Writer: Norman Martin
CLAYTON - Manny Encinias has been named new livestock specialist at New Mexico State University's Clayton Livestock Research Center. He joined the science center staff July 1.
"We will be looking at large-scale grazing systems, including those animal and plant factors that are influencing diet selection and grazing distribution in yearling and cow-calf operations," said Encinias, who works for NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "The majority of my work will be out on the rangeland."
The Moriarty native plans to apply scientific concepts to production, working closely with producers in the northeastern part of the state. "Our focus will be on science-based concepts that ultimately affect a producer's bottom line," he said. "We will continue to address the drought, animal identification and herd health."
Encinias previously served as natural resources specialist with NMSU's Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project in Alcalde. He is an expert on grazing patterns of cattle and elk, as well as the use of feed supplements and herding to draw animals away from riparian areas.
He recently led research on state-of-the-art management techniques to allow cattle and elk to continue to graze on the Valles Caldera National Preserve without affecting its beauty and ecological health. The Valles Caldera is located in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos.
At Clayton, Encinias will be involved in long-term research to diagnose and minimize bovine respiratory disease. The project involves NMSU, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Texas Tech University. "There are still number of questions that have to be answered," he said.
The Clayton center is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading centers for receiving cattle research. Located six miles east of Clayton on Highway 56, the center contains 48 research pens and a feed mill.
The center, which was created in the 1970s, is also home to the New Mexico Ranch-to-Rail Program. Ranch-to-Rail tracks cattle from the feedlot to the packing plant so that producers can learn more about how their cattle and management program fit the industry.
Encinias earned bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from NMSU. He holds a doctorate in beef cattle nutrition from North Dakota State University.
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