2019 Speakers

Bob Weaber, Ph.D.
Genetic Selection for Feed Efficiency: The Right Way

Bob Weaber, Ph.D., Professor, joined the faculty of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University in August of 2011 as Cow-Calf Extension Specialist and faculty coordinator of the K-State’s Purebred Unit. Weaber also serves on the faculty management team for K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute. Dr. Weaber serves as central regional secretary of the Beef Improvement Federation, is a co-coordinator of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium education programs and has served as a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Policy Division Board of Directors. Previously, Weaber served in the Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri (MU) as Extension Specialist-Beef Genetics and was responsible for educational programming in the area of beef cattle genetics.

The focus of his extension and research programs have been to broaden the availability, use and understanding of genetic selection tools (Expected Progeny Differences, DNA markers and selection indexes) as well as performance data collection schemes implemented by cattle producers.

Dr. Weaber grew up on a cow-calf operation in southern Colorado and went on to earn a BS in animal science followed by a Master of Agriculture degree in the Beef Industry Leadership Program at Colorado State University. He completed his doctoral studies in the Animal Breeding and Genetics Group at Cornell University. While there, he served as the Interim Director of Performance Programs for the American Simmental Association for three and a half years. Previously, Weaber was Director of Education and Research at the American Gelbvieh Association.

Weaber is the recipient of the Midwest Section of Am. Society of Animal Science Young Animal Scientist Extension Award (2013), Beef Improvement Federation’s Continuing Service Award (2011), Univ. of Missouri Extension’s J.W. Burch State Specialist Award (2011), and the Univ. of Missouri Provost’s Award for Creative Extension Programming by Young Faculty (2010). Bob and his wife, Tami, and their young children, Maddie, Cooper and Wyatt, reside near Wamego, KS.

Burke Teichert
Farm & Ranch Financial Management

After his time at the University of Wyoming (M.S. in Agricultural Economics with emphasis in Farm and Ranch Management), Burke spent a few years in the Artificial Insemination industry where he was put in touch with some of the best Animal Scientists in America—several of whom became mentors. This was a very valuable addition to the Agricultural Economics formal education.

Burke has since worked in various aspects of farm and ranch management and consulting including:.
• Three plus years as General Manager of the Livestock Division of U&I Inc. in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. Developed a livestock division to graze the crop residue on two very large farms irrigated with water pumped from the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
• Two plus years as 1/2 time Assistant Professor of Ag. Econ. at BYU and engaged in consulting work.
• From 1980 to 1990 worked with the Welfare Services department of the LDS Church as Manager of Production and later as Manager of 7 cattle ranches in Utah.
• From 1990 to July of 2010 worked as a General Manager and later as Vice President and General Manager with AgReserves Inc. Was involved in 7 major ranch acquisitions in the US and the management of a number of farms and ranches in the US as well as Canada and Argentina. Developed a reputation for organizing ranches to be very cost-effective and profitable with very efficient, small crews. Also a proponent of planned, time-controlled grazing for improved soil health and ranch productivity.
• Since retirement has worked as a contract manager, consultant and speaker.

Burke has managed ranches in a variety of locations and has had managerial oversight of two large farms and a dairy. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Central and South America as well as England, Australia and New Zealand on company business or as a consultant or speaker.

Mike Naig
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Mike Naig grew up on a family farm in the northwest corner of the state near Cylinder, Iowa and he continues to be involved in the operation today.

Mike was appointed by Governor Kim Reynolds to succeed Bill Northey as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture on Monday, March 5, 2018. Prior to that, he had served as Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture since September 2013.

In a state where agriculture is a leading economic driver, Mike knows that protecting our air, soil and water is essential to our success. He is proud that Iowans are taking on the challenge of improving water quality and will continue to pursue new public-private partnerships to protect our precious natural resources.

As Secretary, he is committed to lead efforts to expand economic opportunities for Iowans and advocating in Iowa and around the globe on behalf of the hard-working men and women who keep us fed and fueled.

Attracting and retaining talent in Iowa agriculture is a reoccurring topic during his 99 county visits and Mike believes we need to continue to engage young people and encourage them to pursue rewarding careers in agriculture.

