Q&A with Jerry Richards

Jerry is a feral hog outreach educator based in Potosi, MO.

a man stands in front of a group of children sitting on hay bales.
Jerry talks about feral hogs with fourth graders at the Ozark Cattleman’s Beef Day.

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

I am a feral hog outreach educator working through the University of Missouri Extension offices in the southern part of the state. My job is to connect with landowners and help them eliminate “wild” feral hogs that are damaging their property and then restore the land to its prior condition. I meet with MU Extension boards, county commissioners, soil and water districts, farm bureaus, schools, etc. to let them know about the services we provide.

How long have you worked in this position?

I was the first of four feral hog educators hired when the positions were first created one year ago.

What is your favorite part about the work you do? 

I get to meet new people and see new places on a daily basis as I help folks find solutions to their “hog problems.” I often walk into situations where they are literally dealing with things they have never encountered before in a lifetime of farming, and it is very gratifying to be able to help them.

A man on a motorcycle with mountains in the background.
In his free time, Jerry escapes to his “happy place” in the mountains on his motorcycle.

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

When sections of land are rendered unusable because of feral hog damage, agricultural production falls. I help MU Extension reach the #2xAg2030 goal by making sure that ALL the land individuals utilize for farming and ranching is usable.

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

I love exploring the beautiful backroads of our country on my quiet dual-purpose motorcycle. It’s a hobby I started when I was 12. I enjoy discovering beautiful vistas and panoramas that most people never see.

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

My hometown is Potosi, MO (where I still live), and I graduated from high school there. I have a bachelor’s degree in business education (marketing emphasis) from Southeast Missouri State University. I taught business and leadership at Potosi for 30 years after graduating from college.