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Researcher returns to NDSU as animal scientist in Carrington

CARRINGTON, N.D. -- Bryan Neville on March 26 stepped into a new role as an animal scientist with North Dakota State University's Carrington Research Extension Center. He's no stranger to the region's cattle industry or the Green and Gold.

A group of red Angus heifers are replacement for the station’s cow herd which are used for various studies. Photo taken April 3, 2018, near Carrington, N.D. Mikkel Pates / Forum News Service
Bryan Neville, left, returned March 26 to the North Dakota State University as animal scientist at the Carrington Research Extension Center. He’s flanked by center director Blaine Schatz. Photo taken April 3, 2018, near Carrington, N.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

CARRINGTON, N.D. - Bryan Neville on March 26 stepped into a new role as an animal scientist with North Dakota State University's Carrington Research Extension Center. He's no stranger to the region's cattle industry or the Green and Gold.

Neville, 38, (pronounced "ne-VILL") for the past two years worked with Nutrition Service Associates, doing nutritional consulting in the Northern Plains and Canada. Prior to that he worked six years as director and animal scientist at the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center near Streeter, working in range and grazing areas.

Neville has a strong interest in the feedlot industry having grown up in southern Nebraska in the heart of feedlot country.

NDSU's Carrington beef research has focused heavily on applied topics - feedlot research and drylot cow-calf research.

"We hope to continue that and help to provide answers for everyday problems that the producers in the state might have," he says.

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He expects to focus on background-feeding and feedlot nutrition topics but also move into some management components - like feed bunk management and pen maintenance - which involve interactions of nutrition and management. He also sees potential for focus on situational issues such as developing rations especially suited to drought.

Neville says he has his own interest areas but also will build on work done by former animal scientist Vern Anderson, who served in the position from 1986 to 2014. Anderson was widely known for demonstrating the feed value and recommendations for feeds that are new to the region because of processing - including wheat midds from the Dakota Growers Pasta Co. - as well as ethanol byproducts. Anderson also worked in animal care, low-stress facilities and bison feeding trials, an area he remains active in as a consultant.

"In the past he looked at bedding and how that impacts animal performance," Neville says.

Neville plans to study feed bunk management techniques and pen management.

"How often can pen cleaning impact animal performance?" he says.

Neville says the position is research-based and doesn't have an "extension service" component per se, but there is a lot of producer contact because the station is in the field.

Blaine Schatz, director of the Carrington station and a research agronomist, says Anderson's work in helping producers adapt to new feedstuffs is the kind of legacy that helps farmers. After a couple of shorter-tenure individuals in the past four years, Schatz says he hopes Neville - with his recent industry experience and background with NDSU - can make a strong contribution, in part by interaction with producers.

"A lot of our best projects, historically, have come from interaction with producers," Schatz says.

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