Nebraska Extension Brings Research & Innovation Statewide

October 8, 2015

Lincoln, Neb. — During the month of October, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is celebrating the grand opening of Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC). NIC is adjacent to UNL and strategically provides access to research faculty, facilities and students. This access inspires creative activity and engagement, transforms global ideas into global innovation. The model of transforming research into reality is not new to UNL – since its beginning, Nebraska Extension has delivered research-based knowledge to people through direct teaching, experiential learning opportunities and publication.

Recent projects that have further reinforced this mission include:

• As part of a UNL strategic initiative to strengthen support for early childhood development in Nebraska, Nebraska Extension plans to hire additional educators to interact more fully with the early childhood community and to bring early childhood expertise to all corners of the state.

• A joint effort of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL, the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture and the Nebraska State Fair, Raising Nebraska is a 25,000 square foot exhibit is designed to help visitors better understand and appreciate the advancements, impact and global leadership of Nebraska agriculture. New for 2015, is a huge outdoor garden shaped like the state of Nebraska. The exhibit will be available year-round, staffed by a Nebraska Extension educator.

• Henry J. Stumpf International Wheat Center near Grant was built in 2014 after Marvin Stumpf donated $1 million and a section of land for the facility. Geared to western Nebraska conditions, the center is a base for research, education and demonstration work on wheat-based dryland and irrigated cropping systems.

• The new headquarters building at UNL’s High Plains Agricultural Lab (HPAL) north of Sidney was named for pioneering cropping systems specialist Charles R. Fenster in August. The 2,800-square-foot building provides new offices for permanent staff, work stations for students or visiting scientists, a conference room, and space for seed and plant material handling. The mission of HPAL is to improve the profitability of dryland crop and livestock production through applied research responsive to the needs of local producers.

• As part of a larger urban agriculture program partnership between the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, the Omaha Home for Boys and Nebraska Extension, urban ag classes will be offered at the Omaha Home for Boys this fall. The Urban Agriculture Program is designed to support locally-produced food, prepare job-ready agricultural graduates, and foster social and economic development for youth and adults.

• Nebraska Extension has collaborated with the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers Association and the Nebraska Soybean Board to form the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network (NOFRN). NOFRN provides an opportunity for growers to get questions answered about their own fields. Research typically is conducted with the producer’s equipment, on the producer’s land using the producer’s management practices.

These are just a few of the examples of how Nebraska Extension is making an impact on the success of our state. Nebraska Extension joins the UNL community in celebrating Nebraska Innovation Campus, while continuing to expand on the research and innovation occurring at four research and extension centers and 83 Nebraska Extension county offices across the state that serve all 93 counties.

Kathleen Lodl
Nebraska Extension