David Roper has been appointed 4-H youth livestock Extension specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Roper recently joined the faculty of the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences as an Extension youth livestock specialist.
He grew up in Central Texas where he and his wife were active 4-H members and his family exhibited numerous species of livestock and were involved with both meats and livestock Judging programs.
Roper received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from University of Tennessee. While an undergraduate student he was a member of the 2003 Meats Judging team and the 2004 National Champion Livestock Judging team. He was employed with Ultimate Genetics as a marketing representative with oversight of their bovine embryo recipient calf raiser program. During his master’s and Ph.D. programs, he concentrated on improving fertility and pregnancy rates in bovine embryo recipient animals.
Roper is passionate about educating the next generation of livestock producers and educators. His goal is to continue to build upon the current programs offered as well as instill additional hands-on opportunities to expose youth to the industry and its leaders. Roper will also serve as the coach of the State 4-H Livestock team as well as assist with other youth educational activities.
“Youth projects can be used to mirror the commercial industries on a smaller scale,” said Roper. “Even though they are not identical in nature, the basic components are the same which is why it is important for youth to be involved in them. These projects teach students about responsibility, ethics, time management, communication, finances and vast other character traits that will serve them in the future.”