Erixson named head of Nebraska Forest Service | TheFencePost.com

Erixson named head of Nebraska Forest Service

LINCOLN, Neb. – John Erixson has been named the next state forester and director of the Nebraska Forest Service. He was deputy director for two years and was promoted after a national search.

"I am proud of how well the Nebraska Forest Service serves Nebraska, and I know as director and state forester John will lead the forest service to continue delivering the excellent programs and services that ensure the health of our forests and communities," said Ron Yoder, associate vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to the forest service, Erixson, a Nebraska native, spent more than 20 years managing natural resources in Idaho for a private consulting firm. He holds bachelor and master's degrees in resource management from the University of Idaho. He is an active member of several regional and national organizations, including the Society of American Foresters and the Invasive Species Council. "There is an impressive legacy of forest stewardship in Nebraska. To say I have big shoes to fill is a bit of an understatement," Erixson said. "A large part of my role starts with serving Nebraskans, and I am looking forward to giving back to my home state." Erixson assumes leadership of the forest service at a challenging time. The emerald ash borer was discovered in Omaha in June 2016 and is expected to destroy most of Nebraska's green ash trees as it spreads across the state.

Robinson joins American Angus Assocation

The American Angus Association has added Rachel Robinson of Kansas City, Mo., to the communications group. She is a 2010 agricultural journalism graduate from the University of Missouri who began her new role Sept. 25. Prior to joining team Angus, Robinson served as a senior account executive at Woodruff in Kansas City, Mo. Robinson brings more than seven years of marketing experience to the table. She has previously served as an account manager at Osborn Barr in Kansas City, as well as a freelance writer for Today's Farmer and Farm Journal. "Rachel brings a wealth of journalism and marketing knowledge to the communications team," said Clint Mefford, ssociation director of communications. "Her expertise in these areas will only help further advance the association's communication efforts." As the senior communications specialist, Robinson will contribute to the team's multimedia efforts by developing literature pieces and assisting the production of The Angus Report. She will also play a key role in crafting comprehensive communication plans to help execute the association key strategies. In her previous position, Robinson lead marketing communication efforts for multiple agricultural corporations through planning customer events, curating marketing plans and executing product launches. "The American Angus Association has a great reputation for excellence in the industry and is a leader in the cattle business," Robinson said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the future of the organization."

CCA recognized by BLM at PLC meeting

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Bureau of Land Management announced Colorado Cattlemen's Association as one of the three 2017 Rangeland Stewardship Award recipients at the Public Lands Council Annual Meeting in Flagstaff. "Public lands ranchers plan their operation around sustaining a healthy, diverse and productive rangeland," said Dave Eliason, Utah rancher and president of the PLC. "They invest time, money and resources into the process and it's exciting to see some of these phenomenal ranchers recognized for their efforts." CCA received The Rangeland Stewardship Collaborate Team Award. CCA is celebrating its 150th year as an organization, and has promoted multiple use and sustainable land management through producer-facing programs. CCA was also commended for establishing a productive setting for mediation services and supporting Sagebrush Steppe management objectives. Past presidents Tim Canterbury, Mark Roeber and Robbie LeValley received the award on behalf of the organization. Ethan Lane, executive director of the PLC emphasized the importance of the stewardship awards. "Public land ranchers continually exemplify the best conservation and stewardship practices, and are highly deserving of the recognition," Lane said. "Our team is thankful for the importance the BLM places on recognizing these stewards."

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Wyoming team named reserve champion in livestock judging contest

The Casper (Wyo.) College Livestock Judging team earned Reserve Champion at the 71st Annual National Barrow Show Livestock Judging Contest in Austin, Minn. The team scored a total of 3,206 points, just nine points behind champion Butler Community College from El Dorado, Kan. The team placed fourth overall in reasons out of the 16 teams competing in the contest. Individually, sophomore John Eilertson, Wentworth, S.D., placed fourth high individual overall, and sophomore Shanan Davey, Olathe, Colo., placed seventh high individual overall. Head coach Jeremy Burkett noted that before the contest, the team stopped by several pig operations "to judge different classes to help prepare for the National Barrow Show contest. I was very pleased with the team's performance this past week. It is exciting to have a group of kids who are willing to work to accomplish their goals. With so much talent and work ethic, I look forward to traveling this year with them," Burkett said. "The National Barrow Show judging contest is one of the elite breeding swine shows in the country and holds a rich tradition in the swine industry. To be named as the Reserve Champion team is a great honor and accomplishment for these young people." he said. The Casper College Livestock Judging team has a rich history and winning tradition since 1978. The championship livestock judging team competes across the country and ranks among the nation's top junior college judging programs. With nine academic All-Americans since 2005, including five All-Americans since 2014. Under Burkett, Ph.D., Casper College has had four national contest wins including Fort Worth Stock Show, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Arizona National Livestock Show since 2009. After, Casper College, students are continually recruited to transfer to agricultural universities across the nation.

Reinke recognizes Alliance Irrigation technician

DESHLER, Neb. — Reinke has recognized Brady Brown with Alliance Irrigation in Kersey, Neb., with a five-year Proven Leaders in Unmatched Service Program Longevity Award. Brown received the award in recognition of his dedication to maintaining a PLUS Program certification for five years. "Qualifying as a PLUS or Platinum PLUS technician is a high achievement in itself," said Reinke Service Training Administrator Jennifer Craig. "To maintain this certification for five years is a huge accomplishment not only for the individual but also for the dealership that supports them. Reinke is proud to honor the dedication shown by these individuals." The Reinke PLUS Program is a service training coursework that's offered to full-service Reinke dealers. The program includes a series of six service training courses and a testing process to qualify as a PLUS or Platinum PLUS certified technician. To maintain certification, 16 service training credits must be earned each year either through online or in-class training. Certified Reinke PLUS technicians are trained to deliver the most advanced technical service and support to customers.

