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Two new AgriLife Extension associates serving High Plains dairy industry


Texas AgriLife Extension Service, in conjunction with West Texas A&M University, is increasing its service to the dairy industry in the Texas High Plains by adding two positions.

Dr. Ralph Bruno and Kevin Lager, both hired as AgriLife Extension associates, will also be working as doctorate students at West Texas A&M University, according to Dr. Ellen Jordan, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist in Dallas.

"We are bringing them in to increase dairy expertise in the Panhandle on a daily basis," Jordan said.

"We are expanding our AgriLife Extension and Research dairy programs to develop solutions for unique challenges facing High Plains producers in the areas of nutrition, health and reproduction," she said. "They will help us transfer that information to producers through Extension programming."

Bruno earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine in Brazil and has been at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center at the University of California-Davis in Tulare, Calif., as a dairy production medicine clinician for the past year and a half.

He completed the residency program in dairy production medicine and earned a master's degree in preventive veterinary medicine at UC Davis. He has been providing technical expertise for cooperator dairy herds, including farm personnel training and guiding senior veterinary students during herd checks.

Bruno has worked in the areas of reproductive physiology, dairy herd health and management, epidemiology, milk quality and data record analysis. He has been in charge of veterinary care for five cooperator herds ranging in size from 800 to 5,500 milking cows.

Kevin Lager, who was raised on a western Kansas dairy, earned his master's in animal science-ruminant nutrition from Kansas State University. His research has focused on differing forms of phosphorus supplementation to reduce phosphorus excretion. He worked on the Kansas State dairy in a variety of capacities including herd health, reproduction, nutrition, facility management, new employee training, in addition to working on a southwest Kansas dairy and for a custom harvester.

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