What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am a field specialist in agronomy and interim county engagement specialist based in Oregon County in the Southeast Region. I work with producers to help them address issues within their operations and work to educate them on various aspects of crop and forage production.
How long have you worked in this position?
I have been in this position for six and a half years.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
I really enjoy getting to meet so many new people and building relationships with them while helping to improve their operations. It is very satisfying to see recommendations I have made help a producer alleviate a concern or increase their production. I also enjoy getting to educate youth on the importance of agriculture and ways they can be involved with it.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
I work with producers to help resolve issues and improve their production, which leads to an increase in their overall profitability. Input costs across agriculture continue to rise, and I am always trying to come up with creative ways to help producers reduce their expenses without sacrificing any production. Through the Missouri Grazing Schools program, I am able to teach producers how rotational grazing can improve their soil fertility, plant and stand persistence, forage production and quality, reduce weed pressure and improve animal performance, all while reducing their need for inputs such as commercial fertilizer and supplemental feed.
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I am an avid outdoorsman and have made many personal connections with wildlife and natural resources groups. Through these connections, I had the opportunity to assist Missouri Department of Conservation staff on their Missouri black bear study, and I got to handle and help take samples from a live black bear.
What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?
I am from Washburn, Missouri, and graduated from Southwest High School in Washburn. I received my bachelor’s degree in natural resources and my master’s in plant science from Missouri State University.