Impacts of 40 Years of the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory on Beef Cattle and Range Systems
Jack Whittier talks about the Impacts of 40 Years of the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory on Beef Cattle and Range Systems at a seminar, Oct. 18, 2018, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science.
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[00:00:02.270]Probably everybody knows our speaker,
[00:00:05.780]He's working and director
[00:00:08.208]at Panhandle Research and Extension Center for four years,
[00:00:12.960]plus or minus now.
[00:00:17.320]He, before that,
[00:00:18.210]was an extension research specialist at Colorado State.
[00:00:28.139]20 years or something.
[00:00:29.980]Just short of. 19, yeah.
[00:00:33.630]For Mick Donell, that's important.
[00:00:35.460]For me 19 or 20 is the same--
[00:00:43.323]Involved in that range beef Cal symposium?
[00:00:47.943]Were you at the start, or not?
[00:00:48.830]Not quite at the start.
[00:00:53.740]While I was a student, I accidentally
[00:00:54.910]went to one of the early ones as a student.
[00:00:56.890]Is that right?
[00:01:01.580]I was trying to make you older than what you are.
[00:01:04.560]Before that, he spent some time at an extension
[00:01:08.780]Was Patterson there, when--
[00:01:11.690]John Patterson was one of our students.
[00:01:17.800]The question is, what does he know
[00:01:20.360]about the Gudmundsen Ranch,
[00:01:21.860]which is the title, right?
[00:01:24.040]If he's been at Colorado State and Missouri.
[00:01:28.900]Well, it's because that's 40 years.
[00:01:34.320]That goes back to '78.
[00:01:36.878]A couple years after that,
[00:01:38.617]you came to work on a PhD.
[00:01:44.670]with Don Clanton and Gene Deutscher.
[00:01:52.328]I won't get into the story of my connection with plant,
[00:01:55.490]which is good.
[00:01:56.560]I didn't pay them to sound bad.
[00:02:03.205]And so this was during the startup,
[00:02:06.221]probably didn't do the first research at Gudmundsen,
[00:02:08.570]but one of the early projects
[00:02:12.770]and worked in this area,
[00:02:14.231]kind of between nutrition and physiology.
[00:02:18.090]And that's pretty much been your career, right?
[00:02:19.870]It's working with the cow,
[00:02:21.122]there's not a,
[00:02:23.202]I know that nutrition is a lot more important,
[00:02:25.133]but that's actually a real question.
[00:02:29.642]that intersection's kind of been helping with the cow.
[00:02:33.338]That time at Gudmundsen,
[00:02:34.390]right when it was starting up,
[00:02:36.370]my recollection in the early years was to,
[00:02:39.295]because I kind of liked horses,
[00:02:40.865]was the Rat Horse Barn with a lot of,
[00:02:45.221]didn't do much for the research
[00:02:47.253]and didn't get a lot, did it?
[00:02:48.994]Bright years of horses at that time.
[00:02:52.130]Okay, Jack. We're glad to have you here
[00:02:53.700]to talk to us about the history, thanks.
[00:02:57.370]It is good, it's an honor,
[00:02:59.274]and it's fun to come back.
[00:03:02.830]Been a little, kind of, not that it's starting to repeat,
[00:03:06.547]but a little more background.
[00:03:10.820]Now, as time goes, you get more reflective perhaps,
[00:03:16.150]but it's an honor to be part of this Nebraska machine,
[00:03:21.694]as I call it.
[00:03:23.070]It's really, in the sense of
[00:03:27.574]the impacts that happened,
[00:03:30.380]and happened in least in that
[00:03:32.750]primarily in the beef area.
[00:03:34.010]A big focus now, Jim, is you found knowledge
[00:03:37.073]that integrated Nebraska Integrated Beef Systems Initiative.
[00:03:46.140]I just, I want to pull that in here.
[00:03:50.740]Gotta get my clicker.
[00:03:54.910]I've kind of broken into two or three different parts.
[00:04:00.670]You know me, and I'd rather at lot of time.
[00:04:02.890]Terry accepted it kind of sets the stage
[00:04:05.050]for some of the other things.
[00:04:07.140]I'll tell you a little bit about the district
[00:04:08.540]and you know that too, but some of you may not.
[00:04:11.963]Thee and four are four-hour,
[00:04:14.440]focus a little more at the time.
[00:04:21.074]let me go back there,
[00:04:23.630]I don't remember if it was Kelly Brunger
[00:04:25.862]made the discovery that 1978 was four years from 2018.
[00:04:32.975]He did that this week. You can do the math, now.
[00:04:35.413]That's a bit, it was interesting,
[00:04:38.530]we kind of started looking at what had changed
[00:04:42.800]and what had been developed,
[00:04:45.010]what impacts that happened in that 40 years.
[00:04:48.780]The one assumption, that were are the director,
[00:04:51.090]I think, when the gift came,
[00:04:54.335]and he was also the director
[00:04:55.380]when I was working at North Platte.
[00:04:58.422]Good to see you here.
[00:05:03.430]As Terry mentioned, I ran up the Scotts Bluff,
[00:05:06.067]the Extension Center, Research and Extension Center.
[00:05:09.870]I grew up in northern Utah,
[00:05:11.990]and that's only important because, kind of,
[00:05:15.450]some of this system's saying,
[00:05:18.543]that they try and thread through this a little bit.
[00:05:21.940]There's the homestead.
[00:05:22.870]Growing up, that's marked as 1967.
[00:05:27.064]Remember that old pickup.
[00:05:28.781]There's four Whittier boys,
[00:05:30.920]and Ron, you would know one of these.
[00:05:33.821]Went on to spend his career at Virginia Tech
[00:05:38.530]in the med school and I think I had a,
[00:05:41.250]over last interaction with you, Ron.
[00:05:44.229]The other one there,
[00:05:45.341]it was a vocational meat program at Utah State.
[00:05:50.420]That's the younger one,
[00:05:52.280]owns a sale barn in southern Utah,
[00:05:54.940]and then me.
[00:05:55.857]But we won the livestock touching contest
[00:06:00.110]at the Golden Spike National Livestock Show
[00:06:03.611]and that's the picture to verify it.
[00:06:05.930]It kind of got,
[00:06:07.303]then we started there.
[00:06:09.320]We showed Steve yesterday,
[00:06:10.720]this one here was purchased by
[00:06:12.633]what was then the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City.
[00:06:16.760]And again, to show you how things change a little bit,
[00:06:19.120]they invited us down after they purchased a steer.
[00:06:22.830]To put him on display on the corner of Main Street
[00:06:25.839]down in Salt Lake City
[00:06:27.530]and for the afternoon you could come by
[00:06:29.760]and there was a sign there that said:
[00:06:32.237]"Come back to the Hotel Utah in two weeks.
[00:06:37.297]"Then you can have a steak from this steer."
[00:06:43.060]During that day in Salt Lake City or any other city,
[00:06:46.360]even Lincoln, Nebraska would have been kind of a stretch
[00:06:50.089]to have half of,
[00:06:53.195]okay, let's see, I'll just keep going here.
[00:06:57.260]Terry mentioned I had manhood
[00:06:58.613]because I grew up in Utah,
[00:07:00.160]that the land grant of Utah State University,
[00:07:03.402]that's where I went.
[00:07:04.397]Had a chance, and I'll tell you a little bit more
[00:07:06.270]about the connection here to the Huskers.
[00:07:09.450]Terry mentioned, I got my PhD here.
[00:07:14.772]Then I went to Missouri, then I had had a chance
[00:07:17.040]to go to Colorado State
[00:07:19.030]and then make the circle back to,
[00:07:22.133]back to the Huskers state.
[00:07:26.240]That's Erin, when you say who's Jack,
[00:07:28.292]that's really part of what I feel like I am today.
[00:07:32.350]This is the family, we got four grandkids.
[00:07:35.680]This one here was born in North Platte
[00:07:42.850]while I was in Gudmundsen and make a quick trip,
[00:07:45.950]missed it, but my wife had that son while we were,
[00:07:49.510]I think I hold the record for the quickest trip from--
[00:07:53.563]Gudmundsen to Lincoln, or to North Platte.
