New Forage Specialist to Join Panhandle REC Faculty

New Forage Specialist to Join Panhandle REC Faculty

Mitchell B. Stephenson will join the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center next spring as a range and forage management specialist.

Mitch Stephenson
Mitch Stephenson

Stephenson's appointment was announced this week by Jack Whittier, director of the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff.

Stephenson is scheduled to start his range/forage position effective April 1, 2015. He will be responsible for conducting research and extension programs focused on sustainable use and management of rangelands, integration of annual and perennial forage crops to supplement range, ecological implications of grazing, and sustainable livestock production on rangelands.

As part of a multidisciplinary team at the Panhandle Center, he will partner with other UNL faculty and various organizations, agencies and advisory groups.

Whittier stated, "We are extremely pleased to attract Mitch back to western Nebraska. Mitch spent his early years in the Sandhills, near Hyannis, so he is very familiar with this region. Since then he has been trained in some of the premier range management training programs in the country. We feel fortunate that he will be joining our team here at the Panhandle Center."

Stephenson said, "I grew up in western Nebraska and I'm excited to return. I look forward to working with livestock producers and range managers on research and extension projects that can improve production and sustainability of rangelands."

Stephenson has been a graduate research assistant at New Mexico State University since 2011, while working on his Ph.D. He is scheduled to receive his doctorate in December 2014. His research has focused on grazing systems, timing of grazing, targeted livestock grazing, cattle distribution, low-stress herding, and other related topics.

He received a master's degree in range science in 2010 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also served as a graduate research assistant from 2008-2010. His professional experience includes working as a range ecologist at the Conservation Research Center at Jackson, Wyo., and as a range technician at Jackson and in Arizona prior to that time.

Two other faculty positions at the Panhandle REC are expected to be filled this winter: a dryland cropping systems specialist and a water management specialist.

Dave Ostdiek, Communications Specialist
UNL Panhandle REC

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.