Advisors & Staff


NGLC Advisors

Ann Dvorak
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Ann Dvorak
Program Specialist WWF, Sustainable Ranching Initiative

Ann Dvorak

Ann Dvorak
Program Specialist WWF, Sustainable Ranching Initiative
Mitch Stephenson
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Mitch Stephenson
UNL Extension

Mitch Stephenson

Mitch Stephenson
UNL Extension
Panhandle Research Extension Center
Scottsbluff, NE

Mitch Stephenson grew up in the Nebraska Sandhills and central Wyoming. He received a B.S. degree in Animal Science from BYU-Idaho and a M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Range Science where he evaluated the effect of rotational grazing methods and time of grazing on livestock performance and vegetation characteristics in the eastern Nebraska Sandhills.

Following his time at UNL, Mitch worked as a rangeland ecologist in Wyoming and Nevada where he assisted livestock producers in developing sustainable grazing management plans and range vegetation monitoring reports. He completed his Ph.D. in Range Science in December 2014 from New Mexico State University where his research focused on targeting cattle grazing with low-stress herding and low-moisture block protein supplement and evaluating factors that affect cattle grazing distribution behavior, grazing site selection, and social association patterns..

Following his Ph.D., Mitch worked with the University of Nevada -Reno as a Post-doctoral researcher evaluating the use of livestock grazing as a tool to reduce invasive annual grass biomass on a landscape scale. Mitch is currently a Range and Forage Extension Specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln based out of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE.
 

Erin Laborie
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Erin Laborie
Beef Systems Extension Educator

Erin Laborie

Erin Laborie
Beef Systems Extension Educator
Furnace County

Erin Laborie is a beef systems focused Extension Educator for southwest Nebraska. Erin majored in Animal Science and received her Bachelor’s degree in nutrition from The Ohio State University. She attended South Dakota State University for her Master’s degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on growing and finishing cattle nutrition.

Erin currently lives in Beaver City with her husband, John Robert, and twin daughters, Evalynn and Alexandra.  

Jeff Nichols
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Jeff Nichols
NRCS State Range Conservationist

Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols
NRCS State Range Conservationist
Steve Fairbairn
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Steve Fairbairn
USFWS-Nebraska Private Lands Coordinator

Steve Fairbairn

Steve Fairbairn
USFWS-Nebraska Private Lands Coordinator
Kelly Beevers
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Kelly Beevers
Northern Great Plains Rangelands Program Director

Kelly Beevers

Kelly Beevers
Northern Great Plains Rangelands Program Director
Brett Plugge
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Brett Plugge
University of Nebraska – Extension Educator – Livestock Systems

Brett Plugge

Brett Plugge
University of Nebraska – Extension Educator – Livestock Systems

Beef Systems focused educator with an emphasis on cow-calf management within beef production systems. My most significant accomplishments have been establishing the Nebraska Ranch Practicum, a comprehensive ranch management program graduating over 600 participants and teaching science to youth through the Husker Beef Lab I have also served on several state and regional committees.

Marlin French
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Marlin French
US Fish & Wildlife Service

Marlin French

Marlin French
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Cresent Lake National Wildlife Refuge


NGLC Staff

Leah Peterson
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Leah Peterson
NGLC Executive Director

Leah Peterson

Leah Peterson
NGLC Executive Director
Office: 308-872-1250

Leah Peterson is a fifth generation Nebraska rancher, and is a member of Cooksley’s Clear Creek Farms, a diversified operation in Northeast Custer County.

Leah is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Bellevue University where she received degrees in Communications and Advanced Leadership Studies. Since that time, she has worked primarily in higher education, and for the USDA in Custer County. She is a passionate advocate for Nebraska Agriculture and dedicated to advancing efforts to ever improve conservation practices, land stewardship, and care for Nebraska’s farming and ranching communities

Angela Redman
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Angela Redman
NGLC Assistant Director

Angela Redman

Angela Redman
NGLC Assistant Director
Burwell, NE 68823

Angela Redman coordinates the NGLC generational transition program which provides educational opportunities for families on transitioning operations to the next generation.  Angela also assists the Director with logistics for workshops, events and tours held across Nebraska.  She maintains the social media and website for NGLC.  She has a BA from Chadron State College, and previously worked in public health where she coordinated with local and state organizations in planning for public health emergencies.  Angela and her family live in the Sandhills of Nebraska where they have a cow calf and yearling operation.

Twila Phillips
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Twila Phillips
NGLC Grants Administrator and Accountant

Twila Phillips

Twila Phillips
NGLC Grants Administrator and Accountant
Sandhills RC & D
P.O. Box 28
Mullen, NE 69152
Office: (308) 546-0636
Cell: (308) 546-9081

Twila is the Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Resource Conservation and Development office in Mullen, and also serves as the Grants Financial Manager for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition. She has done the bookkeeping and financial management for the NGLC since the spring of 2008.

Twila and her husband own and operate the ranch that was purchased by his grandfather in the 1930s in north central Nebraska. She is also involved with the Nebraska LEAD Alumni Association, Nebraska Cattlewomen, Nebraska Wine & Grape Growers Association and the Sandhills Cattle Association.

Twila and her husband have six children — two are married, one is in graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one is in college at Hastings College and two are still at home.

Twila says, "NGLC is important because the organization strives to promote a greater understanding of the value of grasslands through tried and proven grazing practices as well as innovative strategies that promote healthy grasslands."
 

Alex Petersen
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Alex Petersen
Burn Coordinator

Alex Petersen

Alex Petersen
Burn Coordinator
Home: (308) 730-2602

Alex serves as a regional Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition(NGLC) Burn Coordinator serving primary the eastern Sandhills region surrounding Burwell, Nebraska. In this role, he facilitates prescribed fire burn trainings, assists in organizing new regional burn associations, writes burn plans, coordinates actual burns and conducts post-burn tours. He also represents NGLC at various regional and state-wide burn events.

Doug Whisenhunt
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Doug Whisenhunt
Statewide Burn Coordinator

Doug Whisenhunt

Doug Whisenhunt
Statewide Burn Coordinator
Home: (308) 520-1317

Doug Whisenhunt, NGLC Burn Coordinator has been employed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Nebraska for his entire career. He is credited with initiating the application of using prescribed fire for Eastern Red Cedar (ERC) control in Nebraska over 30 years ago. He is nationally renowned for his experience and knowledge of how to most effectively utilize prescribed fire in the diverse ecosystems across Nebraska and surrounding states. As such, Doug serves as the statewide burn coordinator in Nebraska. He is credited with the establishment of the Loess Canyon Resource Alliance (LCRA) located southwest of North Platte which involves over 70 private land owners working collaboratively to control ERC. Doug represents the NGLC at various prescribed fire events across Nebraska. He was instrumental in launching the Nebraska Prescribed Fire Conference a few years ago. He is a highly sought after speaker about the use of prescribed across the central and western High Plains. 

Doug coordinates, supervises and manages the on-going state-wide prescribed fire activities to control invasive Eastern Red Cedar (ERC) in infested regions across Nebraska.

Alex McKiernan
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Alex McKiernan
State Grassland Coordinator

Alex McKiernan

Alex McKiernan
State Grassland Coordinator
Co-Owner Robinette Farms
Martell, NE
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