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Distinguished scientist retiring as head of Nebraska research farm

Nationally renowned beef scientist Dr. John Pollak is retiring as head of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (NTV News)

A distinguished scientist who worked to improve beef genetics is retiring.

Dr. John Pollak has been the director of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay County. The center has large populations of cattle, hogs, and sheep on 34,000 acres.

The center was founded more than 50 years ago and was instrumental in developing breeds that are now common like Simmental, Charolais, Gelbvieh, and Limousin.

Dr. Pollak tells NTV he's looking forward to spending more time with grandkids.

Cattlemen say Pollak has been a big asset to improving the beef industry.

Dawn Caldwell's family ranches in Clay County.

She said, “The USMARC is an important contractor to the Nebraska Beef Checkoff and the high quality, valuable research they are able to conduct is a reflection of the strong leadership of Dr. Pollak. I have especially appreciated his dedication to the beef industry and his willingness to bring a producer voice to the table in the research community.”

The University of Nebraska also has ties to the work at USMARC.

Archie Clutter, the dean of the University's Agricultural Research Division said, "Dr. Pollak has made tremendous contributions as Director at US MARC. His partnership in building collaborative research projects to ensure healthy livestock and a sustained supply of safe and nutritious food will have lasting impact in Nebraska and far beyond."

Pollak was at the helm a few years ago when the New York Times questioned animal handling. Multiple government reviews later found no serious wrongdoing.

Dr. Pollak tells us he plans to continue to work with beef industry leaders as he leaves the center.


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