March 09, 2021

Klopfenstein Lecture: History of GSL Research

Klopfenstein Lecture Recap by Lauren Ann Brizgys, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Dr. Jack C Whittier from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln described the impact of 40 years (1978-2018) of the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory (GSL) on Beef Cattle and Range Systems during today’s Klopfenstein Lecture.  The GSL has been an integral part of livestock management and performance in the Nebraska Sandhills since the late 1950s.  One of GSL’s significant accomplishments has been the development and implementation of a systems approach to research over the years.  This systems approach has changed the interpretation of research results as economic change and biological principles evolve.  The success of GSL can be attributed to the administration at the University of Nebraska Lincoln which allowed the GSL team, of multidisciplinary researchers and extension specialists, the liberty to formulate the needs and direction of scientific research on the sandhill range relevant to lab and livestock handling.  The GSL investigates a wide variety of research using the systems approach.  Some of the research examples include protein (versus starch) as the preferred winter supplement for sandhills forages, economically efficiency production systems using self-harvesting by grazing, matching calving months to optimal rangeland increasing quality and quantity, and validating NRC models for nutrient requirements of beef cattle.  Additionally, GSL has been involved with extending range capacity with distillers’ grains as supplements on cool-season meadows and upland ranges, identifying type and type of supplementation impacting prenatal fetal programming via epigenetics, providing hands-on scientific ranch practicums throughout the year to educate clientele in multiple states, heifer development systems, and sub-irrigated meadow management.  Future directions with GSL include precision livestock management projects such as cattle tracking, virtual fencing, UAV’s, electronic feeding systems, and precision matching cow type and efficiency with its environment.

The recorded presentation will be available after the meeting and can be found on the meeting website.