Washington State University associate professor and extension economist Shannon Neibergs has been named the new director of the WSU Extension Western Center for Risk Management Education.
He succeeds Jon Newkirk who has been director of the center for a decade. Newkirk recently retired from WSU Extension after 21 years.
WSU dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences Dan Bernardo praises Newkirk for helping to set a new course for the center by embracing 21st Century technology and communication strategies.
"Under Jon's leadership, the center has succeeded in its core mission of providing a knowledgeable approach to risk management enabling people to farm and plan for the future with confidence in our rapidly changing world filled with new attractive opportunities," says Bernardo.
Neibergs is highly regarded economist who has conducted research and published widely on dairy farming, cattle management and marketing, agribusiness profitability, and thoroughbred auction markets among other topics relevant to ag producers of the West.
He has worked as a WSU Extension associate in ag economics in the mid-to-late 1980's, before returning to WSU Extension in 2006.
"Shannon has the perfect background to take the center to its next level," Bernardo says. "He's been working on the ground with producers for years, and, as well, is a great teacher who knows how to effectively communicate and help people deal with complex economic issues."
Neibergs says that he will continue his research and Extension programs on the efficiency of livestock production. He is involved in projects concerning the economics of improving cattle disease management, analyzing the economics of anaerobic digestion, and the economics of using expiring Conservation Reserve Program grasslands as a grazing resource.
These projects have positive impacts on producers as well as provide indirect gains to consumers, says Bernardo. Neibergs will also continue to work on WSU Extension programs for livestock producers, such as the popular beef and lamb 300 programs that were recently recognized with a national award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.