Mitchell Stephenson of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, received an Outstanding Young Range Professional Award at the Society for Range Management’s 71st Annual Meeting, Technical Training and Trade Show in Sparks, Nevada, which concluded Feb. 2. The Outstanding Young Range Professional Award recognizes SRM members who exhibit superior performance and leadership potential in any range-related area.
Stephenson has been with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an assistant professor in rangeland ecology and management at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center since 2015. Stephenson’s research has focused on areas with potential impact on managing grazing lands throughout central and western North America. His research in grazing livestock distribution, targeted grazing, social association dynamics within cattle herds, and rangeland resilience on private ranches is cutting-edge and has placed him in a leadership position in foraging ecology. He is developing an excellent record in scientific journal publications and leading workshops at professional meetings.
As an extension specialist, Stephenson is developing a highly visible extension program which already has a major impact on beef cattle production in Nebraska. He contributes to the UNL Range Short Course, the Nebraska Range Youth Camp, the High School Range Judging Competitions, the Gudmundsen Sandhills Open House, the Field Day at the Barta Brothers Ranch and workshops and fields days at numerous other locations. He has co-authored five extension publications, numerous webinars, popular press and newsletter articles, and website publications. With these communications he has been very effective in distributing research results to the ranch level and to conservation agencies/organizations.
Stephenson’s contributions to the Society for Range Management are significant at both the section and international levels. He is a member of the Nebraska Section SRM and is in line to be the Section President in 2018. Stephenson is also a member of several SRM committees and is on track to become a leader in SRM.
David Ostdiek | Panhandle Research and Extension Center