I grew up on a small diversified crops and livestock farm west of North Platte, Nebraska. I was going to say grew up in Western Nebraska, but some would say North Platte is not west enough to be Western Nebraska. My family growing up included seven children, so there was never a dull moment. I developed an interest in beef cattle while working on some diversified operations in the area. I was in 4-H and showed steers and heifers and had fun being around others that enjoyed beef cattle. I played baseball at a Junior College. At the University of Nebraska, I was a pre-vet undergraduate student. In my senior year at UNL, I expressed to my advisor, Roger Johnson, that I was interested in a graduate program in beef cattle reproductive physiology and the impact of nutrition on reproduction. He said he knew just the place and person to work with, and with his connections at Oklahoma State University. The rest is history.
What is your position at the University of Nebraska?
For 30 years, I was an Extension beef cattle specialist, working with Extension educators and cow/calf producers in Nebraska and surrounding states. Currently I am the Associate Dean of Extension and the Agriculture and Natural Resource Program Leader. In this capacity, I work with Extension educators.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
The faculty in the Animal Science Department was, and still is, one of the best in the country and the opportunity to work with some of the best beef producers in the nation drew me to Nebraska. In addition, the agriculture economy drives the state of Nebraska, so the opportunity of being part of that was really cool.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
The people – the opportunity to work with and alongside some really talented students, graduate students, faculty and producers. I like to learn, and this environment provides that opportunity.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Most of the greatest achievements with the University are because I have been part of or have put together some really good teams that had a common vision. My greatest achievement is that my wife and I have raised two children that we are proud of and mean a lot to both her and I.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I like to play the card game pitch.
What is your life like outside of work?
We have two grandchildren that fortunately live in Lincoln. We spend a lot of time with them and enjoy every minute. They enjoy coming out to the farm. Also, there is always something to do on the farm, so I spend time doing those things.