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SD beef specialist to serve as bridge in feedlot specialist replacement

SD beef specialist to serve as bridge in feedlot specialist replacement
Dr. Robbi Pritchard will assist at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, feedlot, while the extension searches for a new feedlot specialist. Courtesy Photo

Dr. Robbi Pritchard, noted feedlot nutrition and management professor from South Dakota State University, has been contracted to help  guide the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research Feedlot north of Scottsbluff until a replacement is hired for Dr. Matt Luebbe, who recently resigned as feedlot management and nutrition specialist.

The arrangement was announced by Dr. Jack Whittier, Research and Extension Director for the Panhandle Center. Whittier said Pritchard will provide scientific, research and management guidance to the research feedlot and assist in research and operational activities on a consulting basis.

He said, “Dr. Pritchard’s role will be to serve as a bridge between Matt Luebbe’s departure and the time it takes in the university system to recruit, interview, and relocate a new specialist.”

During this roughly one-year agreement period, Pritchard will communicate closely with Whittier and Clint Krehbiel, Head of the UNL Department of Animal Science, as well as Panhandle feedlot personnel and appropriate faculty both in Lincoln and Scottsbluff, pertaining to the research and extension activities at the Panhandle Feedlot, according to Whittier. “We have a very skilled feedlot crew at the Panhandle feedlot who are capable of handling the day-to-day operations. Robbi’s role will be to help guide the research and use the amazing feedlot research capacity of the feedlot to its fullest during the transition.”

“He will interface with local, regional and national feedlot industry professionals and advisory groups to communicate and refine overall objectives of the Panhandle Research Feedlot as a key component of the University of Nebraska in the Central High Plains,” he added.

Whittier stressed that Pritchard’s agreement will in no way compromise the process of hiring the next specialist. The Panhandle Center has been given approval to move forward to fill this vacancy. However, there is still a process that must be followed before a formal recruitment begins. One step in that process is to get input from the local feedlot industry, which will be done in the coming weeks during an open meeting at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. Details and a date for this open meeting are in process and will be widely advertised when available.

“Robbi’s reputation will assist PHREC and the university in continuing to establish the research feedlot as an important component of our goal to maximize visibility and use of the tremendous resource the Panhandle Research Feedlot provides,” Whittier said. “A key component of our goal is to serve the needs of the Central High Plains cattle feeding sector – and contribute to the next generation of highly sought after feedlot nutritionists.”

Pritchard received a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Washington State University and performed post-doctorate work at Texas Tech University. Since 1984 he had worked at South Dakota State University, where his current title is Distinguished Professor in Animal Science. His work has placed particular emphasis on bunk/feed management, growth enhancement technologies, managing carcass traits and considerations of how best to optimize technology advances in ways that reward the complete system of beef production.

He is a member of the American Society of Animal Science and the Plains Nutrition Council.

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