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Update from Panhandle Extension Director Linda Boeckner
Posted May 31, 2013
By Linda Boeckner, Director
UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center
With the coming months of summer, events at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center step into a different tempo and focus.
Besides hosting visitors to our facilities and planning for and managing field days and a crop management school, you’ll find increased numbers of graduate students working hand in hand with our faculty and technical staff on numerous research projects and questions appropriate to our western Nebraska agriculture. Our employment numbers also increase over the summer months with student workers who provide extra assistance to all the various tasks to be done in our crops and animal research.
Speaking of hosting visitors, on May 29 we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Ronnie Green, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) Vice Chancellor, and the three newest University of Nebraska Board of Regents members, Regents Jim Pillen, Hal Daub, and Robert Schafer, during an early morning visit. It was refreshing to see their interest and engagement, and to respond to their many questions about the impact of our faculty and their projects, and the research and extension priorities at the Panhandle Center.
On the county side of things, our extension educators and extension assistants in the Panhandle District are busy hosting youth educational activities focused on many types of science education, entrepreneurism, career exploration, and citizenship and leadership, as well as the many traditional 4-H activities. Citizenship Washington Focus is one of these kinds of activities. Those who participate in this learning opportunity have spent the weeks and months ahead of their trip to Washington, D.C., to learn about our government and various governing and citizenship processes. The youth and their adult sponsors left on May 30 to begin their citizenship trip.
There are several building projects either underway or on the way. Besides the renovations to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) at our Scottsbluff facilities, the first week in June we anticipate getting started on a new handling facility at the research feedlot. Very soon after that we hope to break ground for a new office and small lab facility at the High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney.
On a personal note, the leadership reins will be turned over to Dr. Gary Hergert as the Interim District Director, beginning June 1. He will be assisted by Mr. Jim Schild as part-time Interim Associate Director. It’s been a great time for me at the Panhandle Center over the past 26 years as a specialist first and then its director. As I move toward a new position on the Lincoln campus I leave you with this note that the Panhandle Center has been serving the Nebraska Panhandle since 1910, and the faculty and staff are enthusiastically on board to address research and extension concerns that are critical to this area of the state both now and into the future.