Dr. Terry A. Gipson was born into a farming family in southeast Missouri. In high school, Terry was active in FFA and attained the rank of State Farmer. He also showed FFA steers during high school.
Terry earned his B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1978. From 1978 through 1981, he served in the Peace Corps in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Terry first served as a teacher at the Institut Professionnel Vétérinaire de Loda in northeastern Zaire and taught Zootechnie (Animal Husbandry) I and Zootechnie II in French. Topics taught included breeding and genetics, reproduction, nutrition, pasture and animal management, and live animal evaluation. Later, Dr. Gipson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader in southeastern Zaire, and his responsibilities included supervision of volunteers in the field, visitation of prospective volunteer sites and interaction with Zairean authorities.
Following his Peace Corps experience, Dr. Gipson entered graduate school, earning an M.S. from the University of Missouri in 1984. His thesis topic was Genetic and Phenotypic Parameter Estimates for Scrotal Circumference and Semen Traits in Angus, Polled Hereford, and Simmental Bulls. Dr. Gipson then pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois with a doctoral thesis subject of Lactation Curves in Dairy Goats and was awarded his doctorate in 1989. During his doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, he was inducted into national honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta. Terry was instrumental in organizing the Langston University chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta in 2002.
Immediately following his doctorate, Terry, along with his family, returned to Africa as an agricultural missionary with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Senegal, West Africa from 1989 to 1991. His primary responsibility was animal husbandry extension work among Fulani herders.
Upon his return to the U.S., Dr. Gipson entered a Research Associate Post-doctoral position at Langston University from 1991 through 1993. At Langston, he was involved in breeding for year-round cashmere production.
Terry joined Virginia State University in 1993 as an Assistant Professor in the Meat Goat Program. At VSU, he held a split appointment in research and extension. His research emphasis while at VSU included the evaluation of an accelerated kidding system and parasite-resistance in several goat breeds.
In 1998, Terry returned to Langston University. His primary responsibilities are in Cooperative Extension; he is the Goat Extension Leader and coordinates the outreach program for the goat program. However, Terry supports all three components of Langston University’s land-grant mission; teaching, research, and extension.
Terry currently teaches Animal Science 4333 “Agricultural Statistics” and Animal Science 4133 “Animal Breeding.” In the past, he has taught Animal Science 1124 “Introduction to Animal Science” and Animal Science 4413 “Animal Husbandry.” He enjoys the interaction with students and the joy of enlarging and enriching their animal science experience.
Terry has been the author or co-author on numerous scientific articles concerning goat breeding, production, and parasitism in goats. Several of his recent scientific articles have dealt with energy requirements for grazing animals and have incorporated technologies such as GIS mapping, GPS collars, heart rate monitors, and pedometers/accelerometers in the calculation of energy expenditures.
For his Cooperative Extension responsibilities, Terry coordinates the entire outreach program for the goat program. He has coordinated and overseen the annual Goat Field Day. Under his leadership, the annual Goat Field Day has increased in national recognition and attendance, and now it routinely has more than 250 registered participants. Terry is also the editor of the quarterly goat newsletter and the webmaster of the website for the goat program. In both capacities, Terry solicits new information from collaborators and disseminates that information to producers via these two delivery systems. Under his leadership, these two delivery systems have been rejuvenated and enhanced annually.
Terry is a member of the International Goat Association and serves on the Communications Committee. This Committee is responsible for identifying articles or other materials that can be shared with members and the public, and offering feedback and suggestions to improve the website, blog, Facebook page and Newsletter.
For the past several years, Terry has been the supervisor of the meat buck performance test, which has grown from an average enrollment of 15 bucks to an average of 50 bucks per year. He also co-supervises the Langston Goat DHI laboratory, which services the dairy goat industry. Terry is the organizer of several annual producer workshops, including the artificial insemination workshops and he established the first-ever internal parasite workshops for the goat program. Terry, in collaboration with the Outreach Specialist, organized a comprehensive series of workshops on goat management targeting the enhancement of knowledge, skills, and abilities of minority farmers.
He was a team leader on a multi-institution project to develop a web-based certification system for goat production and a comprehensive meat goat production handbook. Terry has authored and received funding for several extension grants. One grant was to develop instructional material for small-scale goat producers, and another was to develop a Summer Institute in goat production for minority farmers. He also serves on the leadership team for the Goat Industry Community of Practice for the eXtension.org project funded by USDA CSREES. He continues to advance the Cooperative Extension mission and has had an extremely positive effect upon the goat extension program.
Terry also lends his expertise to several international development projects. He was a team member for Langston University’s project in Armenia, and his primary responsibility was in animal breeding and genetic improvement activities in the Armenia Improved Dairy Goat project. He was also a team member for Langston University’s Ethiopia project, where his primary responsibility was to provide expertise in animal breeding and genetics for the Ethiopian Sheep and Goat Productivity Improvement Program. Terry encourages his students to consider volunteerism and volunteers, himself, whenever the opportunity arises, on several USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F-t-F) Programs.
In his spare time, Terry enjoys spending time with his wife, their three children, and two grandchildren. He also enjoys nature, especially bird-watching, and volunteering for various activities at their church.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.