Kelly Bruns has been reappointed to the role of director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s West Central Research, Extension and Education Center (WCREEC) in North Platte. The reappointment is for a five-year term.
Bruns joined the center in an associate director role in 2014 and has served as director since 2016. In the role of director, Bruns has worked with the center’s nine specialists and 40 staff who specialize in cropping systems and beef cattle and are involved with research, teaching and extension initiatives that extend throughout UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Under Bruns’ leadership, WCREEC has become an interdisciplinary hub that fosters collaboration among researchers from across the institute and the university. In addition to his role as director of WREEC, Bruns also served as the interim dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture from 2019 until 2020.
“Dr. Bruns is a strategic leader who sees our network of research and extension centers as a statewide campus for teaching, research and outreach through Nebraska Extension,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for IANR. “His vision and leadership have helped us find new ways to meet the needs of Nebraskans and Nebraska farmers and ranchers, in West Central Nebraska and beyond. I look forward to working with Kelly and seeing his contributions over the next five years.”
Bruns grew up on a diversified livestock and cropping operation near Grand Island. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his doctorate from South Dakota State University, where he taught and conducted research in growth and development of beef cattle with an emphasis in management effects on carcass quality. Prior to joining WREEC, he was a professor of animal science at South Dakota State for 18 years.