OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Background information related to proposed budget reductions
November 20, 2002
This is a response to address issues raised by the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln Academic Planning Committee (APC) and
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) clientele
regarding conversion of the South Central Research and Extension
Center at Clay Center to a field laboratory and closure
of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the West Central
Research and Extension Center at North Platte. Carrying
out much of this response is conditional upon adequate funding.
Adequate funding hinges in large part upon actions the Governor
and Legislature take in the next legislative session, beginning
January 2003, as they work to balance the budget.
The APC made several recommendations regarding IANR's cuts.
One is that South Central Research and Extension Center
faculty remain at Clay Center. A second is that the Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory at North Platte remain open.
IANR consistently has made clear that we would prefer not
to make these cuts, and would not do so had nearly $4 million
not been cut from our budget in less than a year. Unfortunately,
that has occurred, and we no longer can support all the
good programs we have supported in the past. We must make
these cuts or:
will not generate the budgetary savings necessary
to balance the budget in light of the third round
cut of $2,028,767 assessed the Institute; or
will have to redirect the cut to other valuable
programs we expect will draw the same vociferous
opposition from other constituents and faculty as
did the cuts originally proposed.
In the course of considering the proposed budget reductions,
several related issues were raised by clientele, faculty
and staff. Below is background information summarizing information
related to questions that arose during the APC hearing process,
and IANR recommendations related to those questions.
I. Regarding the proposed closing of the Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory at the West Central Research & Extension
Center, the question was raised about how the Institute
of Agriculture and Natural Resources would provide veterinary
education if the North Platte laboratory were to close.
Dr. Steve Ensley, currently stationed at the West Central
Research and Extension Center at North Platte, has a 50
percent veterinary extension appointment and a 50 percent
veterinary diagnostic appointment. Dr. Ensley's greatest
strength is in the diagnostic arena. He also has skills
in extension education and would like to continue work in
both arenas. To capitalize on Dr. Ensley's strengths and
accommodate the veterinary extension educational needs of
Nebraska's livestock industry, IANR proposes to move Dr.
Ensley into a tenure-track diagnostic pathology position
in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
This redefined position would be 75 percent diagnostic work
and 25 percent extension education. (See Section III below.)
To help ensure western Nebraska veterinary extension education
needs are met, IANR is looking at creating a veterinary
extension education position to serve western Nebraska.
The position would be an extension educator with a veterinary
medicine degree, but a PhD would not be required. Assuming
adequate resources after the next Legislative session, the
position would be funded through redirection of extension
educator funds. It would be a non-tenure leading position
co-directed by the Panhandle Research and Extension Center
and West Central Research and Extension Center district
directors and by the head of the Department of Veterinary
and Biomedical Sciences. This position would be part of
an educational team comprised of the new veterinary extension
educator, Steve Ensley, and extension veterinarian specialists
Dave Smith in Lincoln and Dee Griffin in Clay Center, to
address the veterinary livestock educational needs of veterinary
practitioners, farmers and ranchers.
Implementing this model actually would result in an increase
in extension education FTE focusing on the veterinary education
needs of the cattle industry as shown below:
2003 - FTE
The new veterinarian could be located at North Platte, at
Scottsbluff or in the West Central or Panhandle Districts
at a Cooperative Extension county office.
During the course of considering potential cuts,
the question was raised about the threat of bioterrorism
vulnerability if the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is
closed at North Platte.
Bioterrorism is a concern throughout the United States.
In assessing any laboratory's place in such a scenario,
it is important to know what would occur should Nebraska's
animal population be a bioterrorism target. The first person
to see a case of Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) will be the
animal owner, who will call a veterinary practitioner. If
the veterinarian suspects a FAD, he/she is obligated by
law to report his/her suspicion to the USDA Veterinarian-in-Charge
(VIC) for Nebraska, or the Nebraska State Veterinarian,
who will in turn report it to the VIC. The USDA then must
send a USDA veterinarian to investigate, and any samples
collected must be shipped to the USDA Foreign Animal Disease
Center at Plum Island, New York. If a FAD is suspected,
the case cannot be sent to a UNL diagnostic laboratory.
