Nebraska Farm Bureau has selected Dr. Terry Klopfenstein, emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as the 2019 recipient of the Silver Eagle Award, the organization’s highest honor.
The award will be presented to Klopfenstein Dec. 10 at the 2019 Nebraska Farm Bureau annual convention in Kearney.
“Terry Klopfenstein, Ph.D., was a pioneer in using corn byproducts from the ethanol and sweetener industries to supplement cattle feeding,” said Steve Nelson president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. “Dr. Klopfenstein’s research laid the groundwork for distillers’ grains to become a key feedstock that has greatly lowered the cost of production for Nebraska’s beef producers and is now labeled as a co-product of the ethanol industry.”
Klopfenstein was raised on his family’s farm in Ohio and worked around animals and cattle throughout his childhood. He began his tenure at the University of Nebraska in 1965 after completing his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University. Klopfenstein held the University of Nebraska Wagner Professorship from 1989 to 2007. He mentored hundreds of graduate students in his 47-year career at UNL, many of whom are recognized as excellent nutritionists. He takes pride in his work with students.
“Klopfenstein’s mother was a teacher who began her career when she was 18 years old. Growing up, his father taught him the importance of higher education because he never had the chance to further his education during the Great Depression,” Nelson said. “Terry instilled the same motivation for knowledge in his students, making them a priority in his career.
The industry needed well-trained feedlot managers, and the university started the Feedlot Management Internship in 1988. So far, 174 students have completed the program.
“His love of teaching has extended well beyond the classroom,” Nelson said.
He’s widely known for his research, having authored 247 referred articles, 484 abstracts and 507 technical publications.
“Terry has been passionate, dedicated, determined, and devoted to improving beef nutrition in the agriculture industry,” Nelson said.
Terry and his wife Nancy live in Lincoln and have eight children, 25 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. He has been a Lancaster County Farm Bureau member for 31 years and for many years continues to assist Nancy with writing letters to elementary school students about what life is like on the farm and ranch as a part of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Ag Pen Pal Program.