NEW YORK — Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. announced a letter of intent to collaborate with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to develop an integrated beef facility. The new facility will act as a working feedlot and as a testing ground where private companies can gauge emerging technologies in a commercial setting. It will include innovative barns, an aerobic digester and a Bion 3G Tech system to provide waste treatment, generate renewable energy and upcycle nutrients.

Bion shared the objective of the collaboration, which is to support research and development of feedlot and other animal production technologies to advance economic and climate-smart goals. Bion hopes to improve livestock production by integrating its technology with developing technology and practices within UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR).

“We are excited to work with UNL to demonstrate how Bion's unique 3G Tech platform can support climate-smart beef production,” said Bill O’Neill, Bion’s chief executive officer. “It is critical that climate and clean water technologies and practices be integrated to provide a comprehensive solution to the environmental and economic challenges faced by today's beef industry. The 3G Tech platform was designed to dramatically reduce the environmental impacts of beef finishing operations to both air and water, improve farm economics and deliver truly sustainable products to the consumer that maintain the grain-finished quality that is the hallmark of US beef.”

The proposed project would be located near Mead, Neb., at the Feedlot Innovation Center, which is being developed at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center.

The Feedlot Innovation Center will allow for private companies to work alongside researchers, students and producers to develop and evaluate emerging technology in feedlot settings. It will include a complex with cattle comfort and research buildings, a feed technology facility, open lots and an animal handling facility.

"The Feedlot Innovation Center presents an incredible opportunity to pull together the best and the brightest minds working in animal agriculture today to create more resilient systems for food animal production," said Mike Boehm, Harlan vice chancellor for IANR and UNL vice president for agriculture and natural resources. "We are thrilled with Bion's plan to be part of this effort and are excited to welcome other partners as well."