Neither the satellite laboratory at the West Central Research
and Extension Center at North Platte nor the satellite laboratory
recently closed at the Panhandle Research and Extension
Center at Scottsbluff is or was certified as a BL 3 laboratory,
and therefore is not secure for bioterriorism diagnosis
testing. Neither is the Veterinary Diagnostic Center in
Lincoln. As noted above, samples must be shipped to the
USDA Foreign Animal Disease Center at Plum Island, New York.
If the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission receives the federal
money for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing that they
hope to receive, they could hire a veterinarian who could
deal with wildlife diseases and also have responsibilities
for FAD diagnostic surveillance. There is no indication
the Game and Parks Commission would be interested in using
those funds to support an extension veterinarian.
In looking at the caseload at West Central last calendar
year (2001), they had a total of 645 cases submitted to
that lab (53.7 per month). Those cases involved 223 necropsies.
Of those necropsies, 48 percent were from Lincoln County
alone, and 73 percent were from Lincoln County and those
counties that border Lincoln County. Therefore, a significant
number of necropsies are done for producers and practitioners
that are in fairly close proximity to the West Central Veterinary
The total West Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
caseload thus far in 2002 (January 1 @ November 14) is 786,
which is higher than last year. Some of these cases are
simply forage samples being tested for nitrate levels because
of the drought. Even then, the West Central Veterinary Diagnostic
Laboratory has an average caseload of 74.8 cases per month.
Of those cases, 333 were completed at West Central. The
remaining 453 cases required testing that had to be done
A related question was raised about the possibility
of increasing diagnostic fees in order to support the continued
operation of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at North
Platte be supported by increasing diagnostic fees?
In addressing the issue of whether increasing laboratory
fees could maintain the West Central Research and Extension
Center Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at North Platte,
it is necessary to assess the complexities of the fee structure.
Just increasing the diagnostic fees for services provided
by the North Platte laboratory itself, such as admission
fees, necropsy fees, bacteriology fees, parasitology, etc;
isn't going to generate enough gross revenue to support
In 2001, the North Platte Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
performed just 3,809 tests. Applying the current fee schedule
rate to these tests, they would have generated a maximum
of $46,808 of fee revenue at that laboratory. However, the
fee schedule provides for discounts in various ways, so
it is very unlikely that laboratory actually generated that
much revenue. In either case, the fees at that laboratory
would have to be increased by more than four times to generate
enough revenue to support the current diagnostic laboratory
It is not feasible to add new tests at the North Platte
Laboratory in order to significantly increase revenues.
The level of expertise required to support the more sophisticated
tests would be very difficult to create at North Platte.
This would require a much higher level of expertise, manpower
and equipment necessary to assure rapid results and troubleshooting,
which does not exist. Additionally, much of the sophisticated
equipment in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center (VDC) used
in Lincoln to support these tests is shared and utilized
for multiple purposes research, as well as diagnostics.
This moving such equipment would damage productive ongoing
The North Platte laboratory generates about 5 percent of
the revenues generated by the VDC. It is estimated that
more than 50 percent of the VDC's revenue this year came
from nontraditional diagnostics that cannot be conducted
at North Platte. For example, the bovine viral diarrhea
virus (BVDV) testing program is estimated to be responsible
for greater than 35 percent of the Lincoln laboratory's
gross fees. Other larger volume accounts this year were
USDA, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Department
of Health and Human Services, and several large volume serology
testing programs on pseudorabies virus (PRV) and porcine
reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) conducted
for public and private clients, none of which can be conducted
at North Platte.
The large-volume testing services provided to nontraditional
industry, government, and out-of-state clients by the VDC
generate considerable income even though there is a very
small margin-over-cost on each individual test. Examples
are the West Nile virus testing, federal scrapie testing,
and chronic wasting disease (CWD) research contracts. These
activities support purchases of equipment and provide stable
jobs for highly skilled technical support so that the diagnostic
laboratory can provide affordable diagnostics to food animals
in a fashion that is competitive with surrounding laboratories.
