Penn State Extension Congratulates Jessica Williamson, New Forage Specialist
Posted: January 6, 2016
On January 4, 2016, Jessica Williamson joined the Penn State Department of Plant Science faculty as the Pennsylvania Forage Extension Specialist. Dr. Williamson grew up in the rural western Maryland town of Flintstone, where her family has a cow-calf and hay operation.
Williamson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Morehead State University in Kentucky and her Master of Science in Animal Science with an emphasis in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Arkansas. She completed her PhD at the University of Kentucky in Plant and Soil Science, with an emphasis in Grazing and Forage Management. Prior to starting as the forage specialist, Williamson was the Field and Forage Crops Extension Educator located in Blair County.
Williamson possesses a unique knowledge of the plant-animal interface and her current research focuses on ionophore supplementation and grazing management; weed control through grazing; and alternative forages. Some of her future research interests include grazing interseeded cover crops, improving the quality and quantity of harvested forages, extending the grazing season, and improving the quality and profitability of forage-fed beef. Currently, Williamson is working with a team of Extension educators to launch a state-wide tour of grazing workshops in the early spring and a weekly Grass Fed Beef series in central Pennsylvania in March. She is looking forward to her career at Penn State University as the Extension Forage Specialist and the opportunity to help forage producers of Pennsylvania optimize their profitability and meet their operational goals through the maximization of forage quality and quantity.