University of Maryland Extension

Contact Our Educators

Extension Specialists and County Educators are available to help answer questions and give advice in care and management of your flock.

 University of Maryland Extension Poultry Specialists


Dr. Jonathan R. Moyle
Extension Poultry Specialist      

Lower Eastern Shore Research & Education Center

27664 Nanticoke Road, Salisbury, MD 21801

410-742-1178 x309

Dr. Jonathan Moyle provides Maryland’s poultry industry and growers with general practical knowledge about poultry production practices in order to continue to develop, maintain, and operate economically viable and environmentally responsible poultry operations within the state and throughout Delmarva. Jon grew up farming with his family and owned his own poultry operation before moving east.  Current and future research includes helping growers find alternatives for bedding, improving nutrient management and helping commercial and small flock owners improve biosecurity.


Dr. Nathaniel Tablante  DVM, MPVM, MS, DACPV
Professor, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Extension Specialist-Poultry Health

Dr. Nathaniel L. Tablante is a Professor and Extension Poultry Health Specialist with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. He has 30 years of experience in poultry health management, epidemiology, and biosecurity and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and educational materials on poultry health, biosecurity, and disease prevention.  He has also served as a consultant on poultry biosecurity and Avian Influenza preparedness and response in the United States, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and the Republic of Georgia.  In addition to his D.V.M. degree, Dr. Tablante completed a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (major in public health) at the University of California in Davis and a Master of Science (major in poultry health and epidemiology) at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada).  He is also a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.  Since assuming a faculty position at the University of Maryland in 1997, Dr. Tablante has implemented an Extension and applied research program that focuses on improving poultry health and production through biosecurity and disease prevention on the Delmarva peninsula and the mid-Atlantic region.

Dr. Shawna L. Weimer
Poultry Extension Assistant Professor, Animal and Avian Sciences

Dr. Weimer is originally from Iowa, where she attended Iowa State University and earned a B.S. in Animal Science/Animal Ecology and a M.S. in Animal Physiology, with a specialization in swine ethology.  She worked in the swine industry for two years in quality assurance and procurement at swine processing facilities in Iowa and Minnesota.  Shawna received her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2017, focusing her research on validating noninvasive measures of stress and lameness in broilers. She also ran broiler nutrition trials for allied industry sponsors during her time in Arkansas. Her post-doctorate work at Purdue involved research on laying hens, turkeys and broilers in the areas of physiology, health, management, nutrition, egg quality, meat quality, behavior and welfare.

Dr. Weimer is PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) certified in poultry and offers her services to shadow audit poultry operations seeking animal welfare certification. She plans to develop internship programs for UMD students with Maryland poultry production companies.

Under the same umbrella, she plans to carry out her extension and research efforts to address the concerns of the poultry industry as well as to foster their sustainability.  Her current research objectives are to improve the health, performance, and welfare of poultry through:

1)  developing environmental and nutritional strategies

2)  investigating the utility of noninvasive technologies and

3)  validating audit criteria for animal welfare audits and assessments.


University of Maryland Extension Educators

Jennifer L. Rhodes 
Principal Agent, Agriculture Educator
AGNR, Queen Anne’s County

505 Railroad Avenue, Suite 4

Centreville, MD  21617


Jennifer Rhodes is an Extension Educator in Queen Anne's County and also owns and operates her own poultry and grain farm. A graduate of University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a B.S. in Agriculture and a M.E. in Agriculture and Extension Education, the main focus of her programs are agriculture profitability programs, risk management, and poultry production education.  Jenny served as President of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., board member of Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau, Queen Anne’s Soil Conservation District and MidAtlantic Farm Credit.  Agriculture has always been an important component of her life and she enjoys working with not only the agriculture sector but educating other community members about agriculture and natural resources.

Dale Johnson

Mr. Dale M Johnson
Principal Agent & Extension Specialist, Farm Management
Western Maryland Research and Education Center
Agricultural & Resource Economics

2200 Western Maryland

College Park, MD 20742-5515


Dale Johnson has been a Farm Management Specialist with the University of Maryland Extension since 1985 and conducts workshops on business planning, record-keeping, financial management, economic analysis, and computer applications for Maryland farmers and teaches these subjects at the University. He has a personal interest in small flock poultry production raising pastured broilers and turkeys for family consumption and keeping a layer flock. He also conducts a small flock layer demonstration at a University research farm and has developed an poultry educational program for children in inner city schools. 


