Nebraska breaks ground on first-of-its-kind cattle research center
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has broken ground on a commercial-size cattle research center that leaders say could transform the beef supply chain.
Chancellor Ronnie Green tells Brownfield the Klosterman Feedlot Innovation Center connects research, producers, consumers and processors. “That is built to reflect the industry. Built to reflect the commercial scale of the industry. Built to reflect the commercial conditions of the industry. That’s pretty rare. There are a number of feedlot centers around the country, but there aren’t many that are practical, sensible and industry scale like this.”
The $7.5 million project is funded through a combination of public and private funding and will be operational near Mead, NE, in the next several years.
Green says some of the advancements include: “The individual feeding technology and the induvial animal technology that will be part of the innovation center is a big piece of that. There is a lot of technology that is being developed around nutrient management as well.”
The center will include cattle comfort and research buildings, a feed technology and phenotyping facility, innovative open lots and a handling facility.
Vice Chancellor with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Mike Boehm tells Brownfield those are just stepping stones. “From that, we can start bolting on other technologies whether it’s biodigesters or vertical plant growth facilities for ration development. Or it could be robotics and bunk readers and things like that and covered outdoor pens.”
He says the center focuses on sustainability improvements. “Thinking about protein sourcing. Thinking about meat production. How are we going to feed a growing world as the population goes up 2.5 billion in the next 25 years? Nebraska, the beef state, is now at the epicenter of all that.”
And, Boehm says, the research will impact the industry. “What we do here is directly applicable to what feeders are doing, boots on the ground. This isn’t a research project.”
Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor:
Mike Boehm, Harlan Vice Chancellor with IANR: