Two and a half years ago, Erika Lundy began working at the Iowa Beef Center as an Iowa State University graduate student focusing on feedlot nutrition. Eight weeks ago she started working for IBC as the center's new Extension program specialist. She is excited to put her education and experience to work.
"This position will allow me to collaborate with our field specialists, stakeholders, leaders and producers to identify industry and producer needs, to develop new and enhance current Extension educational programs," says Lundy. "As a young producer myself, I can bring some of my own production questions to the table and work on fresh ideas to ensure that both the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa's beef industry continue to thrive."
Grew up on a cattle farm in southwest Iowa
Lundy grew up near Adair on a diversified family farm with cattle, corn, soybeans and hay production, including 230 cow-calf pairs and a 100-head feedlot operation. She attended Iowa State where she received a bachelor's degree in animal science with a minor in agricultural business, and a master's degree in animal science with a focus on feedlot nutrition.
As an undergrad, she had internships with the Iowa Beef Industry Council and a feed company, and worked in a ruminant nutrition lab, all of which expanded her interest in beef nutrition. Her grad school experience included an Extension assistantship with IBC and research focused on feeding new generation distillers grains.
"During a time of volatile feed prices, characterizing novel feedstuffs like these new generation products can aid in our understanding of how they can fit into finishing diets," she says. "During the past few years I've helped with planning programs using this info, and have presented sessions on distillers grains, carcass quality and grazing management to a variety of audiences."
Iowa beef industry can expect to see sustainable growth
IBC Director Dan Loy says the Iowa beef industry is well positioned for sustainable growth well into the future, and Lundy will help facilitate the center's efforts. "Erika brings background and expertise in both cattle feeding and cow-calf sectors, and is well-prepared to support current programs and develop leadership in new exciting projects," he says.
Providing producers with latest science-based information
Lundy looks forward to increasing her knowledge and understanding of vital components of the state's beef industry, and to sharing that knowledge with others. "For the time being, I'll be more of a general beef industry information source and hopefully serve as an asset to other members of our team, so we can be a resource for frontline industry information delivery," she says. "I would like to get involved with program planning and producer education, especially in the areas of forage production and management, animal well-being and fostering young and beginning producers."
She says this position allows an opportunity for personal and professional growth, and to increase the visibility and value of IBC. "I'm very excited to join an already very successful team in establishing strong relations with beef producers across the state," she says. "Our aim is to supply producers with the latest science-based resources to help the Iowa beef industry strive for sustainable and profitable growth."
Lundy can be reached at the IBC office at 313 Kildee Hall on the Iowa State campus, by phone at 515-594-9881 and by email at [email protected].