Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Professor Revises Book on Rabbit Projects

KINGSVILLE - May 18, 2010

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361.593.2590

Rabbit expert publishes book through Heifer International

Dr. Lukefahr
Dr. Lukefahr

Dr. Steven Lukefahr, Regents Professor in the animal and wildlife sciences department at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, is an internationally-known rabbit expert. Now he is sharing his expertise with the world in his recently published book Developing Sustainable Rabbit Projects, published by Heifer International.

Lukefahr, who once worked for Heifer International, donated his time and resources to revise the original book, first published in 1991. It is designed to be a valuable resource for persons who train small-scale farmers around the world.

“Practical information on how to design meat rabbit projects to improve family nutrition and increase income is very limited,” Lukefahr said. “In most countries, there are very few rabbit scientists and most of these have little or no experience in developing such projects.”

The book was written as a series of lesson plans for professionals who train inhabitants of lesser developed countries on how to start small backyard rabbit operations that produce inexpensive meat, improve small farms and increase family income. Ten sections cover topics including production systems and economics, genetics and selection, housing and equipment, feeds and feeding, reproduction, disease control and marketing rabbits.

Book Cover

Stories from successful rabbit projects around the world introduce each lesson plan and the book includes an updated health section which contains a disease diagnosis and treatment guide. The book also includes a glossary, lists of general references and internet resources.

Lukefahr said the revision was needed because of new research information on rabbit production, and also because he has developed the Small-Scale Rabbit Production Model for developing successful meat rabbit projects that has been adopted in Third World countries and is included in this edition.

The 168-page book is available through www.heifer.org or amazon.com.

About Dr. Steven Lukefahr

Dr. Steven Lukefahr worked with Heifer International in Cameroon from 1983-1985 developing grassroots level meat rabbit programs for rural farmers in the northwest province. He has been at Texas A&M-Kingsville since 1994 starting as associate professor and receiving a promotion to full professor in 1996. He was named Regents Professor by The Texas A&M University System in 2004. Prior to that he was associate professor of animal breeding and genetics and coordinator of the International Small Livestock Research Center at Alabama A&M University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&I University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in animal breeding and genetics from Oregon State University.

While at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Lukefahr has received the Distinguished Teacher and Researcher Awards from the Javelina Alumni Association, the Senior Teaching Award from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences and the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award. He also presented the Faculty Lecture.

Lukefahr served as president of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA) from 2004-2008 and currently holds the office of General Secretary for Developing Countries for the WRSA. He also is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, the American Branch of the WRSA and the European Association for Animal Production. He has published over 150 articles in national and international journals and has been invited to speak at conferences around the world. He is also co-author of another book, Rabbit Production (Pearson Prentice Hall Publishers).

About Heifer International

Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

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