Dr. Dennis Brink has been appointed by Concordia University, Nebraska’s Board of Regents as the university’s first professor of agricultural science.
“Dennis is the perfect person to lead our new agricultural science program,” said Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, Concordia president. “His experience and dedication to equipping university students for the last 40 years, his strong relationships throughout the agriculture industry, both in Nebraska and beyond and his vibrant Christian faith and winsome witness make Dennis an exceptional fit to lead Concordia’s newest program. We are thrilled to have him join us as a partner in ministry as we equip students with a Christ-centered education for their future vocations in God’s world.”
Brink has already begun his work at Concordia, teaching an introductory course in agriculture and assisting in the development of partnerships and outcomes for the agricultural science program. He retired from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in February, completing a 40-year career teaching animal nutrition and management and conducting nutrition research with feedlot cattle, beef cows and lambs. At the time of his retirement, Brink was the Kermit Wagner Distinguished Professor in Animal Science and coordinator of undergraduate teaching and advisement.
“I have been blessed to be involved in agriculture and education my entire adult life,” Brink said. “It is an amazing opportunity to now help build partnerships for Concordia with the large number of individuals involved in agriculture, from within a few miles of Seward to across the United States and even other parts of the world, many of whom are already stepping up to play a role in the Concordia ag program.”
Concordia’s Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural science takes an innovate, integrated approach to agriculture. Focusing on the four primary sectors of the agriculture industry—agribusiness, animal science, food science and plant science—the program, through sector coursework, field trips, hands on learning experiences and internships, will equip students with the communication skills and broad knowledge necessary to work in agriculture today.
Brink earned all three of his degrees from Kansas State University—a B.S. in agriculture in 1971, a M.S. in animal science in 1975 and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition in 1978. From 1971-1975, Brink worked for the Kansas State Cooperative Extension Service as a County Extension 4-H agent. He started at UNL in 1978 as an assistant professor before working his way up to professor in 1989, a position he held until his retirement last month.
Throughout Brink’s four decades at UNL, he received multiple awards and accolades for his dedication to education and agriculture. In 1992, he received the Outstanding Teacher, Central Region award from the National Association of Colleges and Teachers, as well as the Livestock Service Award in 1994. Additional honors include 12 Recognition Awards for Contributions to Students by the UNL Parents Association and Teaching Council, the 2003 L.K. Crowe Outstanding Undergraduate Student Advisor Award, presented by the UNL College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and was named an American Society of Animal Science Teaching Fellow in 2013.
Outside of the classroom, Brink is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.
Brink is married to Joan (Grother), and the couple have three adult children: Kelly, Lauri and Matthew. Lauri and Matthew are Concordia Nebraska graduates.