[00:07:58.620]The extension district center here,
[00:08:00.838]and you're familiar with how that's laid out in the state.
[00:08:04.628]We were associated with the administrative line
[00:08:08.040]of both the ARD and Nebraska Extension.
[00:08:12.820]16 counties in the extension district.
[00:08:17.370]You know there's three centers:
[00:08:18.880]Scotts Bluff, North Platte, and now the indirect,
[00:08:23.570]or Eastern Nebraska.
[00:08:27.330]Five extension districts, including the Panhandle,
[00:08:30.740]West Central, and then three subdistricts,
[00:08:33.020]I guess in a ways, what they're referred to now.
[00:08:38.610]We have 13 specialists,
[00:08:40.690]11 of which have joined the research appointments.
[00:08:44.160]Academically tied in back to an academic club on campus.
[00:08:51.100]21 research technologists or technicians,
[00:08:55.250]some operational staff.
[00:08:57.040]17 educators in the district,
[00:08:59.300]with some extensions and assistants.
[00:09:02.120]That's who is there, across the scope of our assignments.
[00:09:08.920]The blue, the one through nine,
[00:09:11.590]would be those who are primarily crops.
[00:09:14.750]The middle part there,
[00:09:15.810]cow calf feed lot and ranch nutrition.
[00:09:19.500]Working then with ranch and cattle.
[00:09:22.640]Sheryl Burkhart Kriesel community development.
[00:09:25.280]Steve Sibray is a groundwater geologist.
[00:09:28.660]From the faculty standpoint then,
[00:09:32.350]at the center,
[00:09:33.920]I really, I admire and always have
[00:09:36.450]that what Nebraska sees as the importance
[00:09:39.340]of having these research and extension specialists
[00:09:42.150]out where they're most needed and most close to.
[00:09:46.550]For instance, Scotts Bluff had sugar beets
[00:09:51.350]and dry apple beets, and you know, okay?
[00:09:55.600]Why have those type of research things located in Lincoln
[00:10:00.420]as compared to putting them on site out there.
[00:10:04.180]And to have enough specialists together
[00:10:08.320]that that academic collegiality occurs.
[00:10:12.420]Folsom, Missouri and at Colorado there were,
[00:10:16.840]kind of, one person shows that were located off-campus
[00:10:21.470]and it's, it's just not as healthy, I think, academically.
[00:10:27.570]When you're only one or two deep.
[00:10:29.700]Even though we're across a lot of disciplines,
[00:10:32.630]it does help to have that collegiality to share ideas
[00:10:36.420]and solve statistical problems or whatever might happen
[00:10:40.120]as that works along.
[00:10:46.055]And as I mentioned, almost all of them have the 50 50
[00:10:50.030]research and extension component
[00:10:52.080]that ties that applied aspect together closely,
[00:10:56.530]both in the education and the research side.
[00:11:02.400]We have several places--
[00:11:06.416]Acreage right around the center,
[00:11:07.960]gone 150 acres that we call Scotts Bluff Ag Lab.
[00:11:12.400]Mitchell Ag Lab, which is where the feedlot is.
[00:11:15.690]The additional acreage is up there, cropping wise.
[00:11:19.826]The pens at the feedlot also are designed on an
[00:11:27.480]expanded water intake,
[00:11:30.090]not a pen base system.
[00:11:31.120]Water intake, can and is measured.
[00:11:35.120]Kind of an important component
[00:11:37.190]in the water deficit area of the state.
[00:11:41.380]Also, the High Plains Ag Lab,
[00:11:44.990]north of Sidney,
[00:11:47.040]former munitions depot, much like Mark is,
[00:11:51.040]the same kind of property that came to the university.
[00:11:54.690]I guess the case that Mark became federal,
[00:11:57.769]but that would be where
[00:12:00.070]Carla Jenkins is doing some of her yearly work,
[00:12:02.960]is on this crest of wheat grass in a base now.
[00:12:08.090]Sioux Experimental Rage,
[00:12:09.730]Mitch Stevenson works primarily there and does the,
[00:12:16.124]what's going on there.
[00:12:17.303]And then Gudmundsen is actually in our district,
[00:12:21.580]but it's administrated out of North Platte.
[00:12:23.880]Historically, that's where the business center was
[00:12:25.807]and it just made sense to continue to do that.
[00:12:32.520]Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't.
[00:12:36.043]The thing, a lot of you haven't been there,
[00:12:38.620]you're welcome anytime.
[00:12:40.670]Rebuilt in June of what year,
[00:12:43.390]I don't even know,
[00:12:44.310]probably 10 years ago that it was made more than that.
[00:12:48.490]It was updated and,
[00:12:50.220]I think it was asking 105 pens, 1500 heads of,
[00:12:56.290]and that allows multiple projects to go simultaneously.
[00:13:04.840]One of the additions that we've made
[00:13:06.660]just in the last year or two is the,
[00:13:09.580]is some housing.
[00:13:10.621]Temporary housing for students.
[00:13:14.100]When I got there, one of the things that the faculty said
[00:13:16.610]is it's really tough to attract students
[00:13:19.560]when they have to be to class here,
[00:13:22.430]and then some often pay double rent
[00:13:25.180]if they come out to Scotts Bluff.
[00:13:27.723]We've been able to construct that.
[00:13:30.250]They're available for overnight stays, too.
[00:13:32.900]If you're out that way and need a place,
[00:13:36.050]you can always stay in a bed.
[00:13:38.512]Hampton Inn, but these are also available.
[00:13:41.280]Our objective, along with the students
[00:13:44.050]would be to, while you're here, maybe,
[00:13:49.681]assisting scholars to grow.
[00:13:51.573]We've got one from India right now there,
[00:13:53.643]we're they're getting this complex
[00:13:55.413]and that would be one of the things to come
[00:13:57.390]and associate a little more closely.
[00:13:59.941]Talked about, Stu Hill
[00:14:03.230]Marcel from Brazil.
[00:14:04.730]And we began that open discussion.
[00:14:10.660]I was going through pictures
[00:14:12.190]and I'd thought I'd better throw this one in.
[00:14:14.663]This is your vice-chancellor
[00:14:17.540]and the branding out west.
[00:14:19.730]It's certainly not Gudmundsen, but at another ranch here,
[00:14:25.490]Olive Palms Ranch,
[00:14:26.850]and we're training him to implant
[00:14:29.374]and it was a tough deal to get a plant.
[00:14:33.000]It was a pathologist to understand implanting,
[00:14:34.984]how to do it.
[00:14:35.837]But then you also see the father,
[00:14:37.200]this is not associated in any way necessarily,
[00:14:39.960]but the dad helping the son hold the calf
[00:14:44.420]and kind of get started on the ranching career.
[00:14:51.160]Now, I want to just kind of set this stage.
[00:14:54.740]As I mentioned, I went to Utah State University.
[00:14:57.690]This a publication from back in '68,
[00:15:00.384]and Lorin Harris was kind of the father
[00:15:04.950]of ranch livestock nutrition in a lot of ways,
[00:15:07.220]at least in the western view.
[00:15:11.990]Lorin, I kindly remember him,
[00:15:15.610]but he had pretty well retired and was not around as much,
[00:15:22.330]but one of his students for PhD a guy named Don Clanton.
[00:15:28.110]And I had the opportunity to work with Don in my PhD,
[00:15:32.790]as I mentioned in North Platte.
[00:15:35.490]Just to get a little background about how this idea
[00:15:39.910]of ranch livestock nutrition, to get started.
[00:15:45.060]The Atomic Energy Commission did some nuclear testing
[00:15:48.780]in the Nevada test site back in the '40's and '50's.
[00:15:53.210]And this was a region that historically and currently
[00:15:57.594]had been a winter range for cattle and sheep.
[00:16:02.690]Not surprising, when they began that testing,
[00:16:07.100]there were some negative impacts on livestock.
[00:16:13.144]The thought was that it was nutritional.
[00:16:17.380]And it was. There were definitely some impacts,
[00:16:20.663]or some benefits, but,
[00:16:23.170]Atomic Energy Commission, they issued
[00:16:25.210]a request for proposals to study range nutrition.
