SCOTTSBLUFF – For the past six years, Jack Whittier has served the Panhandle Research and Extension Center as its Director. Whittier will officially retire on Aug 31.
Before coming to Scottsbluff, Whittier served as a Beef Extension Specialist at Colorado State University. When the director position came open at the PHREC, Whittier put in an application.
“In the latter part of my career, I was interested in administration and this was an opportunity to do that,” said Whittier. “It was an opportunity to work with a good group of people here in the Panhandle.”
During his tenure at the PHREC, Whittier hired several new faculty members and did some remodeling to the PHREC building. The annual field day was also modified. Whittier said,
“They used to call it Bean Day, Dry Bean Day,” he said. “We worked with the Dry Bean Commission and kind of modified that into more of a research and technology tour.”
Although Whittier enjoyed his time at the PHREC, he decided it was time to retire.
“I turn 65 this month and 65 is kind of the typical retirement time,” said Whittier.
Another factor was a retirement incentive offered by The University of Nebraska to several individuals across the department.
“The opportunity to retire and receive an incentive for it, I chose to do that,” said Whittier.
Whittier and his wife will continue to live in Scottsbluff for the time being. His wife is employed at WNCC and Whittier is doing some consulting work.
Whittier said, “We like Scottsbluff and we plan to stay at least for a few more years.”
Whittier is looking forward to stepping into a slower lifestyle. Whittier is pulling together his “Jack’s Insights” columns into a collection, mainly for personal use.
“I also look forward to some time to review and write – finish up some projects, writing publications that I would still like to get into the press,” Whittier said. “When I left Colorado State, which is where I was before I came here, I was involved in some research things that we kind of set aside and we have a couple of manuscripts right now that are in review with the Journal of Animal Science.”
He also said he will miss the challenges at the PHREC and the interactions with people.
“It was a hard decision,” Whittier said. “I loved what I was doing at the university, at the center. I love my work. I love the people of Scottsbluff and the Panhandle.”