New director named to lead UNL Panhandle R&E Center and Extensio - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

New director named to lead UNL Panhandle R&E Center and Extension District

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Dr. Jack Whittier has been appointed as the new Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center and the Panhandle Extension District.

Dr. Whittier is a Professor and Extension Beef Specialist at Colorado State University.

He replaces Dr. Linda Boeckner, who accepted a new assignment in 2013 with UNL Extension and the College of Education and Human Sciences in Lincoln, following a five-year stint as director.

Dr. Gary Hergert had been serving as Interim Director in Boeckner's absence.

Dr. Whittier will take over as Director on June 1, 2014.

He will be responsible for overseeing operations at the Scottsbluff Panhandle Center, as well as research facilities including the Scottsbluff Ag Lab, the Mitchell Ag Lab, the High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney and Sioux County Experimental Range.

Dr. Whittier also will lead the 16-county Panhandle Extension District.

Dean and Director of UNL Extension, Dr. Chuck Hibberd, said a nationwide search was conducted to find the right person to take over the role. 

"In his interview, Dr. Whittier demonstrated the vision, the ability to mobilize great programs and great people, and the connection with stakeholders that positions the Panhandle Research and Extension Center to catalyze agriculture, families, nutrition, youth and community initiatives in western Nebraska." 

Dr. Whittier received a Ph.D. in animal science in 1985 from UNL; and master's and bachelor's degrees in animal science from Utah State, in 1981 and 1979.

He has been at Colorado State since 1995, and before that held faculty and graduate research positions at the University of Missouri, University of Nebraska and Utah State University.

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