Dave Myers

Dave Myers
Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Anne Arundel County

Dave Myers has been a lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County, Maryland and currently is the Anne Arundel County Extension Director and Area Extension Educator in both Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties. Dave earned in 1983 a BS degree in Agronomy, Crop Science and in 1996 a MS degree in Agronomy, Weed Science from the University of Maryland.  His Extension responsibilities include all field crop and livestock agriculture with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable production and marketing.  Dave currently conducts fruit and vegetable research trials at the University of Maryland Upper Marlboro Research and Education Center.  He has personally raised poultry for many years and has special interest in waterfowl.

Jeff Semler

Jeff Semler
Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Washington County

Jeff Semler, University of Maryland Extension educator in Washington County, recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents.  Jeff is an alumnus of West Virginia University, where he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science; he also has a Master's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut, where his emphasis was in the area of the Physiology of Reproduction.  Jeff's current teaching goals include continued strengthening of the profitability of agriculture as well as increasing agricultural literacy. One of his on-going research projects is the investigation of various forage production methods under both conventional and organic management. Jeff has a lifelong love of farming and his goal is to assist farmers with their livelihood while maintaining or improving their soil, plant and animal resources.

Maegan Perdue

Agent Associate - Agriculture

Worcester County

Maegan Perdue is the Agriculture Agent Associate in Worcester County. She started in that position in February 2018. Prior to accepting this position, she was a Nutrient Management Advisor for the University of Maryland Extension in Somerset County.  Maegan grew up on a small livestock farm in Salisbury, Maryland, where she continues to raise dairy goats, hair sheep, dairy steers and backyard poultry. Her programming focuses on small ruminants, backyard poultry and pasture management. Many of her programs are offered in farm and feed stores on the Lower Shore. One of the most popular workshops, Goat 911, is held multiple times a year.  Maegan's livestock expertise includes:  

  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Pasture Management
  • Worcester County
  • Lower Shore Cluster
  • Nutrient Management
  • Poultry
  • Small Ruminants
  • Equine
  • Beef Cattle

Dr. Mostafa Ghanem DVM, MS, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Department

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Mostafa Ghanem, is a veterinarian and molecular epidemiologist. He received his DVM and Master degrees from Alexandria University, Egypt, where he worked as poultry veterinarian for 5 years. Dr. Ghanem has completed his PhD from The Ohio State University, USA. During his PhD, he developed new tools for epidemiological outbreak investigation of avian Mycoplasma species. Out of his PhD work, two invention reports were filed with The Ohio State University Technology Commercialization Office. He is also, the 2017 recipient of the Reed Rumsey Award from the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP). One of his papers selected as the best paper published in Avian Disease Journal in 2017. Dr. Ghanem completed his postdoctoral training at The Ohio State University, where he served as associate director of Infectious Diseases Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory (IDMEL). At that time, he evaluated new probiotic for control of salmonella enteritidis in layer chickens and investigated the epidemiology of campylobacter species in backyard chicken at rural Ethiopian villages. Recently, Dr. Ghanem has joined University of Maryland, Veterinary Medicine Department as an assistant professor. His research program focuses on the development of advanced molecular diagnostics and typing schemes using next-generation sequencing for molecular typing and epidemiological investigation of infectious diseases of economic and public health significance pathogens related to poultry. His laboratory aims to harness the use and application of advanced molecular diagnostic and genotyping techniques in surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases to improve health and wellbeing of poultry and human. His extension program focuses on improving poultry health through

  1. Communicating new research findings to poultry growers and stakeholders and policymakers for implementation and field application.
  2. Developing and updating curricula for educating and training of veterinary, animal and food science students
  3. Developing and conducting continuing education opportunities for veterinary practitioners and technical service teams working with the poultry industry.
  4. Offering advanced molecular typing services for Avian Mycoplasma species. (coming soon


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