Stucky Ranch honored as 2017 CAB Ambassador

Gordon Stucky was always a fan of the Certified Angus Beef brand, but two terms on the American Angus Association board and serving as president in 2014 galvanized that into a passion. "I've always thought, we need each other," the Kingman, Kan., rancher said, calling the brand "a perfect fit for what we're doing on the ranch." A "Targeting the Brand" logo appears in Stucky sale catalogs as a selection aid for customers since 2011, a watershed year for the growing relationship. "We decided we were going to ride for the brand in every way possible," Stucky said, signing on as host for an educational program called "Masters of Brand Advantages" early that year, and for some CAB group every year since. Enthusiasm and ability to connect with the entire range of partners along the supply chain at their unique location helped Stucky Ranch earn the brand's 2017 Ambassador Award to be presented at the CAB Annual Conference Sept. 27-29 in Nashville, Tenn. The ranch business is built on sustainability and relationships, starting with God and family, looking back and well past tomorrow. Interaction with tour groups keeps the family focused, Stucky said. With Caroline and his son Jesse, they prepare for each tour day as if it were a bull sale. "These folks are extremely important for the role they play in our supply chain," he said, noting some deep discussions. "We had the question a couple years ago, what sustainability means to me. The first thing that came to mind was my dad." Martin Stucky had come to Kingman County in 1937, where his father soon helped him and a brother start on the roots of today's ranch. Youngest son Gordon bought the family's first registered stock as a 16-year-old in 1976. His mentor and partner conveyed a guiding wisdom and rationale in their 17 years in business. "He's been gone a long time now," the son said, "but he helped provide the start we could build on." In discussions on animal welfare, Stucky talks about thoughts on waking each morning: "We have that frame of mind that we want every animal under our care to have the best day they've ever had." Relationships are no less a part of sustainability, and "Targeting the Brand," which entails much more than simply raising cattle that can grade. "It's a people business, so we grow it by long-term attention to what our customers need," he said. "You build those relationships over the years to where they feel like you're a part of their team." Some customers sell calves at weaning but an increasing share participate in the backgrounding and finishing phases to get more return on their investment in genetics. The 200 Circle-S-Bar bulls sold annually and their average productive life means they generate up to 20,000 commercial Angus calves each year. "We track every trait and expected progeny differences to make sure we offer bulls that are the most economically relevant to those customers, and also give everything the ranching eye for conformation and soundness," Stucky said. Posting CAB logos next to qualifying bulls in the catalogs, and photo sections recapping tour visits by international guests all tend to raise the Stucky Ranch profile as a genetics provider, the cattleman said. "They come here with heightened expectations, just knowing we have these balanced cattle and the relationships with end users from all over the world." Two-way education takes place when those tour buses arrive. "They have flown over our ranch at 30,000 feet," Stucky said, "but we give them a feel for what it's like to spend a day in our boots." There's an information exchange, "but it's mostly connecting people. They want to know what's behind the CAB product, but they also want to know Jesse Stucky and the name of the horse he rides," the father said. "Some of them seem to fall in love with Jesse and his horse, but it's all just part of understanding our life." "Having these tours, everything we do is under the microscope," Stucky said. "Whether it's a tour day or not, we've always got that in the back of our minds — how we care for things, and do things on a daily basis — even if no one sees, it's part of the program we continue to build, and part of our story." The tours made the family realize how their location and Angus program are uniquely suitable for the sharing. Seedstock operations with multiple breeds or Angus breeders not attuned to the quality side may not feel such an affinity with the brand, Stucky said. "For us, it's just a perfect fit. We enjoy hosting tours for any groups, but the CAB tours are special because that interaction completes our business model," he said. CAB is headed for another record year and Stucky figures there will be more of the best beef next year. "We're going to make more and better, so we have to keep working at this together," he said, with advice for the brand: "Keep letting the consumer know it's there. They'll spend a few more pennies for it and be happy, and we'll make that circle complete."

Angus hires 3 to communications group

The American Angus Association announces three additions to the communications group. JD Rosman and Ali Luety join the team as communications specialists, and Max Stewart joins as a video production specialist. Rosman joined the team in June as a communications specialist after he graduated in May from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications. Prior to joining the communications team full time, he freelanced for the association while finishing his degree, and he interned with the association's communications team the summer of 2016. He also has produced extensive show coverage for the Oklahoma Youth Expo and worked for Oklahoma Horizon TV as a multi-platform journalist. Stewart comes to the team to put his creative mind to work on producing high-quality videos for the association. He has won many awards for his video work in the past, including first place in the Kansas State University 48 Hour Film Festival. Stewart has worked as a social media manager for Wildcat Watch out of Manhattan, Kan., and student video producer for Kansas State University. He graduated from Kansas State University this past August with a bachelor's degree in business management and entrepreneurship. Luety joins the team from Agri-Pulse Communications where she had been interning since May. She graduated in 2017 from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in public relations. During her time at Iowa State, Luety interned with Meredith Corporation as an editorial apprentice, as well as FarmHer and the American Farm Bureau Federation in their respective communications departments. "We are very excited about the recent growth in our communications team," said Clint Mefford, association director of communications. "JD, Ali and Max are extremely talented, and we are looking forward to what our young and creative team can do for the association." ❖

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