[00:16:30.850]University of Nevada got the cattle grant
[00:16:33.950]and Utah State got the sheep grant.
[00:16:36.960]And so, they began to explore
[00:16:40.104]some of the nutritional aspects.
[00:16:42.980]Some of those early ways of supplementation.
[00:16:47.070]Early ways of fecal analysis and fecal effects.
[00:16:54.526]It advanced since then,
[00:16:56.447]but there was,
[00:16:57.548]and this would be then when Clanton was a student,
[00:17:01.220]that's when this work was going forward.
[00:17:04.050]There was another faculty there at the time,
[00:17:06.110]which excuse me, this was a grad student, John Butcher,
[00:17:09.970]not a name you probably know well.
[00:17:12.850]John Butcher was my advisor of undergraduate at Utah State.
[00:17:18.199]And I remember,
[00:17:19.032]as I started looking for PhD ideas and PhD programs,
[00:17:24.250]he called and actually talked for couple times previously,
[00:17:27.117]and he said "Jack, are you serious about this PhD stuff?"
[00:17:31.910]And I said that I was.
[00:17:33.285]And he said "Well, you need to know
[00:17:35.047]"if I recommend you to Don Clanton, you will get an offer.
[00:17:39.727]"And that I'm not gonna recommend you
[00:17:41.307]"unless you're serious about it."
[00:17:43.140]And in fact he did, then I did, and here I am.
[00:17:48.350]But it, I've told students that,
[00:17:50.790]all the way through my career,
[00:17:52.868]these references and trust in one another among academicians
[00:17:57.879]is pretty important and that's kind of why that...
[00:18:04.079]Anyway, Clanton and Lorin Harris
[00:18:07.710]did several things on ranch livestock and,
[00:18:11.420]we'll take time to go through those,
[00:18:12.850]but began to set the stage for some of the systems work.
[00:18:20.870]Just a few clips from that bulletin.
[00:18:24.000]Sheep equipped with range meters
[00:18:26.030]to measure distance traveled.
[00:18:28.230]The sheep also have a rumen cannula inserted into a fistula.
[00:18:33.340]These sheep were fed supplements through the rumen cannula,
[00:18:37.680]and as you can see we've come a long way.
[00:18:40.360]Mitch Stevenson now, along with several others,
[00:18:44.060]measured ranged distance and cattle distance.
[00:18:49.660]With GPS collars, we don't pull wheels behind them.
[00:18:55.850]Initially it was done.
[00:19:01.655]As I have said, to kind of lead up to this systems work,
[00:19:04.540]so Clanton had been involved in mapping
[00:19:06.943]and the ranch livestock component as a student.
[00:19:11.250]Came to Nebraska,
[00:19:13.740]and began to understand a little bit more about
[00:19:19.290]those systems-type things.
[00:19:23.457]I think Don started on campus here,
[00:19:25.467]and then moved out to the North Platte.
[00:19:29.011]And then in '78, Pete and Abbie Gudmundsen
[00:19:33.390]gifted the former Rafter C Ranch
[00:19:35.657]to the University of Nebraska Foundation.
[00:19:38.780]And so 40 years from '78 would be 2018.
[00:19:46.640]The title slide was actually was actually the title slide
[00:19:50.910]for an abstract of animal science meetings
[00:19:53.350]this summer in Vancouver.
[00:19:56.150]And as I mentioned,
[00:19:57.940]Kelly and I thought it would be beneficial
[00:20:00.960]to pull together some of that
[00:20:03.229]and tell that a story a little bit more,
[00:20:06.150]which we did with that particular abstract.
[00:20:09.203]It's a beautiful ranch,
[00:20:11.340]most of you probably have all been there.
[00:20:13.730]A very nice setting.
[00:20:15.430]Very integral to the Sandhills area itself.
[00:20:23.700]Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
[00:20:27.070]Let me go back here.
[00:20:34.153]I was talking with Dr. Sumchen about this first one.
[00:20:38.980]Having spent time in Colorado State,
[00:20:41.170]when they were also gifted a ranch.
[00:20:44.090]Nice to give it to Colorado State
[00:20:46.060]and University of Wyoming simultaneously,
[00:20:48.360]which in and of itself is a challenge.
[00:20:52.400]But, not to throw stones,
[00:20:56.430]but the administrators couldn't stay out of the pudding,
[00:21:01.060]so to speak.
[00:21:02.420]And it didn't work.
[00:21:05.580]Partly because two universities involved.
[00:21:07.900]I think also because they didn't see
[00:21:10.904]the advantage that Nebraska administrators did,
[00:21:14.500]back several years previous.
[00:21:17.180]That research team didn't do the work
[00:21:19.940]of putting it together.
[00:21:22.030]Building the fences, the replications, the things
[00:21:25.904]that allowed GSL to put out the kind of research they had.
[00:21:33.000]And to the credit of this administration,
[00:21:36.630]I think that's an important part.
[00:21:38.080]They delegated it,
[00:21:39.610]and lot of them may not have been total hands-off,
[00:21:42.730]but it was to let this team of researchers take the lead.
[00:21:48.250]That committee was chaired by Don Clanton
[00:21:50.590]and why I gave you that background on him.
[00:21:55.540]And the team of five,
[00:21:57.800]we've discussed a little bit, Terry,
[00:21:59.580]remember if we got, we got the rep team there,
[00:22:02.960]it might be missing, but,
[00:22:04.090]Jim Nichols, range scientist at the time.
[00:22:07.090]Dick Clark, an economist.
[00:22:09.150]Gene Deutscher, a physiologist.
[00:22:11.410]And Ivan Rush, the beef extension specialist.
[00:22:14.040]Ivan's still in the Scotts Bluff.
[00:22:17.220]But I would say this was the first,
[00:22:19.840]one of the early IRM teams, okay?
[00:22:22.280]Integrated Resource Management.
[00:22:23.910]Different disciplines working together,
[00:22:26.910]a common interest to put this ranch,
[00:22:30.080]and undertake the research that was put forward.
[00:22:35.690]Investigative production management questions
[00:22:37.880]pertinent to the region.
[00:22:41.060]Today, Kelly's the director, Kelly Browns.
[00:22:46.948]A couple of generations from Don Clanton,
[00:22:49.180]but Travis Molinic's now been in the slot,
[00:22:52.090]that to be the nutrition and range livestock nutrition.
[00:22:56.940]Rick Clenston has had a good career,
[00:22:59.540]he followed Gene Deutscher, kind of, in that role.
[00:23:04.228]And Gerry Goleski would have been the one that followed
[00:23:08.160]to Nick, so that turnover and that generation to generation
[00:23:15.810]Don Adams, I think he's played a key role
[00:23:19.770]in most of his research career after he left Lyle city.
[00:23:24.590]It was spent at Gudmundsen,
[00:23:26.520]taking it to the steps that have intervened from them.
[00:23:31.040]A lot of his perspective and that, again,
[00:23:33.380]that systems mentality that resulted
[00:23:37.415]from Donald's touching this as well.
[00:23:43.500]You know whether it's here or research ranch or otherwise,
[00:23:47.400]that it takes a lot to,
[00:23:49.819]of technician and operational kind of things to conduct,
[00:23:54.340]so Andy, Jacki, and John are a big help
[00:23:58.510]and a big part of what goes on.
[00:24:02.029]The donors, the people that have seen
[00:24:05.416]the guy who died in the Sandhills area
[00:24:08.530]and supported that financially.
[00:24:10.500]It allowed the additional facilities to be built.
[00:24:15.757]If you know where it is, there,
[00:24:17.190]not too far out of Whitman.
[00:24:20.720]Central to the Sandhills,
[00:24:23.680]very important to where it's located
[00:24:28.340]and the impact then in those production systems.
[00:24:36.440]Well, sometimes it goes and sometimes it doesn't.
[00:24:40.221]The Sandhills, a great resource.
[00:24:43.930]And these wet meadows,
[00:24:45.200]the high water table Ogallala aquifer.
[00:24:49.218]The high water table, and then the uplands,
[00:24:51.790]the Sandhills themselves
[00:24:54.640]have provided quite a unique environment.
