Manager and Project Coordinator for Wyoming Wool Initiative. Lindsay’s interests are non-profit work and entrepreneurial endeavors related to the wool industry. Prior to joining the Wyoming Wool Initiative, she launched and managed UWYO’s Blanket Project. She is a UWYO alumnus with a BFA in Visual Arts. Lindsay works to collaborate across colleges within University of Wyoming to raise awareness for the wool industry and is engaged with regional and national wool organizations.

Graduate Students


Aaron Kersh

Aaron Kersh is an M.S. Student under the direction of Dr. Whit Stewart and Dr. Derek Scasta. Aaron’s project is focusing on targeted grazing using hair and wool sheep to determine if sheep grazing will reduce larkspur abundance on rangelands. Aaron’s project will be determining changes in forage quality and comparing dietary preference and selection between dissimilar sheep breeds. Aaron is passionate about agriculture and the heritage associated with the sheep industry. Aaron believes producing sustainable lamb and fiber is a noble pursuit and is eager to be a part of the sheep industry.

Dylan Laverell

Dylan Laverell

Dylan Laverell is an M.S. Student under the direction of Dr. Whit Stewart. Dylan master’s project will look at defining Calcium levels in clinical and sub-clinical ewes. Dylan finds fulfillment working in the sheep industry as he meets producers that work to produce sustainable food and fiber. He is from Big Timber, MT.