Science lecture at Sheridan College to focus on alternative forage crops

March 7, 2019

Dr. Rebecca Atkinson, animal science instructor at Sheridan College, will give a lecture called “Utilization of Alternative Forage Crops for Beef Production” on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in Mars Agriculture Center Room 201 at Sheridan College. This event is free and open to the public.

One potential solution for livestock producers is access to a cheap, on the farm source of high-protein forage, and many producers are turning to such alternative measures to meet their cattle’s requirements that may not have been as popular in the past. Atkinson will share her research on utilizing forage soybeans as well as small grain crops. Additionally, she will visit with attendees about the pros and cons of grazing cover crops.

Part of the Sheridan College Museum of Discovery Science Lecture Series, Atkinson will focus on challenges facing livestock producers, including the price of land and human population increases, which have caused beef producers to look for forages that maximize yield/acre and allow for fewer acres needed to raise cattle. The challenge is to increase forage production, decrease land area needed and extend the grazing season, all while maintaining or increasing animal performance.

Atkinson currently teaches animal science at Sheridan College. She is a native of Wyoming and grew up on her family’s ranch in Goshen County. Upon graduating from the University of Wyoming with a doctorate in ruminant nutrition, she was hired by Southern Illinois University Carbondale and served as Beef Forage Specialist for 12 years. While at SIUC she conducted research that pertained to the cow/calf, feedlot, and seedstock segments of the beef industry. However, her primary research focus was utilizing alternative forage crops to extend the grazing season.

The next lecture in the Sheridan College Museum of Discovery Science Series is on April 10 at 7 p.m. Nichole Bjornlie, nongame mammal biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, will give a lecture titled “Multi-State Wolverine Monitoring and Conservation”.

Sheridan College is located at 1 Whitney Way in Sheridan. For more information about this or upcoming lectures, contact Dr. Scott Newbold at or call 307-675-0770.