Food animal cases, including those dominating the North
Platte caseload are the primary reasons for the existence
of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory program, but these
cases are generally very expensive and the lab does not
fully recover costs on the majority of these tests. Thus
the large-volume diagnostic testing contributes significantly
to supporting the food animal diagnostic testing program
and contributes to animal health research as well as surveillance
for emerging new diseases and foreign or exotic animal diseases.
It is not feasible to increase fees on the nontraditional
and out-of-state clients in order to keep the North Platte
facility open. The VDC is nationally recognized as the leader
for conducting the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test for BVDV,
and this test alone accounts for 35 percent of the gross
revenue generated by the veterinary diagnostic program.
However, the VCC fee for conducting this test is already
the most expensive test nationally, for any laboratory that
is doing a large volume of these tests. The test now competes
with new, cheaper fluorescent antibody technologies. Increasing
the fee could result in lost clients and an overall reduction
in gross revenue. The scrapie and CWD contracts are negotiated
with state and federal agencies and are set for the year.
The scrapie contract is obtained through a nationally competitive
bidding process and we only got the contract by having a
competitive testing fee. Any revenue over expenses is due
to the large-volume efficiency of the VDC. CWD testing at
Nebraska is 20 percent higher than surrounding states already.
Nebraska Game and Parks agreed to the higher fee because
of factors associated with convenience and location. The
West Nile contract was a successful one-year contract and
a renewal is not anticipated next year from the Nebraska
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as it is
doubtful that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will
continue to invest as heavily in West Nile Virus surveillance
now that it has spread across the United States. New technologies
also have entered the picture which may allow DHHS to do
their own testing in the future.
In checking the fee schedules for the diagnostic laboratories
in surrounding states (Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming,
and Colorado), Nebraska's fees are higher in general than
those states. There are occasional tests that Nebraska does
for less, but the overall costs are greater at the Nebraska
laboratory. This is a reflection of varying levels of state
subsidy. The high fees in comparison suggest that if we
were to raise our fees higher, Nebraska veterinarians would
have an even larger economic incentive to send their cases
to other states. We know that fee levels are important.
For example, we know of veterinarians in the Panhandle who
already pool cases from several ranches or feedlots into
a single submission/case to avoid a $7 admission fee for
each ranch, and instead pay a single $7 admission fee for
In summary, it just does not seem feasible to maintain the
North Platte Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory by raising
II. With regard to the recommendations on the Research
and Extension Centers, the question was raised about how
IANR could continue to serve the South Central Research
and Extension Center clientele. Described below are short
and long-term plans for continuation of services.
IANR will implement a short-term plan for continuing to
serve South Central Research and Extension Center clientele,
while building further education and research for the area
into IANR's strategic plan.
APC and South Central clientele would like to see current
South Central Research and Extension Center faculty positions
physically remain at Clay Center. The faculty greatly appreciate
that support. The faculty also say that the top priority
is a viable research farm/field laboratory, and that the
multidisciplinary approach that has been their trademark
continue. However, they say to continue to be a productive
team, they must have both sufficient office support resources
and a full complement of faculty expertise.
With the research field laboratory operational, and current
South Central faculty relocated to Lincoln or another research
and extension center, the network of Cooperative Extension
offices in the area will be IANR's focal point for interactions
with local clientele. The Clay County Extension Office is
located 4.5 miles from the current SCREC Headquarters, and
so is convenient for area producers. That site has broadband
internet access and can serve as a local information site
for clientele. Other county extension offices in the area
also have good connectivity and can serve as a local point
of contact. These include the extension office for Adams
County in Hastings; the Hall County office in Grand Island;
the Hamilton County office in Aurora, and the Fillmore County
office in Geneva.
Another possibility is to expand the use of Web-based delivery
of timely information. This has proven successful in regards
to plant diseases. The Plant Disease Central Web site is
highly used and well-regarded by clientele, crop consultants,
and extension educators.
