Awards and honors

Extension Educator Jack Arterburn on Cattle Business Weekly list of Top 10 Industry Leaders under 40

Jack ArterburnJack Arterburn, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Educator in the northern Panhandle, has been selected one of the Top 10 Industry Leaders under the age of 40 by The Cattle Business Weekly, a leading agricultural publication based in Philip, S.D.

Every fall CBW selects ten individuals who are making significant contributions to the industry to be featured in its annual herd reference guide, which was just released. Arterburn, who grew up in Sidney, has been an Extension Educator since 2016. He is responsible for Extension beef systems programming primarily in the northern Panhandle counties of Sioux, Dawes, Box Butte, and Sheridan, but also statewide Extension education programs in beef systems.

In addition to Arterburn, this year’s CBW Top 10 class consists of cattle producers, auctioneers, tech gurus, media experts, feedlot operators, beef educators and veterinarians. In addition to Arterburn, others named to the class are: Eric Knock, Tulare, S.D.; Monte Bloms, Carpio, N.D.; Kyle Shobe, Lewistown, Mont.; Steven and Amy Muller, Agar, S.D.; Brooke German, State Center, Iowa; Joshua Mohnen, White Lake, S.D.; Lacey Maier, New Salem, N.D.; Jordan and Drew Feller, Wisner, Neb. and Ellen Schlechter, Orient, S.D.

A selection committee designated by CBW selects the individuals every year from a pool of candidates. Selection criteria is based on the individual’s involvement/accomplishments in the ag industry, what role they are playing in bettering agriculture for the future and what impact they have on their local communities.

“We always appreciate the different individuals that make up the Top 10. It’s a great reminder of what it takes to make American agriculture what it is. This class of leaders is a great example of what the next generation of farmers and ranchers is doing today,” said CBW editor Codi Vallery-Mills in a news release. Profiles of these individuals can be viewed in the recently published Cattle Business, Herd Reference Guide or online at www.cattlebusinessweekly.com.

Groskopf recognized for grain marketing plan smartphone app

Jessica GroskopfJessica Groskopf, a Nebraska Extension Ag Economics Educator based at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, was part of a team that received national recognition for their efforts to introduce farmers to the Grain Marketing Plan smartphone application, a decision-making tool developed by Nebraska Extension.

The National Association of County Agricultural Agents recognized Professional Excellence in Applied Research Posters at the Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference recently in Chattanooga, Tenn. Third place went to the poster by Groskopf, along with co-authors Robert Tigner, Extension Educator at North Platte; and Cory Walters, Extension Specialist based in Lincoln.

The poster discussed adoption of the Grain Marketing Plan app by farmers who attended “Developing a Grain Marketing Plan” workshops, and the impact of the app on their decision making.

The smartphone app is a customizable electronic grain marketing plan with a built-in reminder system. Once a farmer has developed a marketing plan, they can input their decision statements into their smartphone. When a price or date target is hit, the farmer will receive a notice encouraging them to take action. The application features a pre-harvest and post-harvest marketing plans and is available for corn, soybeans, and winter wheat.

Groskopf, who has been an extension educator at the Panhandle Center since 2012, and her colleagues conducted a series of workshops to help producers in developing and implementing grain-marketing plans using the Grain Marketing Plan app.

Panday wins Maize-Asia Youth Innovator Award

Dinesh Panday, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln agronomy graduate student working and studying at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, is one of the winners of the 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovators Awards.

He was presented with the award at the 13th Asian Maize Conference Oct. 8-10 in Ludhiana, India, and was invited to present his work in maize research for development at the closing plenary session.

Panday is a doctorate graduate research assistant in soil fertility and nutrient management and has been conducting research in the Scottsbluff area, while based at the Panhandle Center. His advisors are Bijesh Maharjan, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture and Soils and Nutrient Management Specialist at the Center, and Richard Ferguson, professor and interim head of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.

Panday’s research aims to determine the effectiveness of high-carbon char in reducing environmental nitrogen loss and improving nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency in fertilized soils in semi-arid regions. The project uses sensors to detect maize nitrogen stress, predict grain yield and determine in-season and additional side-dress applications of nitrogen fertilizer, to reduce environmental impacts.

The 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovators Awards recognize the contributions of innovative young women and men who can inspire fellow young people to get involved with maize-based research, change agency and farming. The awards aim to celebrate youth participation in maize-based agri-food systems and are sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program on Maize (CGIAR MAIZE) in collaboration with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD).

