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Posted on: May 1, 2020

Extension offers online session for meat producers and consumers amid COVID

Cattle grazing against mountain backdrop

The second in a series of free online updates and question-and-answer sessions offered by University of Nevada, Reno Extension to help the nation’s farmers and ranchers amid the COVID-19 crisis will be offered Tuesday, May 5, 10-11:30 a.m. PST. The topic for this session is “Meat Packers, Pricing and Availability,” and speakers/panelists include:

  • Ty E. Lawrence is professor of animal science at West Texas A&M University and director of the University’s Beef Carcass Research Center, which annually evaluates 200,000+ cattle for a variety of research projects. Reared on a cow-calf operation near Dalhart, Texas before pursuing formal education, his research activities focus on improving the yield and quality of red meat products.
  • Don Close is a senior animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group. Close is responsible for analyzing all animal protein sectors and specializes in beef. He has conducted research on a wide range of cattle- and beef-related topics, and frequently is a speaker for livestock groups and associations internationally.
  • Kenneth Coll is former dean of the College of Education and former acting dean of the School of Social Work, at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently on special assignment for a University project aimed at better assisting the homeless. He will be on hand to offer guidance and resources for participants who may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues. Coll’s career and research have focused on educational psychology and counseling.

The online series, “Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic,” is being put together by Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator in Douglas County, Nevada. Known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the country’s agriculture industry and on social media, Chichester understands the ups and downs of farming and ranch life, growing up on a cattle and sheep ranch in northern California, and going on to earn a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in agricultural sciences. Lindsay said this is truly a baffling and stressful time for many of the nation’s agricultural producers.

“There are so many unknowns right now, our farmers and ranchers are struggling to navigate a market where the supply chains have been disrupted and to understand how our current events may impact their future viability,” she said. “We’re providing this online series to bring in boots-on-the-ground, grass-roots speakers who are involved in their respective industries to offer some insight and support.”

The sessions are offered online via Facebook Live. Chichester opens each session with a brief introduction about the session’s topic, followed by brief presentations by the speakers. Then, the majority of each session is driven by questions from participants. 

Future session topics include:

  • May 12 – Backyard poultry production
  • May 19 – Pork industry update
  • May 26 – Dairy: milk dumping and National Dairy Month

For the Facebook Live link for the May 5 session, and details on future sessions, go to https://extension.unr.edu/program.aspx?ID=186. For more information, email Chichester at lchichester@unr.edu or call 775-782-9960 (leave a message and she will call you back).


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