Other options for connecting with local clientele on a regular
basis include telephone conference calls. These currently
are used by faculty at research and extension centers across
the state during the growing season. Videoconference programming
delivered via satellite and CD-ROM are other ways of meeting
Relocated faculty will continue to be involved in research
at the South Central Field Laboratory, and so will be at
the laboratory location when conducting research there.
Technicians supporting the faculty will be headquartered
at the South Central Field Laboratory. Office space will
be found for the technicians by working in cooperation with
USMARC. In addition, operating support for travel and some
"swing" offices and space to process samples will be provided
faculty when they are working at the South Central Field
Pending adequate funding, IANR would like to release a "Water
Resources Engineer" position to be advertised and filled.
The proposed 60 percent extension and 40 percent research
position will be located in the Department of Biological
Systems Engineering. Additional cuts to the IANR budget
this next legislative session will affect the possibility
of filling this position. The water resources engineer is
a 12-month, tenure-leading research and extension position
to be housed in Chase Hall. Filling a water resources engineer
position in Lincoln, to have statewide responsibilities
with an emphasis on water management needs in the south
central region of Nebraska, is seen as the best alternative
to bridge the lack of research and extension education support
that has resulted from position eliminations and freezes
because of budget cutbacks.
This person would participate as a member of a multidisciplinary
group of faculty currently associated with the South Central
Research and Extension Center, and play an important liaison
role with the Natural Resource Districts, the USDA Natural
Resource Conservation Service, and the various irrigation
districts in South Central Nebraska.
IANR has ongoing irrigation and water research across its
statewide system. All faculty working in water research
at the research and extension centers and in Lincoln are
doing work of value to the state, including the south central
region. However, heavy commitments of those faculty, coupled
with budget cuts, mean help is needed to provide south central
Nebraska, a focal point for irrigated agriculture in the
state, with research and continuing education programs.
Longer term, two water engineering positions are needed
to adequately address water issues for all of Nebraska.
For decades the Department of Biological Systems Engineering
has addressed water resource engineering needs of Nebraska,
through collaboration between faculty at the research and
extension centers and water faculty in Lincoln. Unfortunately,
three faculty positions have become open and remained unfilled
in this area due to budget uncertainty. When one faculty
member who worked on the impact of irrigation methods and
management on groundwater quality retired two years ago,
the position was eliminated in a budget cut. At about the
same time, another faculty member was transferred to a new
position within the Cooperative Extension Division, curtailing
his extension education in irrigation and drinking water
quality concerns. In 2001 a water engineer at the South
Central Research and Extension Center left. He worked on
reducing atrazine loss from irrigated fields, irrigation
management, interactions of tillage and irrigation. He was
just initiating a large field experiment on subsurface drip
irrigation, which has been put on hold. Although the department
requested filling these water resources positions, IANR
has been unable to do so because of budget cuts.
Although currently short three engineering positions, faculty
in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering continue
to do the best they can to meet Nebraska's research and
extension education water needs. Currently there are faculty
whose focus is water resources based at the West Central,
Northeast, and Panhandle Research and Extension Centers,
plus four engineering faculty in water resources on campus.
These center faculty all work in irrigation management,
and will help satisfy immediate extension education concerns
in the south central region. One of the water faculty in
Lincoln has a teaching and research appointment dealing
primarily with center pivot irrigation; he is one of Nebraska's
main authorities on water rights in the Republican River
dispute with Kansas. Another has a teaching and research
appointment; his research is in measuring and managing surface
irrigation and in hydrologic engineering. A third has a
joint extension and research position; his efforts are on
improving surface water quality by improved management to
reduce pesticide loss and vegetative filter strip design
and performance. Together two other faculty constitute 1.0
FTE in pollution prevention, with their remaining appointments
in Civil Engineering. Their extension and research effort
is aimed at reducing waste and protecting groundwater.
