LINCOLN, NEB. – JBS USA, Greeley, Colo., made a gift of $700,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation in support of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and plans for a Feedlot Innovation Center. The facility will provide resources to develop and evaluate emerging technology used in managing animals in feedlots. Construction of the center is estimated at $5 million.
Steve Cohron, president of the Fed Beef Division at JBS Foods USA, said the project has the potential to unlock breakthrough technologies that will benefit American cattle producers, the climate and the company’s net zero pledge.
“JBS USA is excited to support the new Feedlot Innovation Center, and we believe the type of research and learning this facility will provide is imperative to ensuring a more sustainable food supply,” Cohron said. “This initiative aligns with our goal as a company to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, and we hope our investment, in partnership with the University of Nebraska and other contributors, will spur new innovations that strengthen the entire beef value chain.”
The Feedlot Innovation Center will also allow students to gain hands-on experiences while being exposed to the newest research and technology at a state-of-the-art, commercial-scale feedlot and animal handling facility. The Center will include a complex with cattle comfort and research buildings, a feed technology facility, innovative open lots and an animal handling facility. Stakeholders envision real-world facilities to test new precision technology, solve environmental challenges facing the feeding industry, and improve cattle performance and welfare while comparing different environments and housing systems, JBS USA said. The Center will also allow for innovation in manure collection and management that will innovate both new and possible modifications for existing operations.
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) has committed $2 million in funding with the NU Foundation leading a $3 million private fundraising initiative. To date, nearly $2 million has been committed in private support. Other lead contributors who have supported the Feedlot Innovation Center project include John and Beth Klosterman of David City, Neb., who gave $500,000. The Klostermans have supported the University of Nebraska for more than 45 years. Farm Credit Services of America has given $300,000 to the project.
“This facility will advance the university’s commitment to science-driven innovation in the development of resilient systems for food animal production,” said Michael Boehm, Harlan Vice Chancellor for IANR and NU vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “We’re grateful for the support of JBS USA and other partners who understand the far-reaching value of this new facility for advancing beef production and preparing future leaders to serve this incredibly important industry.”