What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am a livestock specialist headquartered in Mercer County in the North Central portion of the state. I also currently serve as the superintendent of the Thompson Farm. As a livestock specialist, I work to answer questions for producers about all species of livestock and bring them unbiased research-based answers that will hopefully help improve their operations. Most of my work focuses on beef cattle reproduction through AI schools, calving clinics and the Show-Me-Select heifer program. I also answer many nutrition and management questions and questions about other species.
How long have you worked in this position?
I’ve been a livestock specialist for about four and a half years and the superintendent for about nine months.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
My favorite part is working one-on-one with producers. Some of the most impactful conversations I have with producers are chute-side or in a pickup in the middle of a pasture. I enjoy seeing research in action and knowing that I saved them time and effort by being able to help address their concerns.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
Artificial insemination is a great tool that can allow producers to increase profit through tighter calving seasons, increased weaning weights from older calves, and introducing new genetics to the herd. AI takes training to be able to perform and is used on only a small portion of beef operations. By teaching AI school, I am giving local producers the opportunity to learn a valuable skill that can improve their calf crop and lead to a bigger profit for their operation.
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
Education is in my blood! Both of my parents, my older brother, and more extended family members than I can count have all been elementary or high school teachers. While I always knew I didn’t want to be a teacher, I did end up in a more non-traditional education career by working for Extension.
Outside of work, I’m usually with my dog, Jake. We hike several miles a day around town or in the local state park in any kind of weather. Sometimes I think more people in Mercer County recognize my dog than they do me.
What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?
I was born and raised in Glasgow, MO. After graduating Glasgow High School, I received a BS in agricultural science with a minor in biology from Truman State University. I then attended Mizzou and earned an MS in animal science with a focus on beef reproduction.