Mary Drewnoski is the recipient of the 2020 Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award. Drewnoski is an associate professor and beef systems specialist in the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The award was presented to her recently during the annual 2020 Midwest section of the American Society of Animal Science meeting held in Omaha, Neb.
Drewnoski grew up in Appalachia, attended Berea College and North Carolina State followed by a three-year post-doctorate at Iowa State and two years on faculty at the University of Idaho. She was hired by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014 as part of an interdisciplinary team focused on developing integrated crop and cattle production systems in Nebraska.
Her extension and research program is focused on the utilization of crop residues and cover crop forages for backgrounding calves and beef cows. She has been instrumental in developing a $4.8 million Nebraska Beef Systems Initiative and leads the extension component. Drewnoski has made 87 presentations at extension meetings and has authored or co-authored 31 extension articles and done 45 interviews over the past three years.
She instigated the development of an exchange for farmers with crop residues or cover crops to connect with cattlemen looking for grazing opportunities. Drewnoski has certainly achieved the goals envisioned as a Beef Systems Specialist.
The ASAS Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award recognizes an individual currently employed as an extension specialist by a state or federal service and is engaged in outreach education conducting programs in animal or dairy science. This person actively works with people that produce livestock animals or with people in the meat industry and uses their connections to initiate and develop educational programs dedicated to increasing education in areas such as breeding, milk production, nutrition, management, physiology, and many other areas that promote the growth of the industry. This award is sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition.
Colo. Leopold Conservation award names three finalists
ARVADA, Colo. – Three finalists have been selected for the prestigious 2020 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes ranchers, farmers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working lands.
In Colorado the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The finalists are:
• Collins Ranch of Kit Carson in Cheyenne County: Toby and Amy Johnson’s family are cattle ranchers who have implemented a grazing system focused on the long-term sustainability and improvement of grass and soil health. By utilizing more, but smaller, pastures their rotational grazing system protects against overgrazing. Cattle are moved to fields of corn stalks during the winter. Water tanks for cattle and wildlife have been moved away from meadows and creeks to reduce erosion.
• LK Ranch of Meeker in Rio Blanco County: The innovative grazing management, fencing and watering systems implemented by the Klinglesmith family have made their ranch more ecologically and economically resilient. Conservation easements placed on the ranch ensure that water rights will remain for agricultural and wildlife in perpetuity. New irrigation equipment reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate hay fields, and any late season hay growth is left standing to feed mule deer and elk.
• May Ranch of Lamar in Prowers County: From a carbon credit offset program and rangeland health assessments, to how cattle are properly cared for, rancher Dallas May and his family utilize a variety of third-party verifications to measure and manage conservation success. In addition to managing the grasslands his cattle graze, the Mays have installed wildlife-friendly fencing, improved wetlands and streams, restored playas and planted native trees. They actively work with conservation groups by hosting surveys of bird species, tours and biological inventories on the ranch.
This year’s recipient will be announced in April. The formal award presentation will take place on Monday, June 15, 2020, at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s 2020 Annual Convention, which will be held at the Colorado Springs Marriott in Colorado Springs.
To learn more about previous recipients, including the 2019 recipient, Livingston Ranch of Stratton, Colo., visit https://www.sandcountyfoundation.org/our-work/leopold-conservation-award-program/state/colorado.
Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.
Connealy selected to represent Angus breed at NCBA’s 2020 Young Cattlemen’s Conference
The Angus Foundation selected Gabriel Connealy of Whitman, Neb., to represent the Angus Breed at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Every year, the Angus Foundation sponsors an individual to attend and represent the Angus breed at YCC, held May 27-June 4, 2020, in Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Connealy is not only well versed in experience, but also history within the Angus breed. Growing up working on his family’s Angus seedstock operation, Connealy Angus, in Nebraska, he developed a passion for the industry and desire to assist in his family business, whose sustenance was built on the breed cattle. This led him to attain his bachelor’s degree in finance and later his master’s degree with an emphasis in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His hunger for learning and passion for the industry is what encourages him to consistently look for new sources of knowledge through all media, specifically podcasts, which happens to be where he learned about YCC.
“At the end of each day, I hope to understand the world better than I did when I woke up,” Connealy said. “In particular, I want to understand every aspect of the beef industry more thoroughly: from night-calving to policy making in Washington, D.C.”
In addition to managing the family herd of 3,000 registered Angus cows, he has been a 23-year member of NCBA, served as a voting delegate at the 2019 National Angus Convention, and he has played an important role in the startup of his local Nebraska Farm Bureau chapter in Grant County.
“While at UNL, he demonstrated to me that he was not only intelligent, but more importantly, that he was committed,” said Matt Spangler, Ph.D., professor of animal science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If I were to make an investment in a young person whom I thought had the potential to one day serve in key leadership roles within the beef industry, I would invest in Gabriel.”
His experience is backed with an innate desire to learn, which inspires him to put new information to use for the betterment of the breed. Connealy has had an array of experiences from interning in Argentina with an Angus breeding consultant to regularly hosting both domestic and international tour-groups at his ranch.
“We are excited to have Gabriel Connealy representing Angus at the 2020 NCBA Young Cattlemen’s Conference,” said Thomas Marten, executive director of the Angus Foundation. “He couples experience, a desire to learn and enthusiasm for the industry, and that will allow him to expand on opportunities presented to him to further his ranch and the industry.” ❖