What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am a field specialist in agronomy serving six counties in the southwest region. Based in West Plains, Missouri, I conduct educational programs for producers in forage production and management. I also participate with local farmer cooperators with on-farm demonstrations concerning grazing management, weed control and fertility management.
How long have you worked in this position?
I started in November 2009, so I have been in this role for over 13 years.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
I enjoy working with farmers and helping them solve problems and achieve their goals. Agriculture is complex, involving issues with the soil, plants, animals, environmental factors, etc., and there are oftentimes complex problems that arise. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect. Additionally, no two farms are alike, so I also enjoy getting to know the farmers and helping them work toward their goals.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
Working on programs like Missouri Grazing Schools helps us reach our goal of doubling the economic impact of agriculture in the state. Educating producers on the basics of management-intensive rotation grazing adds significant value to their operations. Missouri Grazing Schools has increased the annual economy by $125 million in the state due to increased forage production, higher forage quality and enhanced manure distribution reducing the need for chemical fertilizer. Working with producers to resolve their issues helps to improve production, which leads to an increase in their overall profitability.
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I enjoy camping and spending time outdoors with my family and dachshunds (aka wiener dogs). I also enjoy crocheting, and I make octopi to donate to preemies.
What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?
My hometown is Hurley, Missouri. I graduated from the College of the Ozarks in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and animal science. In 2007, I completed my master’s degree at the University of Arkansas in crop, soil, and environmental sciences with an emphasis on forage physiology. In 2017, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Missouri in Plant Sciences.