A number of current and recently completed research projects
being conducted by other UNL research faculty also have
direct bearing on some of the agricultural and environmental
challenges facing south central Nebraska. The following
are just a few of the more pertinent ones:
faculty working on irrigation projects include Dean
Yonts (Biological Systems Engineering/Panhandle Research
and Extension Center), Bill Krantz (Biological Systems
Engineering/Northeast Research and Extension Center),
and Jose Payero (Biological Systems Engineering/West
Central Research and Extension Center) (all off-campus);
Dean Eisenhauer in the Department of Biological Systems
Engineering and Jim Schepers and others in the Department
of Agronomy and Horticulture here on campus.
UNL faculty work on the importance of riparian buffer
strips (especially streamside vegetation) for maintaining
water quality, including Dean Eisenhauer, Tom Franti
(Department of Biological Systems Engineering), and
Roy Spalding (Department of Agronomy and Horticulture).
Mike Dosskey (USDA Agroforestry Center and School
of Natural Resource Sciences), Jim Brandle (School
of Natural Resource Sciences) and Kyle Hoagland (School
of Natural Resource Sciences) recently received funding
to conduct research in this area.
water interactions, a key issue in south central Nebraska,
is a particularly strong area of research at UNL,
with faculty from Geosciences (Vitaly Zlotnik), Conservation
and Survey Division (Xun-Hong Chen), Department of
Biological Systems Engineering (Derrel Martin), and
School of Natural Resource Sciences (Ed Harvey) participating.
source pollution of surface water and groundwater,
and watershed hydrology are areas of research addressed
by several at UNL, including Tom Franti, Roy Spalding,
Charlie Wortman (Department of Agronomy and Horticulture),
and Vitaly Zlotnik and Joe Szilagyi (Conservation
and Survey Division).
Holz (School of Natural Resource Sciences), Don Rundquist(School
of Natural Resource Sciences/Conservation and Survey
Division/CALMIT), Jim Merchant (Conservation and Survey
Division, School of Natural Resource Sciences), Istvan
Bogardi (Civil Engineering), Sheri Fritz (Geosciences),
and Kyle Hoagland are conducting a statewide lake
classification study, which includes south central
Nebraska, and ultimately will contribute to the Nebraska
Department of Environmental Quality setting Total
Maximum Daily Load (which deals mainly with phosphorus
and nitrogen in runoff from agricultural fields) water
quality standards across the state. This is a critical
topic for agriculturally dominated portions of Nebraska,
such as the south central region.
The extension water faculty within IANR meet monthly to
plan statewide extension programming. During the sessions,
this faculty group assesses what is occurring in the state
concerning water-related issues, and what action is necessary
to respond to Nebraska needs. Technicians and extension
educators occasionally are included in the assessment sessions.
Input comes from a number of sources, including extension
educators. Individual research and extension center faculty
work closely with the educators in their region. Extension
educators forward needs into Lincoln through specialists.
The UNL Water Center also conducts an annual water sciences
research forum to assist in the exchange of research information
and ideas, and to foster interdisciplinary research.
There are many ongoing efforts relating to crop
research across the system. Crop research is essential
to Nebraska, as is the extension education that teaches
the results of research to clientele, providing them knowledge
they can use. Few IANR faculty have appointments in solely
research, teaching, or extension; most have a combination
of at least two, and sometimes three. Usually faculty at
the research and extension centers have both research and
In the best of all worlds, with adequate budgets and no
budget cuts, the South Central Research and Extension Center
would continue as a center providing research and extension
education there, with a focus on irrigated corn and corn-based
systems. By maintaining the South Central field laboratory,
or research farm, and the faculty associated with South
Central, albeit in another location, plus their support
staff, who will remain at the field laboratory, research
efforts on irrigated corn and corn-based systems continues,
as does other crop research done across the state.
The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture has complementary
research on irrigated corn conducted at the Agricultural
Research and Development Center near Mead, and the West
Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte. With
the research conducted at the South Central field laboratory,
this work provides an integrated program on irrigated corn
Extension education programs relating to irrigated corn
and other crops will continue in south central Nebraska.
