Forage Management: Passing the Torch

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Gary Bates

Dr. Gary Bates
Department Head and Professor, Plant Sciences
Director, UT Beef & Forage Center
P: 865-974-7324

After writing literally hundreds of articles for the Tennessee Cattle Business, it is time for me to let you know this is my last. With my move to department head of Plant Sciences, we have hired a new faculty member to take my place. I will use this article to introduce you to a new friend, Dr. Bruno Pedreira. Bruno started at UT in July. Hopefully many of you had a chance to meet him at the Cattlemen’s meeting in Sevierville last month.

Dr. Pedreira is originally from Brazil, where he received his training under a friend that I shared an office with during my time in graduate school many years ago. Bruno spent a decade in Brazil conducting research to help livestock producers in his region. For the last few years he has been serving as an extension specialist for Kansas State University, as well as serving as director of one of their Research and Education Centers for the last year.

I am extremely excited for Bruno to join our team, knowing his dedication to the forage and livestock industry. He has a strong understanding of forage systems, with experience in both cool- and warm-season forage systems. He also has incredible energy and enthusiasm for this position in Tennessee. It is easy to see the asset he will be to our department and producers across the state.

When Dr. Pedreira interviewed us earlier in the year, I was impressed by the program he had developed in Kansas, conducting educational programs and applied research projects to solve practical problems faced by producers. He had an active in-service training program for Extension agents and traveled the area helping producers. All of these types of efforts are perfect for his position in Tennessee.

I will admit there is a little sadness knowing this is my last article for the TCA magazine. But that doesn’t compare to my excitement for having a new forage specialist to work with all of you. I’m sure when you meet Bruno you will quickly understand why I think so highly of him.

An interesting fact is that in 65 years, Bruno will be only the third Extension Forage Specialist working for UT Extension. My predecessor, Joe Burns, held the role for 35 years. He handed the role to me 30 years ago, and now I’m passing the torch to Dr. Bruno Pedreira. I expect Bruno to be here a while, because the forage specialist position is literally the best job at the university, and one of the top five jobs in the nation.

As I detailed in last month’s column, I appreciate the opportunity I have had to work with each of you over the years, and plan on continuing to be involved with the livestock industry. I look forward to seeing how Dr. Pedreira improves the forage educational program across the state. He is going to do a fantastic job.