What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am a field specialist in livestock. I am based in Salem, and I serve seven counties in the East Central (Dent, Phelps, Pulaski, Crawford), Southeast (Shannon and Reynolds) and Southwest (Texas) regions.
How long have you worked in this position?
I started this position in March of 2021. I have been with Extension for three years.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
I like working with producers who are looking for ways to improve their grazing and livestock systems. Whether it is in Grazing Schools, the Show-Me-Select Heifer Development program, other specific education programs or one-on-one, farmers are always looking for ways to improve production and profitability. Every farm is different. There is never just one way to do things.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
Hopefully, everything I do helps reach our #2xAg2030 goal! One specific thing is working with a team to help local meat processors. Increasing capacity to process meat locally is an important part of keeping more Missouri livestock dollars in Missouri.
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I am the proud father of a junior at CAFNR studying Natural Resources. He is also plays the trombone in Marching Mizzou!
What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?
I am from Rolla, went to Westminster College, and did a stint in the Peace Corps before completing my master’s at Auburn.
I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand (a long time ago, 1990-1992) working in aquaculture extension. I managed a small government hatchery while working with private hatcheries to improve practices and to help producers to integrate aquaculture into farming systems. I also (thanks to a military coup – it’s a long story) helped start a local beef cattle improvement project. I ended up staying in Southeast Asia for almost 20 years working for various universities and international organizations on projects related to agriculture and natural resources management.