[00:24:57.620]There's a ranch in '81 a few years after it was gifted.
[00:25:01.420]Berry Woods still had those, and you can see the,
[00:25:04.550]the horse barn and then some of the other things
[00:25:07.233]that were there at the time.
[00:25:10.530]And it's a little blurry,
[00:25:13.030]but it kind of shows some of the expansion,
[00:25:15.500]Wagner Hamburg center over here
[00:25:17.383]and the student housing as well.
[00:25:21.600]Laid out like that,
[00:25:24.693]it carries about 500 cows as well as the yearling operation.
[00:25:32.410]About 18 to 20 acres for cow capacity
[00:25:35.730]was pretty typical of that Sandhills region.
[00:25:42.940]When, wait that's not tenable.
[00:25:47.188]There we go.
[00:25:49.988]'83 and '85 next to '82 to '85
[00:25:53.809]was when I had the opportunity to work with my PhD program,
[00:25:57.687]and in those research pastures that run along the side hill,
[00:26:04.770]and then there was a heifer project that was right,
[00:26:09.580]kind of during the 1984 NRC B revision, okay?
[00:26:16.290]Don was on that committee,
[00:26:19.070]and so we undertook to kind of fine tune
[00:26:22.130]some of those recommendations related to
[00:26:24.810]replacement heifers and young cows.
[00:26:31.106]Now, the research and the systems,
[00:26:35.710]systems research that's currently in place,
[00:26:39.040]and has continued to hallmark, I think, a good sum.
[00:26:44.930]Significant accomplishments over the time you have as--
[00:26:49.068]The systems approach--
[00:26:51.710]The research that's been undertaken.
[00:26:54.170]Early work, and this is a quote from Don Adams.
[00:26:58.720]For example, early work was primarily conducted
[00:27:02.540]on components of production.
[00:27:04.150]I think he means by that early work,
[00:27:06.320]not just at Gudmundsen,
[00:27:07.620]but kind of in our history of academics.
[00:27:13.240]The component research--
[00:27:15.457]As time progressed, it became clear,
[00:27:18.820]to build a systems approach from pre-breeding
[00:27:21.860]to harvest better identifies and describes
[00:27:24.910]the overall impact on a ranch.
[00:27:29.078]This idea, and the importance of recognizing that
[00:27:33.820]the components need to fit together into a system
[00:27:36.415]where they do fit together in a system,
[00:27:38.108]and so researching and recognizing those interactions
[00:27:44.330]within an important part of what's going on up there.
[00:27:50.090]A systems approach often changes
[00:27:51.790]the interpretation of results obtained from research,
[00:27:55.757]the research that deals only with segments,
[00:27:59.020]and this next slide will show one of the examples of that.
[00:28:03.530]To tell you your conclusions you research your change
[00:28:05.740]as economics and deeper understanding
[00:28:08.410]of biological principles have evolved
[00:28:12.222]with further investigation.
[00:28:14.540]Things build. Research kind of builds line upon line
[00:28:19.210]and brings out the market value of Sandhills pasture.
[00:28:24.910]Who would have expected that Sandhills summer range
[00:28:29.213]would be $80 in cow-capped units a month, but,
[00:28:35.680]relative to the price of other things.
[00:28:40.840]And so, when this early work all lists several aspects,
[00:28:45.480]10 actually, that we put together.
[00:28:47.755]And one of which relates to this,
[00:28:49.550]but this relation, economically changes,
[00:28:54.140]therefore the systems plays into that.
[00:28:57.900]Therefore, this changed the relationship
[00:29:00.310]between grazing and hay feeding in some situations.
[00:29:04.230]Not all, but,
[00:29:06.760]well, I guess I divert for just a minute
[00:29:09.323]the confined cattle work that has taken place
[00:29:12.870]here and at Scotts Bluff.
[00:29:17.700]It's driven to an extent by the cost of that $80 at summer,
[00:29:24.000]or $80 lent to its summer cattle in Sandhills.
[00:29:28.243]And so a lot of these interactions
[00:29:29.820]that need to be considered and
[00:29:32.710]kind of change how we do it.
[00:29:36.220]The hallmark though,
[00:29:37.570]has been this extended grazing strategy.
[00:29:41.000]Less hay feeding, historically,
[00:29:45.050]and that led to kind of where Rick is right now
[00:29:48.930]as this fetal programming might,
[00:29:54.540]and the effects that come from that.
[00:29:57.770]Fetal programming is one of
[00:29:58.710]the most significant findings at GSL.
[00:30:03.610]Fetal programming work of several graduate student theses.
[00:30:07.130]Journal articles showing the impact of weaning on
[00:30:09.707]leaning weight, carcass weight,
[00:30:12.550]the heifer and cow reproduction, and carcass traits.
[00:30:15.910]That system, what's happening during gestation
[00:30:20.410]and having that enlargement impact on these other,
[00:30:24.730]being the typic
[00:30:25.630]and production traits way down the line.
[00:30:31.440]First research site, one of the first to demonstrate
[00:30:34.040]in at least in a practical way
[00:30:36.627]how these fetal programming things,
[00:30:38.500]and did the cattle come together.
[00:30:47.030]I mentioned that Kelly Browns and I set out
[00:30:50.190]to identify 10 things that we felt,
[00:30:54.830]and you may come up with other ideas and so on,
[00:30:58.480]but added chronologically as well as building system,
[00:31:03.826]or point on point,
[00:31:07.010]that have taken place in that 40 year period of time.
[00:31:12.620]There was an early study which, ear corn, okay?
[00:31:19.080]Those of you who are kinda in that era,
[00:31:22.550]there was a change in the Sandhills
[00:31:25.560]when Senator Pitts came out to raise corn.
[00:31:29.410]No low water table, or high water table.
[00:31:32.306]Meadows, some areas at least that,
[00:31:37.200]and when cows looked like they were thin,
[00:31:41.170]naturally it was a good thing to feed them ear corn, right?
[00:31:45.580]Terry, am I kinda getting the logic right?
[00:31:49.950]Well, they certainly were deficient in energy,
[00:31:53.670]but it was a protein-induced energy deficiency.
[00:31:57.660]By feeding more energy, basically what you did,
[00:32:00.450]common knowledge now of that negative associative effect
[00:32:07.493]that by feeding the protein,
[00:32:08.900]they increased the digestibility of the grass, the hay,
[00:32:14.660]took care of the energy deficiency
[00:32:16.430]by adding protein along with it,
[00:32:19.880]or to it.
[00:32:21.860]That's a great study that I used to use
[00:32:24.020]extensively at Colorado State,
[00:32:25.910]to teach those principles and the interaction
[00:32:28.810]between starch and fiber and deficient protein,
[00:32:35.110]and the impacts of it.
[00:32:40.180]Not most always the preferred winner supplement,
[00:32:43.340]the protein rather than the starch.
[00:32:51.350]another great study that came out of Gudmundsen.
[00:32:54.660]That was was that systems approach of hay versus graze,
[00:33:02.480]Maximizing self-harvesting, minimizing machine parts.
[00:33:08.100]Self-harvesting by grazing, generally the most economical.
[00:33:14.180]Systems approach, we're kind of already talking about that,
[00:33:16.800]and training students.
[00:33:19.843]I remember when we were putting the abstract together,
[00:33:20.810]that was one of the points that you brought out clearly,
[00:33:24.310]is that this systems thinking and transitive systems,
[00:33:28.000]training students rather,
[00:33:31.607]has been a hallmark.
[00:33:36.600]Don Adams, I think,
[00:33:39.500]took this concept of matching the production
[00:33:44.130]of that forage along with the production of the cow,
[00:33:46.820]and moved the historic March and even February calving
[00:33:51.680]back to a time when they're more suited for the growth of,
[00:33:59.190]the quality, the quality and quantity of the forage,
[00:34:02.560]and that kind of spread through the, not just in Nebraska,
[00:34:06.390]but throughout the whole US
[00:34:08.530]and maybe a bit in some parts of the world.
[00:34:12.430]Better matching this grass growth along with
[00:34:17.800]the gestation period and lactation period of the cow.
