Animal Science Alumni and Stakeholders Receive Awards of Distinction

Mike Looper presents the Friend of the Department award to Lewis Wray.
Lauren Husband

Mike Looper presents the Friend of the Department award to Lewis Wray.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  — The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Department of Animal Science presented its 2017 Awards of Distinction to four alumni and stakeholders currently serving in varied fields. Department head Mike Looper presented the awards during the department's annual Awards and Scholarship Banquet on April 26.

The recipients are:

  • Advanced Graduates of Distinction – Troy Wistuba and Bryan Oetting
  • Graduate of Distinction – Mike McCarter
  • Friend of the Department – Lewis Wray

Troy Wistuba grew up on a mixed crop and livestock farm in Northeast Kansas. During his academic education, he received his B.S. in animal science from Kansas State University, M.S. in nutrition with emphasis in forage preservation and utilization from Kansas State University, and Ph.D. in nutrition under Beth Kegley at the University of Arkansas. Currently, he is the director of Dairy Technical Solutions for Purina Animal Nutrition LLC. 

Wistuba previously worked as a senior dairy technical manager for Phibro Animal Health Inc., was the global ruminant research manager for Novus International Inc., and was a professor of animal science at Morehead State University in Kentucky.  In his spare time, Troy enjoys working with and judging youth livestock shows, woodworking, hunting, and fishing.

Bryan Oetting received his B.S. in animal science at the University of Arkansas in 1986. He continued his education at the University of Arkansas, receiving his M.S. in animal science in 1988 under Jerry Rakes. Oetting then received his Ph.D. in animal science with emphasis in reproductive physiology at New Mexico State University in 1993. Upon receiving his Ph.D., Oetting began a fruitful career at the College of the Ozarks. He began as the assistant dairy manager and an assistant professor, was promoted to dairy manager and associate professor in 2008, and then worked as the beef farm manager until he retired as professor emeritus in 2013. 

Currently, Oetting teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the College of the Ozarks and operates a cow/calf operation in Omaha, Arkansas. He now spends his free time volunteering with the College of the Ozarks FFA workshop, NAIA DII National Basketball Championship Tournament, and other functions at the College of the Ozarks.

Mike McCarter graduated with his B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas in 1979. He then made a 36 year career as a County Extension Agent, working with producers primarily on livestock and forage production and youth livestock projects. He was based in Nevada County, Arkansas for 10 years and then in Pike County, Arkansas for 26 years.  He worked with beef producers to solve production problems related to cattle nutrition and ration formulation, herd health, genetics, and adding weight and value to calves.

McCarter was also actively involved with 4-H. He advised 4-H members on selection and management of beef, swine, goat, and sheep projects. He also served as a mentor for new County Extension Agents. His efforts resulted in numerous awards from the state and national County Agents' Association, Arkansas 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association, and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Since retiring from the U of A division of Agriculture Extension Service, McCarter began a second career in beef cattle feed sales. He also manages a small commercial cow/calf herd in his spare time.

Lewis Wray earned his B.S. from Arkansas Tech University and M.S. from the University of Central Arkansas. After spending 38 years as a coach and teacher with Russellville Schools and serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, he began his career with the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. He currently owns Wray & Sons Farm, where he raises American quarter horses. He has served the University of Arkansas Department of Animal Science throughout the years by serving on numerous equine stakeholder committees, assisting with program support, and aiding in the development of the U of A equine judging team, ranch horse team, and stallion service auction, for which he researched and secured key breedings.

Wray has memberships, received honors, and contributed to the following community, state, and national organizations: AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, First United Methodist Church, Board of Directors for AR High School Rodeo and AR State Horse Show Association, American Quarter Horse Association State director, AR Forage and Grasslands Council, National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), NCHA affiliate president and National Affiliate of the Year, NCHA state director and regional member Executive Board, and currently serves as NCHA president.


Lauren Husband,
Animal Science

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