Sunday, November 29, 2020

Weekend Ag News Round-up - Nov 28

 Nebraska Cattlemen Announce YCC Class of 2021

Nebraska Cattlemen announced the 2021 class of the YCC. YCC nominees were accepted from throughout the state and selected by a committee to participate in the two-year leadership program.

The Class of 2021 includes:
    Allan Louthan, Stanton
    Chance McLean, Stromsburg
    Jake Pullen, Aurora
    Gage Baker, Deshler
    Tevyn Baldwin, Mitchell
    Justin Conner, Arnold
    LaCaylla Fink, Elsmere
    T.L. Meyer, Thedford
    David Schuler, Bridgeport
    Aksel Wiseman, Hershey

“With a year full of uncertainties, the applicants for the 2021 YCC class was not one of them. Per usual we were blessed with a large number of superior nominations. Nebraska Cattlemen leadership welcomes the newly selected individuals as part of our 2021 YCC class and we are eager to introduce them to all of the opportunities our organization provides.” – Bill Rhea, Nebraska Cattlemen President Elect.

The goal of the YCC program is to expose young and emerging leaders to a variety of areas of the beef industry and provide them with necessary leadership tools. During the two-year program, YCC members are provided training on professional communication, given the opportunity to tour multiple Nebraska-based agriculture production facilities and learn to navigate state agencies and legislative processes.

All of this could not happen without generous sponsorship from Farm Credit Services of America and Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation.

Extension webinar to cover updated crop production budgets, new online budgeting program

A Nebraska Extension webinar on Thursday at noon will cover highlights from the 2021 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Crop Budgets and provide an introduction to the new Agricultural Budget Calculator online program that is now available for use and testing.  

Glennis McClure, extension educator and farm and ranch management analyst, will present on updates to this year’s crop budgets, how the projections were developed and how the information can be used by farm managers in their operations. The 2021 budgets are available in PDF format, as well as Excel, which can be updated by the user to match their crop production operations and expenses. The university’s crop budgets are published at and include 83 production budgets for 15 crops, as well as information on budgeting procedures, standard costs used and a production cost summary.

McClure will also demonstrate the new Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) — a new web-based enterprise budgeting program developed by the university’s Department of Agricultural Economics. Currently in its testing phase, the ABC program allows managers and producers to enter their field operation procedures, machinery information, prices, and projected revenue, to calculate returns above cash and all costs. The program allows for ease of use in customizing crop enterprise budgets.

The webinar is presented as part of the Agricultural Economics Extension Farm and Ranch Management weekly series.

Registration is free at

Corn & Soy Ambassador Program Applications Deadline Extended - Dec. 4

The Corn and Soy Ambassador Program is a year-long program for college students who are interested in learning more about the industry and becoming better advocates for agriculture. Each year up to 10 students are selected to participate in the program.
Throughout the year, students will take part in three seminars, a summer tour and various promotional events for the corn and soybean industries. Following the completion of the program students will be recognized at the annual meetings of the corn and soybean associations, and each will be presented a $500 scholarship to help them with school expenses. Funding for portions of the program is provided by the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board. For more information about the program and an application, please click

Embracing COVID-related Opportunities

Passion and purpose. These two words describe Dr. Laura Greiner’s everyday approach to her profession and her students. She concentrates her passion of animal agriculture into her purpose of educating others on the benefits of animal agriculture for consumers.

Since joining the Iowa State University animal science department and Iowa Pork Industry Center in 2018, Greiner has worked in teaching and research in her primary emphasis area of swine production and nutrition.

In addition to teaching and working with the extension Greiner has four graduate students involved in a variety of projects in swine nutrition and physiology. When COVID-19 became a reality, some of those projects had to change due to packing plant closures.

“COVID’s not all bad, it's given us some opportunities and some good direction at the same time,” she said. “We've had a lot of focus in the last three to four months on how to help those producers manage through how to slow down growth rates on pigs and manage through some of those challenges of flow.”

Other opportunities for her and her colleagues in the animal science department that have arisen due to COVID include finding ways to better prepare for foreign diseases, evaluation of compensatory growth, and management of holding diet programs. She explained this means rather than euthanization being the only option when there is a disruption in the market, other options are now available.

COVID also provided opportunities to find gaps that need to be addressed. One of those gaps was people being prepared to handle a potential mass euthanasia.

“We were not mentally prepared for how long it would take to euthanize animals,” she said. “We now have a new perspective on ensuring more effective strategies for euthanization in the future.”

In addition to her research, Greiner is an instructor for two Iowa State courses: Introduction to Pork Production (AN S 225) and the Pork Fellows class (AN S 480C) that brings people from the industry to talk to students about current issues within the industry. She also teaches an online course on swine science (AN S 280) at Iowa State for individuals in the industry who want more background on basic swine science.

“Teaching in the COVID era has definitely been interesting,” she said.

Interesting in that she now has to record her lectures, which has become more time-consuming. However, she is thankful to be able to have face-to-face classes because it is beneficial for her and students from both connection and energy standpoints.

Through her work and in her approach to life, Greiner continues to pursue her passion of animal agriculture through new opportunities of educating others.

“Life takes you wherever,” she said. “You just have to be open to the experience and opportunities.”

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