Q&A with Jamie Courter

Jamie Courter is the MU Extension state beef genetics specialist.

Jamie Courter smiling at the camera wearing printed jacket.

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

As the state extension beef genetics specialist, most of my time is spent discussing and educating producers about the importance of genetics within their cow herds. That ranges from helping producers determine their breeding objectives to discussing the benefits of genomic testing options and how the tool can be used to help them make educated decisions about their herd.

How long have you worked in this position?

I started in September of 2023, so I have only been in this position for 8 months!

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

My favorite part about the work that I do, and the reason that I get out of bed every morning, is to help producers make educated decisions – decisions that allow them not only to be more profitable, but to help them pass their operation down to the next generation. In doing this, I most look forward to helping them have those ‘lightbulb’ moments where they realize that genetics and genomics are yet another tool to help them succeed.

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

Being so new, there are a lot of ways I plan to help MU A&E Extension reach the #2xAg2030 goal. Looking to the future, say 5 years from now, I would hope that increased understanding of genetics and genomic technology would lead to increased adoption on many of the operations here in Missouri. The benefits of using the tool align very closely with those of #2xAg2030. Understanding the genetic potential of a herd helps to increase genetic change over time in traits that are of economic importance to producers. That could be everything from weaning weight to feed efficiency. By focusing on these traits, and creating ‘better’ cattle for each production system, producers can increase profitability in their herds.

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

I was on the high school swim team growing up and also coached the club team in my hometown during college. I mainly did distance events (500 and 200 m free, 200 IM) and swam butterfly for events and relays. My favorite moment was getting to see Michael Phelps qualify for his final Olympics in Omaha, NE in 2015.

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

I’m originally from Henderson, NC. A small town in north central NC on the border of VA. I graduated from Northern Vance High School. From there I received my B.S. in Animal Science with a minor in Genetics from North Carolina State University. I then received my masters in Animal Breeding and Genetics from South Dakota State University. Lastly, my doctorate in Animal Breeding and Genetics from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.