James C. MacDonald

Portrait of James McDonald
Areas of Expertise
Ruminant Nutrition
Professor
Ruminant Nutrition

Expertise: Beef cattle nutrition and beef cattle production systems

Experience:

  • Professor of Animal Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, July 2019 to present
  • Associate Professor of Animal Science, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, August 2012 to 2019
  • Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, September 2011 to July 2012
  • Assistant Professor of Animal Nutrition, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, April 2006 to August 2011

Education:

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2006
  • Master of Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 2002
  • Bachelor of Science, North Dakota State University, 1999

Service and Awards:

  • UNL Parents Association, recognition for contributing to student excellence, 2017, 2018
  • Nebraska Beef Industry Endowment Award, recipient, 2015, 2019
  • William G. Whitmore Memorial Travel Award, recipient, 2005
  • Holling Family Excellence in Teaching Award, recipient, 2004
  • UNL IANR Agricultural Research Division Advisory Council, 2017-2020
  • ASAS Midwestern Section Ruminant Nutrition Committee, 2017-2021
  • UNL Animal Science Curriculum Committee, 2016-current
  • UNL Animal Science Scholarship Committee, 2015-current
  • Plains Nutrition Council Executive Committee, 2008-2012
  • Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty Member, 2007-2012
  • West Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty Member, 2006-2012
  • Texas Tech University Adjunct Professor, 2007-2012
  • Journal of Animal Science Editorial Board, member, 2007-2011

Research Interests:

  • Beef Cattle Production Systems
  • Alternative Feeds
  • Forage Utilization
  • Cow/calf Production
  • Yearling Stocker Cattle Production
  • Feedlot Production
  • Integrated Beef Cattle - Cropping Systems

Courses:

  • ASCI 481: Beef Industry Scholars: Beef Summit: Identification of a major issue confronting the Nebraska beef industry. Organize a Nebraska summit meeting to discuss and bring the identified issue to resolution.
  • ASCI 485: Animal Systems Analysis: Senior capstone course for majors in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources with an interest in careers in livestock production units, the meat industry, or related agribusiness. The course includes: goal setting, information gathering, and application of problem solving methods in animal science and develops ability to analyze and solve problems in all segments of animal science by integration of information from all pertinent disciplines and sources.
  • ASCI 490: Feedlot Internship Program: Management internship in a beef feedlot. Organizational and financial structure of the beef feedlot and experience in making decisions related to: animal production, marketing, business management, and personnel management.
  • ASCI 421/821: Advanced Animal Nutrition: An advanced course dealing with the nutrition of domestic animals. In-depth coverage of nutrients, nutrient metabolism and nutrient requirements. Biochemical and physiological functions of nutrients in life processes.
  • ASCI 820: Feedlot Nutrition and Management: Nutritional requirements of and complete ration formulation for feedlot cattle. Management practices needed for successful feedlot operation.
  • ASCI 924: Forage Evaluation: Analytic procedures and research methods used in evaluating biochemical components and nutritive value of forages. An evaluation of the impact of forage quality on forage breeding and animal performance.

Publications (67 refereed journal articles; 19 symposia proceedings; 138 abstracts; 143 experiment station reports; 1 book chapter)
Selected publications 2015 - 2019