[00:34:25.370]NRC models, also the one I mentioned,
[00:34:27.700]the '84 and again in '96, Terry, and I think this is,
[00:34:32.157]and you can throw it beside the specific publications
[00:34:36.120]that have come from GSL
[00:34:39.680]that showed a major impact from what this,
[00:34:45.280]the science that's been going on there has had
[00:34:47.930]throughout the academic and the profession.
[00:34:56.960]What year did ethanol and distiller's grains
[00:35:03.720]kind of enter the scene?
[00:35:09.490]'97, '98, somewhere around there.
[00:35:11.002]'97, '98, good.
[00:35:13.120]And so naturally, as that was happening,
[00:35:19.284]I think several were involved in using
[00:35:23.740]that distiller's grain and supplements
[00:35:27.094]in these protein-deficient areas.
[00:35:31.796]At least during the winter grazing period.
[00:35:34.446]And gestating cows,
[00:35:35.550]beneficial nutrient profile for gestating cows.
[00:35:39.610]Grazing cool season, meadows and upland range.
[00:35:51.460]Mentioned the fetal programming
[00:35:53.720]and the type of supplementation.
[00:35:56.888]With respect on the components I mentioned previously.
[00:36:00.155]The condition of the cow, weight of the calf,
[00:36:02.350]carcass traits, cow productivity
[00:36:04.910]though these now better understood, there's a science of,
[00:36:09.084]kind of epigenetic,
[00:36:11.650]responses have been identified.
[00:36:20.730]Number nine, well number eight.
[00:36:23.200]The range practicum.
[00:36:25.080]I'll tell a little bit more about that in just a second.
[00:36:28.560]Big opportunity to just train in systems approach
[00:36:32.580]and year-round the changes.
[00:36:36.293]Greg's done a lot of work on that and continues to do.
[00:36:40.169]And then the balance between the sub-irrigated
[00:36:44.580]meadow management and forage management systems,
[00:36:49.030]whether they be, now historically in the Sandhills,
[00:36:52.847]and those of you have worked in that area,
[00:36:56.580]hay all summer, so you can feed the hay all winter.
[00:37:00.477]But grazing those meadows, I think,
[00:37:04.230]maybe not solely dependent on what was done in GSL,
[00:37:07.747]but kind of went hand in hand with that recognition
[00:37:11.520]and changes that have taken place in productive systems.
[00:37:20.910]Just a word about some of the other educational things
[00:37:25.113]that take place at Gudmundsen.
[00:37:27.227]The Cattleman's Day, Youth Field Day,
[00:37:28.930]an Open House of course, and then the practicum.
[00:37:34.039]Brilliant idea, I don't know who all
[00:37:35.990]was involved in putting that idea together,
[00:37:38.950]but they actually get the ranchers involved,
[00:37:42.410]and seeing these--
[00:37:47.080]of cattle grazing,
[00:37:48.030]and look at that the extrusa and do the analysis there,
[00:37:52.240]so that it became very much a hands-on,
[00:37:55.370]clear demonstration of how that works.
[00:38:00.290]Three season hands-on educational program,
[00:38:02.830]good participant skills, rather complex ranching industry,
[00:38:07.960]and then a systems approach to livestock and,
[00:38:10.293]including bringing the economic considerations into it.
[00:38:14.990]This is a slide that Rick Flenston shared with me,
[00:38:17.840]as he's been involved closely with the ranch practicum,
[00:38:21.670]managing the grass and cattle cycles
[00:38:24.740]and putting those together in a very systems approach
[00:38:29.344]kind of endeavor.
[00:38:32.720]Been successful since it was started,
[00:38:37.470]I guess this is the 20th year,
[00:38:39.970]over 500 participants,
[00:38:43.530]influence, about over 4,620 people.
[00:38:51.245]And good evaluation,
[00:38:53.280]and good feedback from those who participated.
[00:38:56.917]One currently is going on in 2018 version.
[00:39:01.664]In fact, I just see November 1st to about 5th
[00:39:03.900]GSL again for another part of that.
[00:39:10.840]With that, I'll close.
[00:39:14.780]When I say so, you may have redefined those 10,
[00:39:18.477]but those were kind of the 10 we thought
[00:39:21.069]were highlights and just happened to do stuff.
[00:39:25.677]Questions for Jack?
[00:39:28.000]How are we doing on time,
[00:39:29.189]and is there a class in here at one?
[00:39:31.740]Does anybody know?
[00:39:34.463]I don't know if there is, but you're good on time.
[00:39:36.938]Aren't you the acting department head?
[00:39:39.991]I thought the administrators knew all of these--
[00:39:41.698]No, I'm not.
[00:39:44.600]Jennifer says it was good till two,
[00:39:46.629]I'm no planning to go that far.
[00:39:47.789]Oh, okay. There is a class.
[00:39:49.298]Jennifer would know, okay? Exactly.
[00:39:53.150]Another hour, I'm surprised that you have--
[00:39:57.248]Good time for discussion,
[00:39:58.303]questions, or comments.
[00:40:01.488]What exactly is fetal programming?
[00:40:05.480]Yeah, good question.
[00:40:07.180]It's a term that's been used to, kind of,
[00:40:10.850]classify that the maternal nutrition, okay,
[00:40:14.060]so in the case of cows,
[00:40:17.269]I guess there's a study that initiated with Don Adams,
[00:40:20.620]where protein supplementation
[00:40:25.060]was minimized or maybe excluded,
[00:40:28.210]no supplementation for protein on protein-deficient diets.
[00:40:32.930]Cows that were laid to a station.
[00:40:35.430]And then that has a uterine effect,
[00:40:39.780]I guess actually a fetal effect as well,
[00:40:42.540]on some of the programming, genetic programming or,
[00:40:48.400]what's the word I'm looking for--
[00:40:52.420]Yeah, developmental I'm thinking more about
[00:41:01.733]Is that mostly nutritional?
[00:41:04.670]Yeah, it's nutrition affecting,
[00:41:06.850]kind of the expression of the genes, basically.
[00:41:11.940]Later in life,
[00:41:14.404]some of you may know more,
[00:41:16.750]I mean, the basic science of it,
[00:41:19.567]but that's the principle,
[00:41:20.930]is that nutritional interfacing then
[00:41:26.220]with the maternal period that the fetus is growing.
[00:41:31.913]That'd probably work
[00:41:32.980]with especially the June mechanic, right?
[00:41:35.996]To not feed any hay unless it was total snow-covered, right?
[00:41:41.630]It was a few hundred pounds a year of hay,
[00:41:43.970]as I recall, right?
[00:41:46.490]Those cows, during ovovid to late gestation
[00:41:51.690]were on range and then not supplemented, right?
[00:42:00.610]Or supplemented, you know? Did it work?
[00:42:03.660]And the ones that weren't supplemented,
[00:42:05.010]re-bred themselves, right?
[00:42:06.644]Physiology's important, cow breeding is important,
[00:42:09.040]so therefore, it was a good thing, okay?
[00:42:11.530]Systems work following that,
[00:42:15.295]but the calves were affected, right?
[00:42:18.500]That's, the cow, not really--
[00:42:22.375]As I remember the data,
[00:42:24.310]some cows that would get down into body condition three,
[00:42:28.150]and they'd be pregnant, okay?
[00:42:30.960]Three at the end of the rough period,
[00:42:34.430]but by the time they were ready to breed,
[00:42:36.960]there'd been enough regrowth and spring growth to breed--
[00:42:41.740]Like a flushing effect.
[00:42:46.095]But the fetus that was being gestated
[00:42:49.400]during that deficiency time,
[00:42:54.830]well there were repercussions.
[00:42:59.476]In fact, even it'd been the heifers from that,
[00:43:01.980]then had reproductive problems as I recall, okay?
[00:43:05.055]It carries over.
[00:43:07.120]This was before it became cool
[00:43:08.970]to talk about fetal programming, right?
[00:43:12.070]It's a cop, now things in the environment,
[00:43:15.840]plastics, can affect all that stuff.
[00:43:20.720]Plastics, I'd have to visit with you.
[00:43:21.817]I don't know about that side of it.
