Butler Alumni-Dream Big, Go Far

Butler Alumni: Dr. Matt Spangler

 Butler Alumni Dr. Matthew Spangler originally hails from Walton, Kansas.  For those of you not from the state of Kansas (or if you may have missed it on the map), Walton is a whopping metropolis of fewer than 300 people.  For a small town kid like Matt, starting his educational journey at a Community College just made sense.  While at Butler Matt’s quick wit, dry sense of humor and skills as a member of the Butler Livestock Judging team were evident and his record as the repeat reasons champion at Sioux Falls has not been duplicated.

In Matt’s words, “Attending Butler was the best decision I could have ever made. Academically, it prepared me for success at the next level with the benefit of small class sizes and one-on-one attention from incredible instructors.  Additionally, my involvement in various agriculture organizations and competition teams at Butler opened doors and developed friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Upon graduation from Butler’s Agriculture Program in 1999, Matt was awarded the Hubbard Award of Excellence which is given each year to one outstanding graduate based on academic achievement, activity involvement and community service.  This award is the highest award Butler awards and here at BCC more than just a department award.  We are pretty excited to say that Matt is part of a pretty amazing trend…7 of the last 11 recipients of the Hubbard Award of Excellence have been agriculture students.  

After Butler, Matt continued his education at Kansas State University, where he majored in Animal Sciences and Industry.  He also competed on the K-State Livestock Judging team.  Matt earned a M.S. in 2003 at Iowa State University where he began to focus on Animal Breeding and Genetics.  He completed his Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics at the University of Georgia in 2006.  

Today Matt is an Assistant Professor and Beef Cattle Genetics Extension Specialist at the University of Nebraska.  He teaches undergraduate courses, conducts research and educates livestock producers in the state of Nebraska.   Interestingly enough, due to the internet (and the technology upgrades here at in our Ag Dept.) we have used some of Matt’s extension broadcasts here in current Ag Classes.  Follow this link to get to Matt’s archived webinars, you might learn something!   Once the student, Matt is now a respected expert in his field that we can all learn from.  He is a Journal of Animal Science Editorial Board Member, in the Animal Genetics Section.

Perhaps most importantly we congratulate Matt and his new wife Devori on their recent marriage and welcome Devori to the Butler family.  Although Matt lives in Nebraska, he has not forgotten his small town, KANSAS roots.  Like many of Butler’s successful Alumni, Matt dreamed big, didn’t waste his talents, and has quickly covered distance in his chosen profession.  

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