Q&A with Kendra Graham

Livestock specialist is fifth-generation farmer

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

Kendra at Pearls of Production
Kendra speaks at Pearls of Production Women in Agriculture.

In my role, I provide Missourians with unbiased, research-based information about livestock. I also help producers understand how they can then take that information and apply it specifically to their operation.   

MU Extension programs I am involved in as a livestock specialist include Pearls of Production Women in Agriculture, Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer, youth livestock education, and managing forages and livestock.

How long have you worked in this position? 

I have been with MU Extension for 20 years. I was first headquartered in Wayne County and moved to St. Francois County in 2012.

What is your favorite part about the work you do? 

My favorite part of the job is working with producers because you can watch them learn a concept, take ownership of it, apply it to their operation and see results from that hard work. I also really enjoy introducing youth to various aspects of livestock production. 

Kendra with deer
Kendra’s family are avid hunters. The livestock specialist currently has bragging rights among family members for harvesting the largest deer to date.

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

Research-based information provides producers with an advantage in their production area. When I can break down complex information for Missouri producers, they’re able to see increased profits, better management, higher quality animals, or less stressful and safer handling of livestock.  

I serve as a livestock specialist in the following counties: Franklin, Jefferson, Iron, Madison, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and Washington.  

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

I am a fifth-generation farmer and grew up on a dairy farm that has now transitioned to a beef cow/calf operation. The farm was purchased in 1896 and was designated a Century Farm in 2012.  

In 2003 I had the intimidating opportunity to teach my grandfather and father at one of MU Extension’s regional grazing schools. The management-intensive grazing schools are designed to teach farmers about better grazing practices. I helped them understand the difference between managing forage for grazing beef cattle versus dairy cattle. My grandfather passed away in 2004, but my father went on to install two grazing systems that are still in use today.  In 2011, my husband and I became co-owners of the farm with my parents. We have expanded the operation and installed two more grazing systems. 

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