Webb Accepts AGREETT Beef Production Position

**As printed in CFANS Connections**

The University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resouce Sciences (CFANS) Dean Brian Buhr announced today that Megan Webb, Ph.D. candidate, has accepted the position of assistant professor and Extension Specialist of the AGREETT Beef Production Systems. She will join CFANS on March 30.

In her role, Webb will conduct research in the Department of Animal Science and will develop collaborative research and Extension programs focused on sustaining productivity growth in the beef industry and engaging with producers and industry to grow this vital part of Minnesota’s economy.
Webb brings an ideal set of skills and passion to this position, with a strong background in cattle management for post-harvest strategies influencing beef quality and consumer marketing rooted in her upbringing on an Angus operation in West Virginia. She earned her B.S. from Texas A&M University, M.S. from Colorado State University, and Ph.D. from South Dakota State University, where she has been a graduate research assistant in meat science.

Her research included the effects of nursing-calf implant timing on growth performance and carcass characteristics; the impact of maternal protein restriction on meat quality and fatty acid profile of progeny; and the influence of growth-promoting technologies on animal performance, production economics, environmental impacts and carcass characteristics of beef; as well as consumer palatability and preference for beef raised from different production systems.

While pursuing her doctorate, Webb collaborated and worked with Extension Specialists to conduct numerous outreach events and facilitated learning to a wide range of audiences. She also served in student advising and industry leadership roles.

In her role she will also serve as a member of the University of Minnesota Beef Team, which has been actively involved in delivering quality programming to beef producers for more than 20 years, establishing a solid reputation for discovering stakeholder learning needs through planning meetings and close interactions with the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and Minnesota Beef Council, and establishing Extension programming based on industry needs. The team has well-established collaborations with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, National Research Conservation Service, Board of Water and Soil Resources, Department of Natural Resources, Board of Animal Health and Farm Business Management Association.

Other research and education collaborations will involve her working with faculty in departments of Animal Science, Agronomy, Biosystems and Biological Engineering, Entomology, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The position advances the visibility and productivity of Minnesota’s beef industry, which generates more than one billion dollars in cash receipts annually and is one of the top three livestock industries in Minnesota, after swine and dairy. There are approximately 15,500 beef producers across the state with beef feedlots concentrated in southwestern Minnesota and cow-calf herds located throughout the state.

As a part of the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) Grants Program, which was established in 2015 by the Minnesota State Legislature and administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the position is a clear investment in achieving long-term agricultural productivity through improved infrastructure, vision, and accountability.