[00:43:23.930]Certain baby bottles.
[00:43:29.975]What's the makeup of the herd now?
[00:43:33.670]The genetic makeup?
[00:43:37.380]Somebody else will have to answer that,
[00:43:38.850]because I'm not that posted,
[00:43:40.260]I know there are, they went to,
[00:43:44.920]they were using mark threes,
[00:43:47.820]but I think that's converted to--
[00:43:49.850]I think that's bulls from the university herd.
[00:43:56.330]So husker reds--
[00:43:58.000]Red angus, simmental, and something else.
[00:44:01.772]A composite, yeah, okay.
[00:44:07.277]At the time we were starting,
[00:44:09.600]there was certainly no money to spare,
[00:44:13.010]so I made an arrangement with Keith Gregory
[00:44:15.960]and we got to use those mark three bulls,
[00:44:18.450]they are herd bulls.
[00:44:19.780]After they were finished with them.
[00:44:21.410]And then we would certainly market those bulls
[00:44:25.170]in the name and the mark.
[00:44:27.250]If we lost one, it cost us $500 I think it was.
[00:44:30.907]But later there was more freedom.
[00:44:35.180]Did we have to populate
[00:44:36.810]all the cows when we started, too?
[00:44:41.143]When the ranch started, it was all the cows.
[00:44:43.270]The thing is, there was a research project,
[00:44:47.630]it was rented land.
[00:44:50.130]Just east of Tryon, the Sandhills egg lab.
[00:44:53.290]There was a 200-head herd there.
[00:44:55.510]And those black bull there,
[00:44:57.840]angus Hereford cows were moved to Gudmundsen.
[00:45:02.030]And then we bought, it was about 500 heifers,
[00:45:09.280]and we AI'd those in a feed lab near North Platte
[00:45:13.090]and then those were moved to the ranch
[00:45:14.860]to make up the rest of the herd.
[00:45:17.500]And then we started using mark three bulls after that.
[00:45:32.160]State money wasn't put into that, is that correct?
[00:45:38.550]Basically, you had to finance this--
[00:45:42.928]I mentioned to Jack,
[00:45:45.120]when I came in as director at North Platte,
[00:45:48.820]in January of '81, we're taking over the ranch in May,
[00:45:56.649]so I met immediately with the administrators on campus,
[00:46:01.660]and I said "What budget are you gonna set aside?"
[00:46:04.320]That's your job.
[00:46:06.580]We had 200 cows to transfer,
[00:46:08.620]but there was no operating money.
[00:46:10.710]And so we took 20,000 out of
[00:46:13.830]the North Platte budget for starters,
[00:46:17.010]and I asked for in kind the support from the campus,
[00:46:21.870]but I never did get a message back,
[00:46:24.730]but there was a, when Fort Robinson was started,
[00:46:30.157]it was a federal station, and there was no,
[00:46:35.010]any money that was generated there would go
[00:46:36.870]back into the wonderful US Treasury.
[00:46:39.940]The arrangement was made
[00:46:40.810]to use the revolving fund of the university.
[00:46:44.110]And there was a loan, actually,
[00:46:46.080]from the athletics department,
[00:46:47.870]which was tiny compared to now,
[00:46:50.350]but that provided an operating budget for starters.
[00:46:55.020]One of my first jobs for this
[00:46:56.100]was to visit with the director Mark.
[00:46:58.630]Do you know of the history?
[00:47:00.928]And he says "I'm aware of it."
[00:47:01.761]But I said "What are you good for?"
[00:47:03.210]And a loan, say up to five, six years.
[00:47:08.800]And he said "Well, see what others will do."
[00:47:10.380]And I said "Ellen Muller isn't gonna accept that as a"--
[00:47:14.326]He would never say "So, I'm driving to Lincoln."
[00:47:17.700]Saying "What am I gonna say? What am I gonna say?"
[00:47:20.147]When it, three minutes after we sat down,
[00:47:23.200]he said "What will Mark do?"
[00:47:25.870]I said "Put him down for 150,000."
[00:47:28.006]I thought, well,
[00:47:28.839]I was looking for a job when I got to this one,
[00:47:30.920]and if it doesn't work--
[00:47:35.870]Bob Olson was the director then.
[00:47:37.550]He set up an account of 150,000 for us.
[00:47:40.997]And we agreed to pay it back in five years.
[00:47:45.240]And we did it in four.
[00:47:47.147]And so that got us,
[00:47:48.800]that helped a great deal to get us a start.
[00:47:51.250]Then there was a, the chancellor, Madsongale,
[00:47:55.417]called a little while later and said
[00:47:57.570]that there was a $20,000 grant from the Lew Foundation.
[00:48:02.400]And they said "Can you use that at Gudmundsen?"
[00:48:07.040]I said "Well, you need a cow handling facility."
[00:48:10.210]And we used that for that.
[00:48:11.500]Clanton fussed when,
[00:48:13.435]he said "You spent $600 on a plaque for that?"
[00:48:19.530]I said "Listen. Any time somebody will give us $20,000
[00:48:23.053]"all of my plaques all belong, for $600."
[00:48:27.190]But anyway, there was some stress and strain at that time,
[00:48:30.160]but it came together.
[00:48:31.970]And part of it was the absolute logic
[00:48:34.500]of having an arranged facility,
[00:48:36.960]with the amount of resources
[00:48:38.300]devoted to cattle production in this state.
[00:48:42.720]My recollection is that
[00:48:45.810]you pay tax on that land, is that right?
[00:48:49.705]It was for a time.
[00:48:53.470]But then, let's say the foundation owned it,
[00:48:56.120]they didn't have to, but we paid some in-kind taxes,
[00:48:59.470]or taxes in-kind.
[00:49:02.740]Just for local PR.
[00:49:07.222]That was a question I had,
[00:49:08.230]is there any problem with the neighbors on property tax now?
[00:49:14.340]I'm not in touch.
[00:49:16.200]The neighbor thing we got early, they owe us,
[00:49:19.600]why didn't the Gudmundsens give us a chance
[00:49:21.830]to buy that ranch?
[00:49:24.290]That's one reason we had this gathering of ranchers
[00:49:27.490]in the first fall, was to have them understand
[00:49:30.780]what we could do there.
[00:49:31.850]And that's gradually, that's filling gradually quite a way.
[00:49:37.240]Yeah, I think as well,
[00:49:38.963]I think it's been accepted very well
[00:49:41.620]because of the spillover effect,
[00:49:43.710]the science and the production things
[00:49:45.650]that's been discovered there, right?
[00:49:47.450]I think that the relationship and the respect
[00:49:50.930]for the university is quite high because of that.
[00:49:55.380]I think Andy Applegarth has helped that a lot.
[00:49:59.420]He grew up on the neighboring ranch.
[00:50:02.134]And when he took over as manager,
[00:50:04.070]it was a local guy.
[00:50:05.980]That's kind of the cultural incentive, right.
[00:50:08.187]People are important, right?
[00:50:10.950]And they linked, Mick Nodell as the first manager
[00:50:14.080]and he had the same approach.
[00:50:16.881]They partnered on fighting fires, and branding,
[00:50:23.540]and those kinds of things.
[00:50:24.700]Wherever there was a community effort needed one.
[00:50:27.481]They did that, and they,
[00:50:29.073]became a solid citizen of the community.
[00:50:36.380]Early '80's weren't really
[00:50:37.500]a great economical time to start a new venture.
[00:50:42.230]It was a long time, and in '81,
[00:50:46.970]when we went in in July
[00:50:48.820]we got a slight little increase in bucket.
[00:50:52.120]We filled our positions and so on.
[00:50:54.200]Then in Black Friday, in November I believe it was,
[00:51:01.230]the budget was cut 3%.
[00:51:04.470]State income wasn't high enough.
[00:51:06.961]Because we had all the positions filled,
[00:51:09.690]all of that had to come out of operating,
[00:51:11.290]so 3% became 14% (laughs)
[00:51:14.612]so I was going around in North Platte saying
[00:51:16.427]"Well, I'm sorry,
[00:51:17.260]"you got a slight reduction in your budget."