As Deputy Secretary under Bill Northey, Mike had been responsible for the operations of the department, specifically policy, budget and personnel. Before joining the Department, Mike had been active in the agribusiness industry for more than 13 years, having served in public policy roles for state and national trade associations and in private industry.

Mike is a graduate of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake with degrees in biology and political science. He and his wife Jaime have three boys.

Tom Noffsinger, DVM
Low-Stress Animal Handling Techniques


o 1973 graduate at CSU – DVM, BS Animal Science, UpJohn Award
o 1994 Graduate – Beef Production Management Series – Great Plains Veterinary Education Center – UNL


o 1973 – 2005 – Beef Cattle Practice – Twin Forks Clinic, Benkelman, Nebraska
Multi-veterinarian practice with emphasis on feedlot/ranch consultation, applications of low stress handling, and cow-calf management.
o Owner/member of CPEC involved with ultrasound endpoint management
o Owner/member Pierson Precision Auscultation
o Owner/member Production Animal Consultation
o 2005 – Present – Independent feedlot consultation, facility design, and stockmanship

Dr. Katy Lippolis

Katy Lippolis may not be an Iowa native, but the new Iowa State University extension beef cow-calf specialist said her roots in agriculture began here and she truly believes she was always meant to end up in Iowa.

At Colorado State University, she earned a double major in equine science and animal science and built leadership skills through a variety of work and club opportunities. She also honed her enthusiasm for animal health and nutrition and realized she had a natural affinity for working cattle, even though she had never raised cattle. This led to a masters program in beef systems management at CSU where she became more deeply involved in information and research on beef cattle, including serving as the coordinator of the Colorado Beef Quality Assurance program.

This desire led her next to Oregon State University for a doctoral program which solidified her interest in improving calf and feeder cattle performance through management and nutrition, specifically during weaning.

“My research highlighted the importance of the cow-calf sector in cattle performance and health in the feedlot, which guided my goals for developing realistic strategies for producers and educating producers in these strategies,” Lippolis said. “The extension cow-calf position at Iowa State is the perfect role for me to do this.” The teaching portion of her position includes instructing the animal science department’s cow-calf management course, and her extension responsibilities involve facilitating relationships with producers, developing online tools and resources, and generally serving Iowa’s cow-calf industry.

“My goal is to add to the available information and education for cow-calf producers across the state. In the future, I hope to increase the availability and concentration of our workshops and programs through avenues such as live videos, webinars, research reports, fact sheets and articles,” she said. “It is truly an honor to be serving Iowa cattle producers, and I am extremely excited to help continue growing Iowa’s leading edge in beef production.”

Nathan Manternach
Cover Crops & Annual Forages in a Grazing System

I farm with my wife Megan and near Cascade where we have a commercial beef cow herd, and finish beef cattle. We also grow corn, and rotationally graze pastures and summer annuals. Cereal rye is used as a cover crop, early spring grazing, and to help with erosion control and building soil. The last several years have included adding waterlines, tanks, pasture reseeding, and grazing different summer annuals.

Jeff Matthias
Management Intensive Grazing

Jeff Matthias is the state grassland specialist with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa, a position he has held for two years. Before this position, Jeff worked in south-central Iowa as a district conservationist and soil conservationist in multiple counties. Jeff grew up on a beef cattle and grain farm in Woodbury County before attending Cornell University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Systems Technology. Jeff is interested in integrating grazing cover crops into row-crop systems for both livestock and grain producers to improve soil health and extend the grazing season.

Mike Downey
Next Generation Ag Advocates – Farm Transitioning

Mike Downey grew up on a grain & livestock farm in west-central Illinois, near Roseville. He received his degree in Agricultural Business and Finance from the University of Illinois in 2000. He began his career in land management and real estate with Hertz Farm Management but since has joined Farm Financial Strategies to pursue his interest in helping farm families and landowners with their farm transition planning. He is also co-owner of Next Generation Ag Advocates (www.nextgenag.us) which has a matching program for connecting the next generation of landowners & producers as well as an unbiased leasing program for assisting farmers and landowners with their landowner-producer lease relationships.