Faculty with extension education appointments at IANR's
West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte,
Northeast Research and Extension Center at Norfolk and Concord,
and the faculty who have been at the South Central Research
and Extension Center and will be moving elsewhere, will
be available to maintain active extension education programs
for south central producers. Extension soils faculty include:
Charles Shapiro, Northeast Research and Extension Center;
David Tarkalson-West Central Research and Extension Center,
and Richard Ferguson, location to be determined. Weed science
faculty include Gail Wicks, West Central Research and Extension
Center; Stevan Knezevic, Northeast Research and Extension
Center; and Fred Roeth, location to be determined. Agronomists
Roger Elmore, location to be determined; Robert Klein, West
Central Research and Extension Center; and Robert Caldwell,
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. These scientists
contribute to the overall program on corn production systems
and represent a significant level of investment in this
research and extension area.
IANR will include a long-term plan for continuing
to serve South Central Nebraska clientele in its strategic
Since 1988, the Institute has followed a carefully developed
strategic plan that has been revised regularly. The strategic
plan update will begin in December and will be led by Dr.
Alan Baquet. It is expected to take a minimum of six months
to complete. It will be a comprehensive update, because
budgetary reductions to IANR and the degree of change affecting
the agricultural industry, rural communities, families,
and individuals has been significant. In addition, the current
plan was last updated in March of 2000, covering the time
frame 2000 to 2008. These factors suggest the time is ripe
for a thorough re-examination of IANR programs and delivery
mechanisms, looking deeply at all three facets of our mission
in teaching, research, and extension education. In updating
IANR's strategic plan, some emphasis will be placed on addressing
how IANR meets the long- term needs of clientele in Nebraska's
south central region after the South Central Research
and Extension Center is converted to a field laboratory.
For the overall update, the goal is to use engagement opportunities
to identify needs of stakeholders and students, and to determine
how to best meet those needs. As has been the practice in
previous IANR strategic planning activities, the update
will be developed working in concert with local clientele
across the state and with students, faculty, and staff through
a series of listening sessions. Special effort will be made
to seek citizen input from those not traditionally seen
as IANR clientele in order to gain more depth and perspective
on how IANR should shape its programs. A broad representation
of individuals constituting the interests of agriculture,
natural resources, communities, families, and individuals
will serve on the planning team. With the ongoing effort
to look at extension education and outreach systemwide,
throughout the strategic planning process there will be
emphasis on the interrelationship between Cooperative Extension
and research as priority needs, and ways to meet them in
The question has been raised: Is there duplication
in livestock research at the research and extension centers
that could be eliminated in order to keep SCREC open?
No. While we have beef feedlot facilities at the Agricultural
Research and Extension Center (ARDC) near Mead, the Haskell
Ag Laboratory (HAL), Concord, part of the Northeast Research
and Extension Center, and at the Panhandle Research and
Extension Center, the work done at one site does not duplicate
work done elsewhere. Some of these facilities are inadequate
for present and future needs.
Feedlot research conducted at the Northeast Research and
Extension Center is on effects of heat stress and cold stress
on physiology and performance of growing-finishing cattle.
Dr. Terry Mader conducts this unique research at HAL, where
he maintains nearly full capacity of the feedlot there.
Beef feedlot research at the Agricultural Research and Development
Center (ARDC) near Mead is directed at nutritional management,
with focus on feeding grain processing by-products, other
agronomic byproducts, and combinations of the same for effects
on growth performance, nutrient use and nutrient excretion,
including composting studies with manure from feedlot studies.
The ARDC feedlot also is the primary site for intervention
strategies studies for reducing prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7
in feedlot cattle. Inadequate capacity at present forces
us to feed some cattle at the West Central Research and
Extension Center at North Platte. Facilities there are not
designed as feedlot facilities; they are for reproductive
management studies with growing beef heifers and mature
beef cows. Cows at the West Central Research and Extension
Center were sold and replaced with heifers to accommodate
unique intensive reproductive research faculty member Rick
Funston will do there on heifer growth and reproductive
Research at the feedlot facilities at the Panhandle Research
and Extension Center focuses on production systems for finishing
yearling steers. The research is directed at developing
least cost systems that involve grazing on native and managed
grasslands as well as crop residues followed by a feedlot
phase that evaluates the quality of by-products such as
beet pulp and discard dry beans as ration ingredients. The
environment in the Panhandle is very different than that
at ARDC or HAL and there are a growing number of feedlots
in the western part of the state.
The Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) is a unique set
of resources most representative of actual conditions experienced
in beef cattle ranching. Evaluation of management strategies
under real-world conditions cannot be duplicated anywhere
else in IANR. The cattle, the handling facilities, the collaboration
across disciplines have resulted in major positive economic
impact for beef cattle producers in most of Nebraska. The
GSL and Barta Brothers ranch allow alternative calving dates
and alternative nutritional and reproductive management
to be evaluated through a "systems" approach to tie together
the ecological impact, the economic impact and the practicality
of those management alternatives. The extensive conditions
at GSL cannot provide the environment in which intensive
research projects are conducted.
The physiology beef cow herd at ARDC is suited strictly
for reproductive research of a type not able to be done
at GSL because intensive investigations are conducted with
ARDC cattle that cannot be conducted under field conditions.
The teaching beef cow herd cannot be used for physiology
research nor can it replace the herd at GSL. It is much
smaller and is used for unique genetic research and teaching
purposes, including having students prepare the bull sale
catalogue and actually conduct the bull sale each spring.
The physiology herd at ARDC and the GSL herd are not of
the genetics required to sell breeding males.
The Dalbey-Hallek cattle herd near Virginia is used in systems
research, but under markedly different ecological conditions
compared with the Sandhills location; far different feedstuffs
are available in the two locations.
Because feedlot facilities at ARDC are of inadequate capacity,
the Department of Animal Science has developed a plan to
expand capacity there by 600 to 800 head per year. It is
not economically feasible to ship cattle to PHREC, and again,
resources are not available there for support staff needed.
The swine facilities at the West Central Research and Extension
Center at North Platte were closed this year because of
budget reductions. The swine reproductive physiology position
at the South Central Research and Extension Center was given
up in a recent round of budget cuts. A beef research/extension
position was unable to be filled at the Panhandle Research
and Extension Center in 1999.
Swine facilities at HAL are of a one-of-a-kind design as
is the type of research conducted there and cannot be conducted
at ARDC because the facilities are of a different design.
Other livestock facilities at ARDC are unique, in that there
are no other dairy cattle facilities anywhere else in the
university system. IANR closed the sheep unit at ARDC, converting
it to use for received feedlot cattle.
III. The APC opposes the termination of tenure-track
faculty and recommends that two tenure-track faculty given
notice of dismissal effective October 8, 2003, be retained.
For the reasons set forth in the Chancellors report on his
final budget recommendations, IANR is making provision to
retain these two positions.
Dr. James Stack, currently located at the South Central
Research and Extension Center, will be offered an assignment
in the Department of Plant Pathology in Lincoln, his focus
on diseases of corn and sorghum. Dr. Stack will have the
statewide responsibilities of all IANR specialists, with
a special emphasis on south central Nebraska. He will be
placed on a tenure-leading line in the Department of Plant
Pathology to be permanently funded from funds generated
when the next faculty member separates from the department.
In the interim, temporary salary savings will bridge Dr.
Stack's salary until permanent funding becomes available.
Salary and benefits will be funded by the IANR Deans in
proportion to Dr. Stack's 75 percent extension and 25 percent
research appointment. Dr. Stack is eligible for tenure consideration
this year and, if successful in attaining tenure, it will
be granted effective July 1, 2003.
Dr. Steve Ensley, currently located at the Veterinary Diagnostic
Laboratory at North Platte, will be offered a reassignment
to the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
to work in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Lincoln.
He will be placed on a tenure-leading line to be permanently
funded in part from a vacant lecturer line in the department,
plus funding redirected from the budget of the Great Plains
Veterinary Education Center (GPVEC) at Clay Center. This
redirected funding from GPVEC is possible because of program
changes there. Budget will be redirected from research to
extension activities. Dr. Ensley's appointment will be 75
percent research (diagnostic) and 25 percent veterinary