[00:51:19.400]That wasn't fun, but anyway,
[00:51:21.003]then I got a call from the late Howard Odgson,
[00:51:24.570]who was associate vice-chancellor then,
[00:51:27.940]and he says "Levon, we need to make a deal."
[00:51:31.510]What are we, are we gonna now close Gudmundsen, or what?
[00:51:33.972]Well he said "University can't borrow money.
[00:51:37.727]"But since the foundation owns your ranch,
[00:51:40.097]"we could sell your cattle to the foundation
[00:51:44.427]"and then pay them back over time."
[00:51:46.120]We sold them 600 cows at $500 apiece, or whatever it was.
[00:51:51.311]And they agreed to pay it back in seven.
[00:51:54.010]And things were favorable for us, then,
[00:51:55.867]and we paid it back in five.
[00:51:58.350]But that really saved our bacon in the budget cut.
[00:52:05.073]Done with the history.
[00:52:07.620]My experience at the ranch
[00:52:10.810]is that it's really set up to do research.
[00:52:16.810]I'm not aware of all other facilities,
[00:52:19.160]but it is a unique facility, it's very practical,
[00:52:22.880]and yet the facilities are there to do research.
[00:52:29.970]Well that goes back to that.
[00:52:31.590]That team that put it together,
[00:52:33.200]with the idea that it was gonna be a research,
[00:52:36.132]a very applied research thing,
[00:52:39.582]and it is, I agree.
[00:52:41.780]Jack, you mentioned this thing,
[00:52:43.644]administrators staying out of the rig.
[00:52:45.490]Now, basically we said to that team and some of the other
[00:52:48.600]cooperators from that agronomy and so on,
[00:52:52.147]"You design the work, we'll try to supply the money.
[00:52:55.697]"Hopefully to meet what you're doing."
[00:53:00.150]One of the things that, Gudmundsen,
[00:53:07.514]rambled about when we had somebody call on them
[00:53:10.220]when they lived in subsidy every year until,
[00:53:12.960]as long as they were living.
[00:53:14.720]And the very first year, when Don Clanton went down,
[00:53:18.350]he described what they're doing,
[00:53:19.390]he says "What the hell are you doing to that ranch?
[00:53:21.477]"I turned over a good working ranch to you!"
[00:53:26.490]Don had a hard time explaining that this is now
[00:53:28.860]a research operation and those pastures that you worked in,
[00:53:32.120]you probably know that he walked every foot of those
[00:53:35.540]to measure them to be equal capacity pastures for research.
[00:53:44.040]Some of them differ in size to fit the terrain.
[00:53:49.177]My question is,
[00:53:50.310]I just would like to know,
[00:53:52.460]when we compare for example
[00:53:54.708]the soybean and corn producers in Nebraska,
[00:53:59.265]how well they use the technological package available,
[00:54:02.730]I think the information's gonna be,
[00:54:05.080]you've professed that.
[00:54:07.120]It's happened in Brazil, that's my experience.
[00:54:10.080]How about cow calf branchers and stalkers.
[00:54:13.770]With all of the information you generate here,
[00:54:17.275]and how fast is it used by those producers?
[00:54:22.000]Not at the speed of crops people,
[00:54:24.150]I'd agree with that.
[00:54:25.080]And having spent a career in adult extension,
[00:54:30.700]adoption is very much,
[00:54:34.580]show me first and make sure it's financially sound.
[00:54:40.970]And it takes awhile for that adaptation to,
[00:54:43.900]adoption rather to take place.
[00:54:48.110]In fact Jim last,
[00:54:49.350]was it last week that John probably brought that point out,
[00:54:53.680]as far as what one of the components
[00:54:57.860]of this integrated beef system
[00:55:00.210]is to foster adoption in the cattle industry.
[00:55:07.430]No horses due, there's some space between them.
[00:55:14.300]It's about anytime that risk's associated with big changes
[00:55:17.730]are probably greater in cattle than they might be in crops,
[00:55:22.410]because they're slower to come, okay?
[00:55:26.170]If you don't but a herbicide on your crop,
[00:55:31.290]or a pesticide or whatever,
[00:55:32.970]you see it that summer.
[00:55:35.260]But with cattle operations,
[00:55:37.170]it's two or three years before you may see the--
[00:55:43.653]One of the helpful things on earlier adoption,
[00:55:48.513]is that we've been lucky enough to have ranchers
[00:55:51.040]in various places around the state
[00:55:53.911]that were early adopters.
[00:55:57.450]And then that would spin off within that community.
[00:55:59.583]Well, what are you doing?
[00:56:00.416]You seem to be doing something different now.
[00:56:02.617]And the talk at the coffee shop and various places
[00:56:08.960]is more of an influence over time than coming to the,
[00:56:14.130]necessarily to the research ranch.
[00:56:16.920]If the neighbors are making it work, then maybe I can too.
[00:56:21.140]And to add do that,
[00:56:22.710]I think the practicum makes people,
[00:56:26.283]has just been tremendous, right?
[00:56:29.234]To be able to spread that.
[00:56:30.880]The 4,600 people that you have there,
[00:56:32.117]and think of their effect in the broader area
[00:56:36.537]of where they came from.
[00:56:40.670]You gotta be patient though, don't you?
[00:56:44.377]Gonna add a, did you have a question?
[00:56:46.329]I was a curious about, I guess,
[00:56:48.330]about hampered development in the Sandhills
[00:56:51.160]and where do those heifers go after it evolve?
[00:56:55.030]They don't stay in the Sandhills, they go to other systems.
[00:56:58.150]How much data has been collected
[00:56:59.640]on how well those efforts perform, reproductively,
[00:57:04.110]or the progeny, performance wise,
[00:57:07.280]plus those hampered leaving the Sandhills
[00:57:09.680]and going to other, and I don't know,
[00:57:11.867]but maybe most of the heifers stay at Sandhills,
[00:57:13.540]I don't know.
[00:57:15.022]That's a good question.
[00:57:16.790]Typically, ranchers would develop for their own replacement,
[00:57:21.500]maybe a few others, but there's a fair amount of,
[00:57:28.600]those heifers only go into feed lots
[00:57:30.380]and not go reproductive.
[00:57:32.700]I remember, too, this kind of reflection on time, but,
[00:57:37.780]there was a stage, when I first got to Colorado
[00:57:40.564]that heifers had to be developed in feed lots,
[00:57:43.960]that was the mentality,
[00:57:45.490]that in order to get them to breed and so on,
[00:57:47.480]you had to put them in feed lots and develop them
[00:57:54.131]and that, yeah, there's still a lot of heifers
[00:57:56.610]developed in feed lots, but fewer and fewer
[00:57:59.240]and this idea of, imprinting or whatever
[00:58:05.420]as they learn to graze, or spend more time grazing,
[00:58:09.700]that actually carries over
[00:58:11.330]into the later part of their production.
[00:58:15.230]And that June calving system,
[00:58:18.840]it's almost a case study in what are the other consequences?
[00:58:26.040]Because that was a tremendous change,
[00:58:28.010]but there are some challenges
[00:58:30.330]getting those young females to re-breed
[00:58:32.950]because now you're on the other end,
[00:58:35.790]downslope for quality and so,
[00:58:40.610]I'm not critical at all of the research,
[00:58:42.347]but there's other, there's always other consequences
[00:58:44.960]of changing the system and as Don pointed out,
[00:58:48.360]you would never know that
[00:58:50.010]if you just looked at the components,
[00:58:52.200]because that thing is run as a system,
[00:58:54.630]now I think that Busten, Travis, and others
[00:58:58.080]are looking at that re-breeding of that
[00:59:01.270]three-year old female after she's had her first calf.
[00:59:05.380]Good point, that.
[00:59:07.100]It seems like the more you discover,
[00:59:08.740]the more you need to discover,
[00:59:10.540]and that's what's happening.
[00:59:12.120]That's what Rick and Travis are doing right now,
[00:59:14.270]is looking at that bottleneck.
[00:59:17.610]Seems like there's,
[00:59:18.620]seems like there'd probably be some benefits
[00:59:20.160]from developing those heifers a little more slowly
[00:59:22.908]rather than, I don't know.