“It was my honor to represent the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as my home country, Nepal, in such a glorious event,” Panday said. “I feel privileged to receive this award and it has encouraged me to work more on maize-based agri-food system. I am very thankful to my advisor, Dr. Maharjan, for providing me continuous support and encouragement to grow professionally.”

Dinesh Panday Maize award
Dinesh Panday (second from right) is presented the 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovator Award by (from left) Dr. B.M. Prasanna, Director of the Consultative Group on International Research Program on Maize (CGIAR MAIZE); Dr. Martin Kropff (right), Director General of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center; and Dr. Mike Robinson, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Switzerland and MAIZE Independent Steering Committee. (Photo: Manjit Singh)

Society for Range Management honors Stephenson

From the Society for Range Management

Dr. Mitchell Stephenson of Scottsbluff, Neb., received an Outstanding Young Range Professional Award at the Society for Range Management’s (SRM) 71st Annual Meeting, Technical Training, and Trade Show in Sparks, Nev., which concluded earlier this month.

Dr. Mitchell Stephenson Society for Range Management award
Photo: 2018 SRM Outstanding Young Range Professional Award recipient Dr. Mitchell Stephenson with SRM President (2017) Dr. Larry Howery

The Outstanding Young Range Professional Award recognizes SRM members who exhibit superior performance and leadership potential in any range-related area. Dr. Mitchell Stephenson has been with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as an assistant professor in rangeland ecology and management at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center since 2015.

Dr. Stephenson’s research has focused on areas with potential impact on managing grazinglands throughout central and western North America. His research in grazing livestock distribution, targeted grazing, social association dynamics within cattle herds, and rangeland resilience on private ranches is cutting-edge and has placed him in a leadership position in foraging ecology.

He is developing an excellent record in scientific journal publications and leading workshops at professional meetings. As an extension specialist, Dr. Stephenson is developing a highly visible extension program which already has a major impact on beef cattle production in Nebraska. He contributes to the UNL Range Short Course, the Nebraska Range Youth Camp, the High School Range Judging Competitions, the Gudmundsen Sandhills Open House, the Field Day at the Barta Brothers Ranch, and workshops and fields days at numerous other locations. He has co-authored 5 extension publications, numerous webinars, popular press and newsletter articles, and website publications.

With these communications, he has been very effective in distributing research results to the ranch level and to conservation agencies/organizations. Dr. Stephenson’s contributions to the Society for Range Management are significant at both the section and international levels. He is a member of the Nebraska Section SRM, and is in line to be the Section President in 2018. Mitch is a member of several SRM committees and is on track to become a leader in SRM.

For his many accomplishments and contributions, Dr. Mitchell Stephenson is most deserving of this 2018 Society for Range Management Outstanding Young Range Professional Award.

Jack Whittier award

Whittier recognized by Animal Science Society

Dr. Jack C. Whittier, director of the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, has been named the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science (WSASAS) during its annual meeting recently in Fargo, N.D.

Dr. Whittier was raised on a diversified livestock and crop farm in northeastern Utah, and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science from Utah State University in 1979 and 1981, respectively. Dr. Whittier completed a Ph.D. degree in ruminant nutrition in 1985 from the University of Nebraska.

Since 2014, Dr. Whittier has been Director of the University of Nebraska Panhandle District Panhandle Research and Extension Center and Professor of Animal Science.

He has fulfilled significant leadership roles in WSASAS. Most recently, Dr. Whittier served on the ASAS Board of Directors as Western Section Director for two 3-year terms (2010 to 2016). His applied research has focused on range beef cow nutrition and reproduction management. He has helped generate over $2.2 million in extramural funds as PI or Co-I, participated in training 37 graduate students, and authored or co-authored 49 refereed publications and numerous non-refereed and Extension papers. Currently, Dr. Whittier supervises 12 Ph.D. Research and Extension Specialists and 22 Extension Educators.

Dr. Whittier has contributed as an active leader with Boy Scouts of America, in numerous leadership roles with his church, and with the Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club. Dr. Whittier and his wife, Robynn, have two grown sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. They also own a small-scale Simmental-Angus seedstock beef herd.

The Distinguished Service Award is sponsored by Elanco Animal Health and the Western Section of ASAS.