  • Oney, C. R., J. K. Gramkow, F. H. Hilscher, G. E. Erickson, J. C. MacDonald, T. J. Klopfenstein, and A. K. Watson. 2019. Corn silage rumen undegradable protein content and response of growing calves to rumen undegradable protein supplement. Transl. Anim. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz014
  • Hilscher, F. H., D. B. Burken, C. J. Bittner, J. L. Gramkow, R. G. Bondurant, M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, A. K. Watson, J. C. MacDonald, T. J. Klopfenstein, and G. E. Erickson. 2019. Impact of corn silage moisture at harvest on performance of growing steers with supplemental rumen undegradable protein, finishing steer performance, and nutrient digestibility by lambs. Transl. Anim. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz011
  • Winders, T. M., M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, H. C. Wilson, J. C. MacDonald, G. E. Erickson, and A. K. Watson. 2019. Evaluation of the effects of biochar on diet digestibility and methane production from growing and finishing steers. Transl. Anim. Sci. doi: 10.1093/tas/txz027
  • Conway, A. C., T. M. King, M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, J. C. MacDonald, T. J. Klopfenstein, and M. E. Drewnoski. 2019. Effect of harvest method and ammoniation of bale corn residue on intake and digestibility in lambs. Transl. Anim. Sci. doi: 10.1093/tas/txz013.
  • Redfearn, D., J. Parsons, M. Drewnoski, M. Schmer, R. Mitchell, J. MacDonald, J. Farney, and A. Smart. 2019. Assessing the value of grazed corn residue for crop and cattle producers. Agric. Environ. Lett. 4:180066. doi:10.2134/ael2018.12.0066
  • Jolly-Breithaupt, M, L., M. E. Harris, B. L. Nuttleman, D. B. Burken, J. C. MacDonald, M. K. Luebbe, T. K. Iragavarapu, and G. E. Erickson. 2019. Effects of Syngenta Enogen Feed Corn containing an alpha-amylase trait on finishing cattle performance and carcass characteristics. Transl. Anim. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1093/tas/txy121
  • Greenwell, H. L., J. L. Gramkow, M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, J. C. MacDonald, and K. H. Jenkins. 2018. Effects of field pea supplementation on digestibility and rumen volatile fatty acid concentration of diets containing high and low quality forage. The Professional Animal Scientist. 34:631-641 doi:10.15232/pas.2018-01730
  • Drewnoski, M., J. Parsons, H. Blanco, D. Redfearn, K. Hales, and J. MacDonald. 2018. Forages and pastures symposium: cover crops in livestock production: whole-system approach. Can cover crops pull double duty: conservation and profitable forage production in the Midwestern United States? J. Anim. Sci. 96:3503-3512. doi: 10.1093/jas/sky026.
  • Ulmer, K., R. Rasby, J. Cox-O'Neill, K. Jenkins, J. MacDonald M. Rakkar, H. Blanco, and M. Drewnoski. 2018.  Baling or Grazing of Corn Residue does not Reduce Crop Production in Central United States. Agron. J. 111:122-127. doi: 10.2134/agronj2018.04.0226
  • Jolly-Breithaupt, M. L., B. L. Nuttelman, C. J. Schneider, D. B. Burken, J. L. Gramkow, A. L. Shreck, J. C. MacDonald, T. J. Klopfenstein, and G. E. Erickson. 2018. Finishing performance and diet digestibility for feedlot steers fed corn distillers grains plus solubles and distillers solubles with and without oil extraction. J. Anim. Sci. 96:1996-2011. Doi:10.1093/jas/sky061.
  • Greenwell, H. L., K. H. Jenkins, and J. C. MacDonald. 2018. Evaluating field peas as an energy source for growing and finishing beef cattle. Prof. Anim. Sci. 34:202-209. doi:10.15232/pas.2017-01666.
  • King, T. M., R. G. Bondurant, M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, J. L. Gramkow, T. J. Klopfenstein, and J. C. MacDonald. 2017. Effect of corn residue harvest method with ruminally undegradable protein supplementation on performance of growing calves and fiber digestibility. J. Anim. Sci. 95:5290-5300. Doi:10.2527/jas2017.1926.
  • Cox-O’Neill, J. L., K. M. Ulmer, M. Rakkar, L. Franzen-Castle, H. Blanco-Canqui, M. E. Drewnoski, J. C. MacDonald, and R. J. Rasby. 2017. Perceptions of crop consultants and crop producers on grazing corn residue in Nebraska. Journal of Extension 55(5):5RIB2.
  • Rakkar, M. K., H. Blanco-Canqui, R. A. Drijber, M. E. Drewnoski, J. C. MacDonald, and T. Klopfenstein. 2017. Impacts of cattle grazing of corn residues on soil properties after 16 years. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 81:414–424. doi:10.2136/sssaj2016.07.0227
  • Cleveland, B. D., J. O. Buntyn, A. L. Gronli, J. C. MacDonald, and G. A. Sullivan. 2017. Effect of feeding distillers grains during different phases of production and addition of postmortem antioxidants on shelf life of ground beef. Prof. Anim. Sci. 33:555-566. doi: 10.15232/pas.2016-0160
  • Watson, A. K., T. J. Klopfenstein, G. E. Erickson, J. C. MacDonald, and V. A. Wilkerson. 2017. Impact of microbial efficiency to predict MP supply when estimating protein requirements of growing beef cattle from performance. J. Anim. Sci. 95:3184-3191. doi:10.2527/jas2016.1124.
