Numerous small and limited resource farms across the Alabama Black Belt have benefitted greatly from the veterinary support of Dr. Newkirk and his team of professionals supporting the herd health educational outreach program at Tuskegee University.
Dr. Newkirk, Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine at the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, is known for his frequent visits to farms in the region evaluating and servicing their beef cattle herds.
As the coordinator and Chief Medical Officer for the West Alabama Herd Health Project, an outreach program for limited resource farmers, Dr. Newkirk has trained countless numbers of students in practical beef cattle herd management.
Through this program, students gain invaluable experiences on performing medical and surgical procedures to beef herds under the direct supervision of Dr. Newkirk with assistance from Dr. E. Rick Bridges.
Originally titled as the West Alabama Herd Health Project, Dr. Newkirk partnered with Extension Agents at Tuskegee University to serve clients across the entire region.
This live laboratory of on-farm experience exposed his students to hands on management techniques designed to promote the overall improvement of small cattle herds. Student practitioners coupled with farmers and extension agents were able to experience the basic farm skills needed to support their degree program.
Farmers improved their operations by adopting the suggested practices of the team. Farmers received detailed assistance with a plethora of skills including record keeping, deworming, vaccinations, castration, pregnancy checks, breeding synchronization and overall quality evaluation.
Mr. George Hunter, Jr, Coordinator of Agricultural and Natural Resource programs at Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension reacts to Dr. Newkirk’s impact.
“Dr. Kenneth Newkirk provided continuous support to the clients residing in the Black Belt area in the state of Alabama. Dr. Newkirk exemplified interpersonal skills that have allowed him to build relationships with clients that have lasted for years and are simply “priceless”.
Newkirk is well-known in the Black Belt and highly respected, his presence and contributions to the beef cattle industry will last forever. Newkirk provided expertise through clinics, workshops, presentations, and other professional services to improve the lives of people and animals.
He will always be appreciated for his support of the youth livestock program and his willingness to participate on county area programs as his schedule permitted. “
Dr. Kenneth Newkirk graduated from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. After graduation, he worked as a mixed practice veterinarian in Oklahoma for one year before embarking on a large animal rotating medicine and surgery internship at the University of Tennessee in 1988.
Dr. Newkirk completed his tour of service, Friday, July 3, 2020 following a series of health complications.
Dr. Raymon Shange, Associate Extension Administrator, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension (TUCE) shares the following sentiment, "Our programs, specifically those dealing with beef cattle, were strengthened by the expertise, consistency, and open engagement of Dr. Newkirk.
"Though not an official member of the TUCE staff, Dr. Newkirk operated by the same principles of the likes of Thomas Monroe Campbell that endeared him to the people of the Alabama Black Belt, as well as TUCE staff and leadership. Our hope is that his work will inspire staff and farmers alike to continue that work in the same manner."
The entire Alabama Black Belt Region applauds you for your unselfish service and invaluable advice to small cattle producers.
Thank you Dr. Kenneth Newkirk.