What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I am an Associate Professor and Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture based at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. My research and extension efforts focus on enhancing agronomic practices to increase profitability, optimizing soil water conservation, and delivering weed management solutions for the semi-arid high plains.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I was fortunate to attend the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL) for my doctorate degree and did most of my research at the West Central Research and Extension Center where I became familiar with western Nebraska. It worked out that my current position opened as I was finishing my degree. My family has now lived in Nebraska for nearly 12 years.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the opportunity to work together with farmers to find solutions to the challenges they are facing through innovative research. The relationships I have developed with them and seeing them improve their operations and succeed is extremely rewarding.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Anything that I have accomplished in my work or personal life is because of the good people I am surrounded with. I work with an awesome team of scientists, technicians, and support staff that make what I do possible. My wife and I have five amazing children and they help me to be a better person.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I installed flooring to support my family prior to coming to Nebraska for my doctorate degree. Although I did a lot of residential installations, I also did high-end commercial carpet installations around the United States including Hawaii (three times), Mexico numerous times, Ecuador, Tonga, and Australia.
What is your life like outside of work?
My life revolves around my wife Natalie and our five kids. Our kids are busy with many activities but are especially involved with 4-H doing livestock judging, meats judging, raising and showing pigs, creating static exhibits, competing in robotics, and many other contests. Natalie leads a 4-H sewing club and together we coach robotic teams for First Lego League and First Tech Challenge. I volunteer with my church, raise a few steers, and have started renovations on our 105-year-old home.