  • Burken, D. B., B. L. Nuttelman, M. J. Jolly-Breithaupt, J. L. Gramkow, S. E. Gardine, T. J. Klopfenstein, J. C. MacDonald, and G. E. Erickson. 2017. Digestibility and performance of steers fed varying inclusions of corn silage and modified distillers grains with solubles to partially replace corn in finishing diets. Transl. Anim. Sci. doi:10.2527/tas2017.0046
  • Bittner C. J., M. A. Greenquist, D. B. Burken, A. L. Shreck, J. C. MacDonald, T. J. Klopfenstein, W. J. Platter, M. T. Van Koevering, N. A. Pyatt, and G. E. Erickson. 2017. Evaluation of ractopamine hydrochloride (Optaflexx) on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing steers across different feeding durations. J. Anim. Sci. 95:485-498. doi:10.2527/jas2016.0806
  • Ahern, N. A., B. L. Nuttelman, T. J. Klopfenstein, J. C. MacDonald, G. E. Erickson, and A. K. Watson. 2016. Comparison of wet and dry distillers grains plus solubles to corn as an energy source in forage-based diets. Prof. Anim. Sci. 32:758-767. doi: 10.15232/pas2016-01528.
  • Buttrey, E. K., K. H. Jenkins, F. T. McCollum III, N. A. Cole, L. O. Tedeschi, and J. C. MacDonald. 2016. Effects of sorghum wet distillers grains plus solubles in steam-flaked corn-based diets on steer performance, carcass characteristics, and digestibility characteristics. Prof. Anim. Sci. 32:768-776. doi: 10.15232/pas.2016-0153.
  • Gramkow, J. L., C. J. Bittner, M. L. Jolly-Breithaupt, D. B. Burken, G. E. Erickson, and J. C. MacDonald. 2016. Effects of processing treated corn stover and distillers grains on performance and total tract digestion of finishing cattle. J. Anim. Sci. doi: 10.2527/jas.2016-0546.
  • Dewnoski, M. E., J. C. MacDonald, G. E. Erickson, K. J. Hanford, and T. J. Klopfenstein. 2016. Long-term corn residue grazing improves subsequent soybean yields in a corn-soybean rotation. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management. Vol. 2. DOI: 10.2134/cftm2015.0192
  • Gillespie-Lewis, K. L., B. L. Nuttelman, J. D. Volesky, G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein,  J. C. MacDonald, and A. K. Watson. 2016.  Case Study: Distillers grains supplementation in a forage system with spayed heifers.  Prof. Anim. Sci. 32:357-367. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15232/pas.2015-01452.
  • Harding, J. L., C. J. Bittner, M. L Jolly, D. B. Burken, G. E. Erickson, and J. C. MacDonald.  2016. Effects of processing of treated corn stover and distillers grains on total tract digestion and performance of growing calves. Prof. Anim. Sci. 32:183-191. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15232/pas.2015-01429
  • Anderson, C. L., G. E. Erickson, J. C. MacDonald, and S. C. Fernando. 2016. Rumen bacterial communities can be acclimated faster to high concentrate diets than currently implemented feedlot programs. J. Appl. Microbiol. 120:588-599. DOI: 10.1111/jam.13039.
  • Peterson, S. J., A. L. Shreck, B. L. Nuttelman, C. J. Schneider, D. B. Burken, C. N. Macken, W. A. Griffin, J. L. Harding, G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein, and J. C. MacDonald.  2015. Effects of alkaline treatment and pelleting if crop residues on performance of growing calves. Prof. Anim. Sci. 31:552-558.
  • Gillespie-Lewis, K.L., A. K. Watson, T .J. Klopfenstein, and J. C. MacDonald.  2015. Effects of winter supplementation level on yearling system profitability.  Prof. Anim. Sci. 31:448-454.
  • Watson, A. K., S. K. Moore, T. J. Klopfenstein, L. W. Lomas, J. L. Moyer, J. C. MacDonald.  2015. Strategic timing of distillers grains supplementation for growing cattle grazing smooth bromegrass pastures.  Prof. Anim. Sci. 31:417-424.
  • Buttrey, E. K., M. K. Luebbe, F. T. McCollum III, N. A. Cole, J. C. MacDonald, and K. E. Hales. 2015. Effects of glycerin concentration in steam-flaked corn-based diets with supplemental yellow grease on performance and carcass characteristics of finishing beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 93:3698-3703.
  • Watson, A. K., J. C. MacDonald, G. E. Erickson, P. J. Kononoff, and T. J. Klopfenstein. 2015. Optimizing the use of fibrous residues in beef and dairy diets. J. Anim. Sci. 93:2616-2625.
  • Wilken, M. F., J. C. MacDonald, G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein, C. J. Schneider, K. M. Luebbe, and S. D. Kachman. 2015. Marketing strategy influences optimum marketing date of steers in relation to corn price and days on feed. The Professional Animal Scientist. 31:224-236.
  • Peterson, S. J., B. L. Nuttelman, D. B. Burken, M. K. Luebbe, G. E. Erickson, and J. C. MacDonald. 2015. Use of a pelleted corn residue complete feed in receiving diets. The Professional Animal Scientist. 31:201-206.
  • Peterson, S. J., B. L. Nuttelman, C. J. Schneider, D. B. Burken, J. C. MacDonald, and G. E. Erickson. 2015. Optimum inclusion of alkaline-treated corn residue and distillers grains fed to calf-fed steers. The Professional Animal Scientist. 31:216-223.