Q&A with Anita Ellis

On the trail with livestock specialist Anita Ellis

Anita Ellis, colleagues and a sheep.
Cows, horses and sheep are just a few of Ellis’ favorite things. Here, she works with Sean Eberle, Callaway County engagement specialist in 4-H Youth Development, and Alysha Stelling, MU Extension manager of pre-award activities, and some four-legged friends.

What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?

I am a livestock specialist in the East Central Region and just finished a year of interim work as a county engagement specialist. In addition, I am working on my PhD part-time in animal sciences. While I address variety of livestock questions and topics, my focus is working with area beef producers in Show-Me-Select Heifer Replacement Program as well as other areas of interest such as nutrition and reproductive management.  

How long have you worked in this position?

I have worked for MU Extension for more than five years. 

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

I really enjoy meeting with local producers and learning about their operation. If there is a way that I can take part in improving something or addressing a concern of theirs, that is even better. I also enjoy getting an off-the-wall question that causes me to do some serious digging!    

Anita Ellis and Smokin' Josie, her Missouri Fox-Trotter.
One of livestock specialist Anita Ellis’ hobbies is riding her Missouri Fox-Trotter, Smokin’ Josie.

How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?

With the help of central region Show-Me-Select producers and the South Central Regional Stockyards, we were able to get the Central Region Show-Me-Select Heifer Sale back up and running after many years. This provided a fresh marketing opportunity for these producers to sell value-added heifers. 

What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?

Outside of work on our hobby farm, I spend much of my time trail riding my Missouri Fox-TrotterSmokin’ Josie. If the weather allows it, I ride my Kawasaki Vulcan 500 motorcycle just about every day (to the office but certainly not on farm visits!). And if time allows after work, I attend a local MMA gym…but I definitely do not compete! (MMA combines several fighting techniques and skill levels including wrestling, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing.) 

What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?

I graduated from Hannibal (Mo.) High School. And received a B.S. in agriculture science with a minor in equine science from Truman State University and a master’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M. I am working on my doctorate in animal sciences at MU.

The Agriculture and Environment Program is a partnership between MU Extension and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.