Seismic shifts in Lincoln ripple throughout the state. The move of the Nebraska State Fair and the Huskers' move to the Big Ten could both lead to new innovation affecting both the farm
The man leading the way is Dr. Ronnie Green. A beef geneticist with a passion to apply research to the farm, Green builds on Nebraska's strengths as a leader in grain and livestock production
He said, "We are also becoming a leader in renewable energy and use of resources to produce new energy through ethanol, through wind."
As the newest Vice President of the University of Nebraska, Green's not spending his first week in his Lincoln office, but visiting communities like Grand Island to talk about the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR).
Marilyn Fox, Unit Leader for Extension in Hall County said, "It is awesome he is looking at extension and his first week on the job he is making a tour, seeing what folks in outstate Nebraska want."
He'll be back in Grand Island next month for the Nebraska State Fair. The fair's relocation benefits the university with its Innovation Campus at the former fairgrounds.
Green said, "It's opened up opportunities for the university to really move into the tech transfer area where technology will get transferred to industry and people in the state faster and more
In another big shift, the Huskers' move to the Big Ten, Green said it's a huge move forward.
"Not the least of which is the opportunity that if affords us academically in the research arena in ag and natural resources specifically. Some of the leading universities are in the Big Ten," he explained.
Green calls the pace of new farm innovation "mind boggling", as he pledges to keep the University of Nebraska at the forefront of farming.
"As agriculture goes in Nebraska, so goes Nebraska. It's vitally important in the state, it's vitally important at the University," he said.
Green and his family live in Sutton.
He's especially interested in the new Global Water for Food Institute, a $50 million program to focus on water policy, research, and education.
Reporter's Notes by Steve White:
Dr. Ronnie Green not only has academic credentials from Nebraska, Colorado State, and Texas Tech, but also private sector experience working for Pfizer Animal Health.
Green said production agriculture will continue to be the focus of the IANR. He said the state's role as a top irrigator will be explored more, as the university looks for ways to become better stewards of natural resources.