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Research technician earns first place award for work battling parasites

Published: 10/23/13 2:45PM
By: booner

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Dill Sandeep Kommuru, (right) a Fort Valley State University research technician and Dr. Thomas Terrill (left) a FVSU assistant professor of animal science, hold Kommuru’s first place poster from the National Goat Conference held in Greensboro, N.C. Sept. 13-18.

Winning a first place award at a national conference can be a crowning achievement.

That is the case for a Fort Valley State University employee in the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology. Dill Sandeep Kommuru, a research technician, bested 30 other competitors in a poster competition at the National Goat Conference Sept. 13-18. 

Kommuru presented information that described the use of pelleted sericea lespedeza in young goats at the conference held in Greensboro, N.C. Approximately 400 farmers, scientists and extension specialists from across the country attended the event. 

His poster, entitled Effectiveness of Pelleted Sericea Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) Leaf Meal against Eimeria spp. and Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Weaned Goats, earned Kommuru a $100 cash prize and claimed a blue ribbon honor.  Kommuru was ecstatic when he learned of his award.

“It’s great; this research is having a big impact on the small ruminant (sheep and goat farming) community, which is very gratifying,” Kommuru said. He added that goat farmers are very interested in the pellets so they can keep their animals healthy.

Also representing FVSU at the conference were Dr. Thomas Terrill, assistant professor of animal science, and Dr. Will Getz, retired extension specialist and professor of animal science. Both professors made presentations and discussed the goat industry.

Terrill said that Kommuru’s subject matter in the poster is very relevant to the problems goat and sheep farmers are having in battling internal parasites. “The problem is huge of trying to keep animals healthy and finding natural ways to control parasites,” Terrill said. “That’s why there’s so much interest. Farmers are losing money, and they are desperate to find alternatives to drugs because the drugs don’t work anymore,” Terrill said.  

Kommuru, who graduated from FVSU with a graduate degree in animal science, said that his work says a lot about what he learned while earning his degree. “Fort Valley State is a leader in dairy and meat goat research, and the work that’s being done here is having a positive impact all over the world.”

Terrill said Kommuru’s first place award puts a spotlight on FVSU’s small ruminant program and enhances the university’s national and international reputation as a leader in goat research.

For more information about goat research at FVSU, contact Terrill at (478) 825-6814 or send an e-mail at terrillt@fvsu.edu.