Friday, April 12, 2018 – Reynolds Alumni Center

2011 J.W. Burch Award: Bob Weaber

Bob Weaber

As an assistant professor of animal sciences and state Extension specialist in beef genetics, BOB WEABER frequently travels the state to talk with livestock producers and help them understand the new tools and technologies in beef genetics. Eldon Cole still remembers one of the first meetings that Weaber attended in Springfield soon after joining MU in 2004.

"He started out with some complicated equations about beef breeding that were computer generated," says Cole, Extension livestock specialist in Lawrence County. "The audience probably rolled their eyes and thought, ‘What will I get out of this?' Bob quickly said, ‘Don't worry about all that. I'm a cowboy who happens to know his way around computers, and I'll make this understandable.' He did." Colleagues say that ability to make the complex science of genetics more approachable is one of Weaber's strong suits.

"His firm understanding of genetics and his ability to explain basic genetic principles and modern tools that Missouri farmers and ranchers can use for implementation is highly sought after," says John Kleiboeker, executive director of the Missouri Beef Industry Council. "We also appreciate his ability to look ahead to the future of the beef industry, helping to identify upcoming needs."


"BOB WEABER'S EXPERTISE IN BEEF BREEDING AND GENETICS HAS ENABLED PRODUCERS TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO MANAGE BREEDING PROGRAMS, USE NEW TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH IN BEEF GENETICS AND HOW IT MIGHT BE APPLIED IN THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY. HIS EXPERTISE IS VALUED BY THE INDUSTRY NATIONALLY."

—Rick Rasby, professor of animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Weaber's influence goes beyond Missouri. He remains active with industry and beef breed groups. One example is his membership in the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium, a federally funded group that works to improve the genetic tools available to beef producers and to educate them on their uses.

"Bob has been an invaluable member of our team and has made great contributions to our efforts as a developer and implementer of programs," says Darrh Bullock, professor of animal science at the University of Kentucky and one of the consortium's organizers.