Symposium will focus on future of livestock production

· 3 min read

Symposium will focus on future of livestock production

A black cow stands in a field.
Natalie Jones | IANR Media

Graduate students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Animal Science have organized a May 9 symposium featuring leaders in the fields of animal science, nutrition, and range and forage sciences to discuss the future of animal agriculture as worldwide demand for protein grows.

Tryon Wickersham, professor of animal nutrition at Texas A&M University, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium, “Sustainable Protein: The Future of Nutrition.” His talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Wickersham, along with Husker faculty and graduate students. Chancellor Ronnie Green will moderate. The event will take place on East Campus.

Panelists will include Galen Erickson, Nebraska Cattle Industry Professor of Animal Science; Jessie Morrill, assistant professor of meat science; Mitch Stephenson, associate professor of range and forage sciences; and Leila Venzor, meat science doctoral student.

“Livestock production has long been a cornerstone of human nutrition, and it will be only become more important as the world population grows and demand increases,” said Tom Burkey, interim head of the Deparment of Animal Science. “Continuing to improve the sustainability of livestock production and to promote resilience of the landscapes that support animal agriculture will be critical to meeting growing demand for nutritious, high-quality protein.”

Burkey credited animal science students — including Sam Watson, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in meat science — with organizing the event after realizing there was a lack of public awareness about the nutritional benefits of animal protein, as well as of the livestock industry’s efforts to improve efficiency and resilience.

“As future professionals in the meat science and livestock industries, our students believe it is critical to do their part to share science-based knowledge about all aspects of animal agriculture,” Burkey said. “It’s a positive story, but one that many people, even in Nebraska, could benefit from learning more about.”

Tiffany Heng-Moss, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, said the symposium presents a learning opportunity for students in the college and across the university, as well as the general public.

“In Nebraska, agriculture is our state’s largest industry, supporting one in four Nebraska jobs,” she said. “This symposium presents a wonderful opportunity to learn about the science behind the very important livestock sector of this critical industry.”

The event will take place in the Animal Science Complex, Room B101. The symposium will begin at 4 p.m. with opening comments, followed by Wickersham’s keynote address and the keynote panel. The panel will conclude at 6:30 p.m., with refreshments to follow.

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