Meet the Golden Gophers 2017 Beef Team, here to serve you – Minnesota Farm Guide

The seasons come and go, as do the members of the University of Minnesota Beef Team. We figured it was time for a little update on your core team in 2017.

Ready to help with all beef and agricultural-related subjects, we appreciate the chance to meet every producer in Minnesota.

So here we go:

• Nicole Kenney Rambo joined the University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team in 2013 as the Feedlot Extension Educator and is based at the Mid Central Research and Outreach Center in Willmar, MN. Nicole completed her undergraduate work in Animal Science at Texas A&M University, has an M.S. in Beef Cattle Nutrition from the University of Kentucky and is completing a Ph.D. in Beef Cattle Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. In her role with the Beef Team, Nicole develops research-based educational programming in a variety of media formats and participates in applied feedlot research. Nicole’s primary areas of interest are feedlot nutrition and management and her current research focus is improving feedlot efficiency through resource management.

• Alfredo DiCostanzo is a professor and Extension animal scientist with responsibilities for state-wide programming in beef cattle nutrition and management. He has been with University of Minnesota Extension for 24 years. His programs focus on researching, developing and disseminating strategic nutrition and management interventions that enhance beef cattle production and economic efficiency. Specific areas of research and extension programming are: evaluation of distillers grains nutrient characteristics and handling, distiller’s inclusion strategies, feedlot facilities and facilities management, fine-tuning nutrient requirements for growth and reproduction to enhance production efficiency, preparing and marketing feeder calves for sale, effects of pre-weaning and backgrounding strategies on feedlot performance and carcass traits.

• Ryan B. Cox is an associate professor and Extension meats scientist who leads extension programming in the areas of food safety, HACCP sanitation and auditing, and meat processing including product derived from game. He joined the University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science in 2008 and has led meat science research efforts on pre-harvest effects on meat quality with special emphasis on alternative feeds (co-products) and alternative finishing systems and beef quality and sensory traits. His laboratory is housed in the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science (ABLMS) building on the St. Paul campus where he focuses on evaluation of the effects of pre-harvest feeding and management strategies on lipid oxidation of resulting meat products. The University of Minnesota is recognized nationally for having one of only a few laboratories in the country which makes lipid oxidation their emphasis. Further, through public-private partnerships, ABLMS continues to serve the beef and other livestock sectors in a financially efficient manner.

• Eric Mousel is the Extension cow-calf educator for the University of Minnesota. He is a native of Nebraska and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eric worked as the Extension range livestock specialist at South Dakota State University and served as head of the Department of Agriculture at Northwest Missouri State University before arriving in Minnesota. His background in range science and range management has contributed to his success as a forage management specialist for the team. Producers and other educators often rely on Eric’s expertise on cover crop species selection and management, grazing plans and management, and factors determining economic success in cow-calf operations.

The team could not operate without the skillful (sometimes not so) help of many graduate and undergraduate students, and staff both at the Department of Animal Science and outlying research stations. We strive for open collaboration and encourage participation by these individuals in all types of projects, but in particular, outreach projects. These experiences help to make our young team members more successful in their chosen careers.

The team also wishes to express gratitude to all the allied industry representatives and technical staff who regularly work with us to design, conduct and interpret research and education programs for cattle producers in Minnesota and the U.S.

Without their continued support, the work of the University of Minnesota Beef Team would come to a stop. Special mention of thanks is made to staff of the Minnesota Farm Guide for permitting us to divulge results of research and education efforts to a wider audience in the Upper Midwest.

Lastly, the team is grateful for the trust Minnesota cattle producers, meat processors and government agencies have placed on our efforts to advance the beef industry in the state. Please look for the next scheduled contribution to this column in two weeks.

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