The Plains Nutrition Council was formed in 1970
The Council is an educational and professional organization for persons who work and serve as livestock feeding nutritionists, nutrition consultants, research scientists and educators in livestock science. The goal of the Council is to enable its members to more effectively cooperate with each other and to serve the livestock feeding industry more successfully. The Council provides a forum for study, discussion, and promulgation of current research in the field, as well as opportunity for study and evaluation of new product applications from industry and research sectors. Joint efforts with related organizations in chemistry, engineering, veterinary medicine, and other groups allied to the livestock industry are encouraged.
Kurt Landis is a native of New Mexico. He earned a B.S. in Animal Science and M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition from West Texas State University. Kurt was also a Research Associate at the University of Arkansas where he worked in forage digestion. Kurt began his professional career as a feedlot nutritionist at Farr Better Feeds in Hereford, TX. From there, he transitioned to Cargill Animal Nutrition, where he spent the bulk of his career as a feedlot nutritionist. After retiring from Cargill, Kurt started WFC Nutrition. Today he provides nutrition and management consultation to feedyards in Texas, New Mexico, and Nebraska. Kurt and his wife Pam reside in Canyon, TX.
Dr. Casey Lee Maxwell
1st Vice President
Dr. Casey Lee Maxwell was born and raised on a commercial cow-calf operation in Stinnett, TX. Casey received a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 2007. In 2010, Casey received a M.S. in Animal Science from West Texas A&M University and completed a Ph.D. in Animal Science at Oklahoma State University in May 2014.
Casey recently started with Cactus Feeders as Operations Analyst. Casey was with Elanco Animal Health for 5 years. His initial role was as a Technical Consultant responsible for technical support of Elanco’s entire feedlot portfolio. Casey was integrally involved in post approval research relative to liver abscess in beef and Holstein cattle. For the past year, Casey had led the Feedyard Technical Team within Elanco’s food animal business. Casey is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and the Plains Nutrition Council. Casey and his wife Marsh live in Canyon Texas and have two sons, Mason and Myles.
Dr. Kristin Hales
2nd Vice President
Dr. Kristin Hales was raised on a farm in the Texas panhandle. She received a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Texas Tech University. She began her career as a postdoctoral research associate at the USDA, ARS, Conservation and Production Research Laboratory. In 2011, she was hired as a research animal scientist at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC). Kristin built a feedlot research program at U.S. MARC where she conducted a variety of research to improve efficiency and sustainability of beef cattle production collaborating with meat scientists, geneticists, microbiologists, and agricultural engineers. Kristin currently holds the Thornton Distinguished Chair within the department of Animal and Food Science at Texas Tech University where she conducts research on beef cattle nutrition and management, antimicrobial resistance, and energetics. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Animal Science and is currently associate editor for Applied Animal Science. Kristin and her husband Chris reside in Lubbock.
Dr. Jenny Jennings
Dr. Jenny Jennings recently started as a Staff Nutritionist for Five Rivers Cattle Feeding. She was the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Project Leader for the Texas A&M AgriLife Research/USDA-ARS Research Feedlot and Metabolism Laboratory in Bushland, TX. She is an adjunct faculty member of West Texas A&M University Department of Agricultural Science. Jennings is also a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and American Society of Animal Scientists. Jenny resides in Amarillo, TX with her husband Tracy and sons Tyler and Connor.
Dr. Jason Smith
Dr. Jason Smith was raised on a small commercial cow/calf and hay operation in northern Virginia. He earned a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science and M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition and Feed Manufacturing from West Virginia University before earning his Ph.D. in Beef Cattle Nutrition from Virginia Tech. Smith spent 4 years as an Assistant Professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist for the University of Tennessee before transitioning into his current role as an Extension Beef Cattle Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Amarillo, TX. His primary responsibilties include Extension educational programming and applied research focused toward beef cattle producers and industry stakeholders in the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains. Smith also provided interim oversight of the joint Texas A&M AgriLife Research/USDA-ARS Research Feedyard and Metabolism Laboratory in Bushland, TX from September 2020 through January 2022. Jason, his wife Anna, and their daughter Taylor currently reside in Amarillo, TX.