Q&A with Elizabeth Picking

Elizabeth is a field specialist in livestock based in Howell County.

woman with long dark hair addresses a group of people in a livestock arena
People posing for the photo as the artificially inseminate a cow.
Elizabeth has taught multiple artificial insemination schools at the Southwest Research Center.

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

I am a field specialist in livestock based in Howell County serving Howell, Oregon, Wright, Texas, Douglas, Ozark and Taney counties. I work with all types of livestock producers but generally do more work with clients with beef cattle, small ruminants and horses.

How long have you worked in this position?

My four-year anniversary is in November!

people standing in a field with a cow carcass.
Elizabeth and other Extension faculty remove an eye from a cow carcass to be tested for nitrate toxicity.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

My favorite part of my job is helping my clients improve their operations and getting to see the positive results of implementing new practices like artificial insemination, more efficient utilization of feed resources, and rotational grazing.

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

Bison hide stretched across a frame
In her free time, Elizabeth taught herself how to tan a bison hide.

One way that I am helping expand the economic impact of agriculture in Missouri is through teaching Missouri grazing schools. Producers who attend the six grazing schools that I teach annually are then eligible for cost-share programs through the NRCS and Soil & Water conservation districts, giving producers the ability to input thousands of dollars of fence lines, water lines and tanks, as well as seedings and other practices. This helps producers improve their grazing efficiency and bottom line, while also increasing spending on fences, waterlines, tanks and other supplies.

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

In my free time, I taught myself how to flesh out, salt, and tan a Bison hide this year. I work with a producer who raises Bison and butchers them for his own freezer. He does not usually do anything with the hides and usually gives them away. He offered to give me a couple to try my hand at tanning. So, I did some research online and sorted through the different ways to tan and decided to try out mineral tanning, which makes a stiffer/rug-type hide. It turned out pretty well for my first time doing it!

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

While I was born in Florissant, MO, I grew up in Plano, TX, and graduated from Plano Senior High School. I went on to get my bachelor’s in animal science and master’s in physiology of reproduction from Texas A&M University.