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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker

Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™  blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active!

Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time. 

Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come!

Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal breeding and genetics from South Dakota State University. She did her thesis research at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., where she worked with leading geneticists to perfect calculations of genomic enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs).

She went on to receive her doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she worked alongside Drs. Ron Lewis, Matthew Spangler and Temple Grandin to better quantify docility for genetic evaluations.

During the first five years of her career, Jamie was a product manager and technical services manager at Neogen Genomics. Both positions had the same goal: to help beef producers better understand the implementation and benefits of genomic technology. 

“This encompassed everything from interpreting EPDs to adoption of commercial genetic testing,” she says. “While there, I gained invaluable knowledge of the global cattle industry, its needs, and pinch points as it pertains to technology adoption.”

Jamie will work with MU Extension field specialists in livestock to help producers make educated decisions and communicate the importance of genetics and genomics in cattle operations. 

“This is important, no matter how big or small, seedstock or commercial,” she said. She also will conduct research around the application and understanding of genetics and genomic technology.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Jamie is originally from Henderson, a small town in north central North Carolina. She and her husband have a 1½-year-old son, Wyatt, and are expecting a daughter in November. They have a small commercial Angus herd. She likes to barrel race and her husband likes to rope.

Her office is in the Animal Science Research Center, Room S132D. Contact her by email or call 531-220-6955.


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