Tanner Russman Utilizes Northeast Experiences to Turn Out Fancy Calves

Published on: August 27, 2019

WEST POINT, NE – Plain Jane cows are the surrogate moms for their fancy, show-off sisters at Nebraska Vet Services at West Point. No one knows this better than Tanner Russman, a 2001 graduate of Northeast Community College. Russman assists with embryo transfers as Plain Janes become proud mommas of prize-winning calves.

Customers bring fancy cows, from Angus, Shorthorns, Simmental, and Charlois, to purebred Brahmas, mini-Herefords and crossbred club calves, to Nebraska Vet Services, Cows are given shots to super-ovulate, and after that, they’re artificially inseminated. Resulting embryos are flushed and frozen. There’s a chance of multiple offspring from each mating, plus a flush with several different sires is possible.

Embryos are either sold or Nebraska Vet Services veterinarian Dr. Steve Hughes implants the embryos into average cows. The process can be repeated at 40-day intervals.

“In the meantime, the cows hang out here,” Russman said. “It’s a pretty luxurious lifestyle for a cow. They get the best of feed and the best of care.”

Beef producers take advantage of this lifestyle, bringing animals from a number of states to do so: Nebraska, Ohio, Southern Texas, Kansas, Iowa, and South Dakota, to name a few.

 “A lot of pretty fancy animals come out of here,” Russman said. “They can easily bring $50,000-70,000 each as show stock.”

Before Russman came to Nebraska Vet Services, he was employed at a 20,000-head feedlot, involved in cattle procurement, animal health management and customer relations. In addition, he oversaw incoming cattle, working with veterinarians in treatment and vaccination.

Russman brought this experience with him to Nebraska Vet Services.

In addition, as a farm kid, he had been working on feedlots since the age of 12, gaining the practical aspects of livestock management. The time spent at Northeast Community College gave him technical or scientific understanding, teaching him the potential in each head of cattle.

Northeast was close to Russman’s home at Wisner. He could work while commuting the 30 miles to Norfolk.

Russman continues to run into friends from Northeast, working with a number of these contacts on a daily basis.

Funding for the$23 million project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.

For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse, tracyk@northeast.edu, 402-844-7056. Online donations can be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks can be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.

Photo Cutline – Russman

Northeast Community College alum Tanner Russman (Courtesy Northeast Community College)