A closer look at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center

Pure Nebraska
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 10:47 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2023 at 3:18 PM CDT
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MEAD, Neb. (KOLN) - A unique facility leverages existing land and facilities for agricultural research and education in Saunders County. ENREEC was formerly the University of Nebraska’s Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead. It is now the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center.

We caught up with Joe Luck, who is the Associate Director at ENREEC to learn more. “We have a 3,000-acre farm operation that manages all of our cropping systems,” Luck said. “That doesn’t count other units that are here like agronomy and forestry. Our Husker breeding program for genetics and wheat is here. But, we also have a livestock system here. Thousands of acres are dedicated to rangeland for cow-calf operations. We recently broke ground on the new Feedlot Innovation Center that is going to get geared up for next year. This will feature 5,000 head of cattle in that system. What we are doing is working at the farm, ranch and feedlot scale level here, and I think that is unique.”

The main goal at ENREEC continues to be outreach and education. “We are conducting research and state-of-the-art technology development,” Luck said. “And we do this not just on our own. We are partnering with industry to do this. But, the extension and education piece is key to what we do here. We are really trying to get the knowledge out there for people to use. We are trying to show farmers how to put new technology into practice at a field-scale level. That translates to what they are doing in their operations. We know the adoption of new technology is risky. But this is something we can take on as a risk, and we seek to do that, so people can learn as we learn.”

“We continue to ramp up communication,” Luck said. “We host a lot of field days and events. We continue to share those opportunities with farmers, ag industry professionals, and others. We want people to come in, and we want to help producers solve issues they are facing on the farm.”