[00:59:26.007]One of those possibilities, see,
[00:59:29.080]that June calving, or May,
[00:59:32.818]and Don made the decision to go to June.
[00:59:35.390]I think, you can't, I suppose you could,
[00:59:40.260]but it'd be really difficult to do
[00:59:42.370]March, April, May, June, July calving to compare it,
[00:59:45.980]whatever's the outcome, a month?
[00:59:48.270]They do that in Missouri, you know?
[00:59:55.840]We have 30-day calving seasons,
[00:59:57.930]there are 12 of them every year.
[01:00:02.650]See, now you've ruined
[01:00:03.483]the whole train of thought.
[01:00:06.953]But, the opportunity to bring March calving heifers
[01:00:13.210]into the June herd,
[01:00:14.930]and give them that extra three months to develop,
[01:00:17.810]you see what I mean, because developing for two years
[01:00:20.890]to calve in two years can be a challenge.
[01:00:24.010]Another thought on that is,
[01:00:26.840]we use a lot of corn residue in Nebraska,
[01:00:29.550]and kind of imprinting that on heifers
[01:00:32.709]is a great opportunity as well,
[01:00:36.460]so that they're set with that and when they're a cow.
[01:00:44.069]I want to say thanks
[01:00:45.299]for pulling this information together
[01:00:47.536]and putting it in presentation,
[01:00:49.643]I wasn't aware that it'd go into the meeting,
[01:00:53.950]Have you ever thought about
[01:00:54.820]doing a university publication of some type?
[01:00:58.170]Maybe not this time.
[01:00:59.900]Maybe in 50 years or something to where you do,
[01:01:03.360]kind of a big picture look at everything.
[01:01:07.360]Actually I wanted to,
[01:01:09.510]and Kelly's not here to defend himself,
[01:01:11.187]but we did talk about, well,
[01:01:14.357]this abstract is going to be
[01:01:17.840]in the beef report next year, okay?
[01:01:22.619]When he says next year, that's about a month.
[01:01:24.690]Yeah, that's right.
[01:01:27.490]It's in the one coming out.
[01:01:29.730]Then with the idea of maybe it can go
[01:01:31.130]in a general science article,
[01:01:34.679]but we haven't had a lot of inertia on that part yet.
[01:01:39.498]And just think about in the past
[01:01:41.200]there were publications like that that I could pull out
[01:01:43.860]and read some things about animal science,
[01:01:45.610]or other programs that it'd be great
[01:01:50.130]to keep that kind of stuff going.
[01:01:52.978]I agree with you, this is a great facility,
[01:01:56.090]it's a great story, starting back with Gudmundsen's.
[01:02:01.580]Building that to the university and just how that happened,
[01:02:05.403]it's just a tremendous story.
[01:02:08.830]I got another futuristic question, man.
[01:02:11.750]What happens to this ranch in the future
[01:02:17.353]and would there be thoughts to change the,
[01:02:20.833]what does GM stand for,
[01:02:24.010]of including all that in those different--
[01:02:30.972]Of management by social.
[01:02:32.513]Yeah, all those different disciplines
[01:02:34.380]into work at Gudmundsen.
[01:02:39.832]Jim, that's what's happening
[01:02:42.160]with this big initiative right now is,
[01:02:45.660]Gudmundsen would be an integral part of that
[01:02:47.870]to continue that--
[01:02:51.479]Maybe not so much CS.
[01:02:56.870]Of course, I'd still say that's important, too.
[01:03:00.120]It is, depending how you do that.
[01:03:02.320]It's yet to be kind of, they're still working on that S.
[01:03:07.152]I don't think you'd abandon the S, it's just that the,
[01:03:09.861]if you don't include people in that discussion,
[01:03:12.160]how are you gonna get there, right?
[01:03:15.720]Yeah, I think that's common,
[01:03:17.040]and you think about critical linkages in our history, okay,
[01:03:22.360]the linkage between Don Adams and Terry Profenstein,
[01:03:25.940]what inertia has been developed because of that linkage?
[01:03:31.838]That's, we need that linkage
[01:03:35.110]with somebody on the social side,
[01:03:36.830]or we need to bring them in.
[01:03:38.630]We don't have that right now.
[01:03:44.210]Unless there's work that I'm not aware of.
[01:03:46.020]Well, damn it, let's get it done!
[01:03:50.264]Come to the meeting in January.
[01:03:54.680]From my kind of outside perspective,
[01:03:56.680]I think that your picture of the vice-chancellor,
[01:03:59.407]out at branding, I'm impressed that he's bought in to
[01:04:04.610]beef being important in Nebraska,
[01:04:08.377]and that's a real plus.
[01:04:10.770]For a plant pathologist, because that's what he was.
[01:04:14.344]To buy into that is--
[01:04:16.320]You never know how things start.
[01:04:19.487]The Gudmundsens, years before that 1978 point,
[01:04:23.670]had started a small program of scholarship funding
[01:04:28.780]for Sandhills students.
[01:04:31.495]And it went on and on and they had
[01:04:33.160]a certain goal or the other,
[01:04:34.807]or I think that the university secretary helped them
[01:04:38.170]set a goal for how much money and that,
[01:04:40.210]so they could support a number of students.
[01:04:43.810]What was a reasonable down payment on tuition,
[01:04:47.590]which isn't now, but that's another story.
[01:04:50.285]Anyway, finally they were reaching
[01:04:52.670]the endpoint of this in '77 or '78.
[01:04:58.527]And so they came to campus to complete the last of that.
[01:05:03.800]And they sat down with
[01:05:05.215]the secretary of the foundation at that time
[01:05:10.090]and in the process, no children, and then they said,
[01:05:13.946]kind of absent-mindedly to the secretary,
[01:05:17.137]"Well, you know, we need to do something about that ranch."
[01:05:22.330]And so he excused himself
[01:05:24.370]and went to go talk to Witty Varner,
[01:05:27.070]who chancellor and now president of the foundation,
[01:05:31.860]and he tipped them off on that.
[01:05:33.850]And so Witty came in and his style was
[01:05:36.300]a little windy and quick,
[01:05:38.015]and he thanked him very sincerely.
[01:05:41.850]But kind of quickly, and he left, and he said,
[01:05:46.007]"Who is that guy?"
[01:05:47.520]Well, he's the head of the foundation.
[01:05:48.800]He says "I don't like him. I want to deal with you."
[01:05:51.320]That's on a Friday. On Monday morning,
[01:05:53.020]the staff at his meeting,
[01:05:54.367]and it finally came around to him, and he said
[01:05:56.607]"I knew what I was gonna have to say, tell the story."
[01:05:59.220]And he said, and Varner said
[01:06:01.357]"That's okay, none of us can deal with everybody."
[01:06:04.940]You stay with him, but by God, don't you lose that ranch!
[01:06:09.690]And he didn't.
[01:06:11.695]But he, in all fairness,
[01:06:14.800]that man stayed close to the Gudmundsens all along the way,
[01:06:18.850]wasn't pushy at all,
[01:06:20.380]he catered to them and so on,
[01:06:23.650]because he understood of the magnitude of the, yeah,
[01:06:28.396]so there you are, you never know.
[01:06:30.110]Like with the Wolfs,
[01:06:33.040]Jim Wolf attended when we had a recognition
[01:06:36.070]for some of the early donors
[01:06:38.500]to build the building on the ranch,
[01:06:42.565]which is now used as a dormitory.
[01:06:45.810]And leaving Jim's,
[01:06:48.196]we worked with Jim for a number of years before that.
[01:06:52.316]He came to Gudmundsen's, Fort Robinson and so on.
[01:06:58.040]As he was leaving, kind of absent-minded,
[01:06:59.910]he said "Well you know,
[01:07:01.310]"I want to make a testimentary gift to this ranch."
[01:07:05.840]And he did.
[01:07:07.680]So did his son.
[01:07:12.760]Well, I've enjoyed,
[01:07:14.130]I hope it wasn't too much history,
[01:07:16.730]but thanks for the opportunity to come and do the seminar
[01:07:20.330]and visit about what's happened
[01:07:22.917]and what can happen in the future.
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