Terry James Klopfenstein March 10, 1939 - April 30, 2021

Terry James Klopfenstein March 10, 1939 - April 30, 2021 Thursday, May 6, 2021

Photo of Terry Klopfenstein
Photo of Terry Klopfenstein

Terry J. Klopfenstein, 82, of Lincoln, died on April 30, 2021.

Mr. Klopfenstein was born March 10, 1939 to Donald & Rozella (Miller) Klopfenstein in Wauseon, Ohio.

After completing his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University, Terry joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a ruminant nutritionist in 1965. Calling it his “dream job”, Terry had only one position at UNL – ruminant researcher and teacher. Terry held the University of Nebraska Wagner Professorship from 1989-2007, the first endowed chair position in the Animal Science Department. As one of the premier research programs at UNL and nationwide, his findings have had a tremendous economic impact on cattle feeding in Nebraska and the nation. Terry was a pioneer in using corn byproducts from the ethanol and sweetener industries to supplement cattle feeding creating a win-win-win scenario for cattle feeders, grain farmers and the milling industries. Principles learned in the evaluation of protein sources, protein requirements and growing/finishing systems have been used by the feed and livestock industries. Research with grazing and treating crop residues have been adopted by cattle producers both within the US and internationally. Terry has authored over 300 refereed articles and over 1000 abstracts and technical articles. For many years, Terry was the leader of the ruminant nutrition program at Nebraska, both on campus and with the research and development centers across the state. Terry believed that research programs should be a Team Effort. He never talked about “his” research program. It was always “our” program or Nebraska’s program. Terry mentored hundreds of graduate students in his 47-year career at UNL many of whom now hold important positions at universities, major agribusinesses, consulting firms, government agencies and as leaders in the livestock industry. Terry took a great deal of pride in working with students. His passion was instilled in him by his parents. Terry’s mother was a teacher who began her career when she was 18 years old. Terry’s father taught him the importance of higher education because he never had the chance to further his education during the Great Depression. Terry instilled the same motivation for knowledge in his students. He believed a faculty member’s most important assignment was to teach students. Teaching included not only learning the fundamentals of science, but also helping students to mature and succeed.

Because of the need for well-trained feedlot managers, the Feedlot Management Internship was initiated in 1988 and 179 students have completed the program. In 2003, an endowed fund was established in his honor at the University of Nebraska Foundation in recognition of his teaching accomplishments and contribution to the beef feedlot industry. Today, the funds provide support and recognition for students with an interest in beef production. In addition to his teaching and research activities, Terry has served as President of the Federation of Animal Science Societies and President of the American Society of Animal Science as well its Midwest section. Over the years, Terry has received numerous recognitions and awards from the scientific community and livestock industry. He was awarded the American Society of Animal Science highest honors: Morrison Award, Fellow Award, Teaching Award, and Nutrition Award. He was inducted into the Ohio State Animal Science and College of Ag Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement. Throughout his career at UNL, Terry worked closely with the agriculture industries. He was recognized with the highest honors possible: Plains Nutrition Legends of Feedlot Nutrition, Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Industry Leadership Award, and Nebraska Farm Bureau Silver Eagle Award. However, throughout his life, his greatest achievement was influencing the lives of his family, friends, students, and producers.

Survived by his wife, Nancy; children, Tim (Darla) Klopfenstein, Ty Klopfenstein, Michelle (Tony) Singleton, Todd (Kelli) Klopfenstein, Melissa (Darin) Meyer, Becky (Mike) Carey, Amanda Bremer, Klint (Camie) Bremer; brother, Tom (Betty) Klopfenstein; twenty eight grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; uncle, Victor Klopfenstein.

Preceded in death by his parents.

Private family services will be 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 5315 S. 162nd, Walton 68461. Interment will follow in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery. A visitation will be 1:00P-8:00P on Friday, May 7, 2021 at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home, 4040 A Street, Lincoln 68510. The family will greet friends from 5:00P-8:00P. Memorials are suggested to Samaritan’s Purse, ALS in the Heartland, Horisun Hospice, Christian Heritage or the University of Nebraska Foundation.


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