What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
My role is a split appointment between the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and University of Missouri Extension as well as the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
This position is a really great spot to be in. I’m training the next class of veterinarians to understand swine medicine. At the same time, I’m working with swine vets, producers and state animal health officials on swine health topics to keep everyone apprised of emerging issues in the industry.
How long have you worked in this position?
Five years – I started in September 2016.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
I love working with pigs, with people who like pigs, and even with students who don’t know if they like pigs yet! Also, I love that what I do improves the health of pigs on farms, which then improves the ability of farms to supply us with the pork we eat.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
My role is mainly focused on biosecurity and how this affects health. Improving adoption of effective biosecurity protocols on farm – like the Secure Pork Supply Plans – will decrease morbidity and mortality on farms. In turn, this means more pigs born will go to market.
It’s also important to have well planned and enhanced biosecurity measures in place prior to a potential foreign animal disease outbreak so we can keep pigs moving safely and businesses operating. The recent COVID-19 pandemic showed us what happens when pigs can’t be moved on time, and we’ve learned a lot!
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I’m sure my teammates won’t believe this, (because I’m terribly klutzy lately) but I used to dance ballet en pointe. I danced from about 4 to 14 years old, then from 17 years old on into college. I did not compete, but I did perform in shows annually including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, as well as with the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the opera The Magic Flute. I was a frog.
Agriculture and Environment Extension is a partnership between MU Extension and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.