SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University associate professor and extension economist Shannon Neibergs has been named director of the WSU Extension Western Center for Risk Management Education, located in Spokane, effective July 5.
 
He succeeds Jon Newkirk, director for 10 years, who recently retired after 21 years of service at WSU.
 
“I’m pleased that the administration is highly supportive of my continued role in research while extending their confidence in me to assume leadership of the center,” Neibergs said. “I’m excited about taking on my new responsibilities.”
 
Neibergs has conducted research and published widely on dairy farming, cattle management and marketing, agribusiness profitability and thoroughbred auction markets, among other topics relevant to ag producers in the western region of the United States. He worked as a WSU Extension associate in agricultural economics in the mid to late 1980s and returned to extension in 2006.
 
Newkirk’s work to set a new course for the center by embracing 21st century technology and communications strategies was praised by Dan Bernardo, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
 
“Under Jon’s leadership, the center has succeeded in its core mission of providing a knowledgeable approach to risk management, enabling people to farm and plan for the future with confidence in our rapidly changing world filled with new, attractive opportunities,” he said.
 
“Shannon has the perfect background to take the center to the next level,” Bernardo said. “He has been working on the ground with producers for years.” He also is a great teacher, “who knows how to effectively communicate and help people deal with complex economic issues.”
 
Neibergs said that he will continue his research and extension programs on the efficiency of livestock production. He is involved in projects concerning the economics of improving cattle disease management, analyzing the economics of anaerobic digestion, and the economics of using expiring CRP grasslands as a grazing resource.
 
These projects have positive impacts on producers and provide indirect gains to consumers, he said.
 
Neibergs will also continue to work on WSU Extension programs for livestock producers, such as the popular beef and lamb programs that recently were recognized with an award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Neibergs earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics at Texas A&M University after earning his master’s degree in economics and bachelor’s degree in animal science at WSU.