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Meet the Research Grads: Tylor Yost

Photo of man at a conference

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown native Tylor Yost will graduate from West Virginia University this month with his bachelor's degree in animal and nutritional sciences

During his time at the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, he has worked on various research projects that have propelled him toward a future he didn’t realize was possible. 

“While working on research for the Wardensville bull test, I found out very quickly that it was right up my alley,” Yost said. “Because of that experience, I decided I’d continue my education here at WVU after graduation.”

What research did you work on?

Photo of man on farm equipment

“The first research I did was in Wardensville in the summer of 2021 when I was a summer intern during the bull test. We were feed efficiency testing the bulls and collecting water intake data. We used that as a performance test for producers in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.

“Later, I worked with Professor Matt Wilson on a grazing project where we were trying to predict dry matter intake in cattle using water intake and botanical composition. We had seven-day periods to go out to collect forage samples and forage heights before we let the animals graze. The next day, we’d move them to a new plot and measure the previous plot for the amount of disappearance. Then, we started to collect fecal samples, too. 

“I also had the opportunity to work with Professor Domingo Mata Padrino. I did some botanical composition with him. We would sort it, dry it and weigh it. Then we would grind it down and look at protein values and fibers.”

What did you you learn? 

“I learned very quickly that I was pretty stubborn. I also learned the botanical composition research was not my thing. I understand it’s important to the health of animals, but it’s a microscopic view. I learned I’d rather step back and see the 3,000-foot view.”

How did it help you?

“I had a head start in some classes because of what I learned while researching. Matt Wilson and Domingo Mata Padrino introduced me to people at the University of Tennessee. Because of them, I had a path to go on, and I wasn’t doing it all by myself.”

What are your future plans?

Photo of cattle in barn

“I’ll get my doctorate degree in beef cattle genetics here at the Davis College.”

How did participating in research enrich your experience at WVU?

“It gave me a better understanding of what it takes to raise cattle and what the outlook of the agriculture industry is. The program here is building itself around sustainability of agriculture and how we can make the agriculture footprint a lot smaller. In a way, it has opened my eyes to what else is going on in the world.”