MEET BRETT KIRCH
Student Success Faculty
Dr. Brett Kirch grew up on a small farm in the Nebraska Panhandle close to Lewellen, NE. It was through participation in 4-H projects that he developed his interest in the Animal Sciences. Brett participated in a variety of projects including beef, sheep, swine, veterinary science, and range management. Brett received his BS in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln and worked as an Extension aide in Garden County NE during those years. He attended Kansas State University for an MS in Ruminant Nutrition where he was introduced to the forage- animal interface through his research project. Brett completed a PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Range and Forage Sciences working jointly between the Agronomy and Animal Science departments in evaluating escape protein in grazed warm-season grasses. Following graduation, Brett took a position with Iowa State University as a Regional Extension Beef Specialist in west-central Iowa working in beef, sheep, and horse programming. Brett’s career took a slight change in direction when he was accepted and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, with clinical equine rotations at the University of California-Davis. While at ISU, Brett had the opportunity to work at Prairie Meadows Racetrack in Altoona, IA fostering an interest in equine medicine. Upon graduation, he practiced equine medicine based out of West Chester, PA. His primary interests are internal medicine and lameness and had the opportunity to work with many equine disciplines that included dressage, hunter-jumper, race horses, three-day eventing, fox-hunting, and combined driving. Brett’s return to research was as a result of a unique post-doctoral position with USDA-ARS Forage-Animal Production Research Unit on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. His work in Kentucky allowed the unique opportunity to marry his interests in Veterinary Medicine, forages, and nutrition. The research programs included Doppler-Ultrasound evaluation of cattle and horses affected by Fescue toxicosis, grass-based laminitis in horses, surgical techniques for the harvesting biopsy samples for evaluating vascular changes in cattle due to fescue toxicosis, and alkaloid effects upon body tissues in cattle. In 2008, Brett became the head of the Youth Livestock Extension program and research at CSU. His research programs continue to look at the health, production, and nutritional aspects of the forage-animal interface.