It's a job you might not know about, but a livestock specialist is your connection to the family farm.
That person is working with farmers to help ensure safe production, processing, and distribution of meat.
And now some northeast Missouri farmers are questioning why the University of Missouri extension isn't replacing a livestock specialist in Lewis County.
The livestock specialist who lived in Lewis County moved to Adair County.
Rather than replace him in Lewis County, Extension officials want to bring in a community development director to deal with more than just agriculture.
But farmers are opposed to that move.
Greg Sharpe is one of many farmers in Northeast Missouri who wants a livestock specialist back in Lewis County.
"It'd be much better to have one located here in this county centrally located. Besides the cost of staff, mileage is a big expense and the more miles they have to travel to service the local people, the more cost there is in it," said Sharpe.
Right now there is only one livestock specialist serving six Northeast Missouri counties, including Lewis.
The University of Missouri extension is looking at the possibility of adding a community development director, who would then serve an eight county area.
The assistant dean of Agriculture extension, Dave Baker, says a community development director is necessary because it doesn't put added strain on a depleting budget. And a director also boosts industry in the area.
Sharpe says a community development director is a very important position for the extension, but he says he doesn't believe it's the right move for Northeast Missouri.
"It would be like if we sent a livestock specialist to downtown St. Louis, they would say why are you doing this? Well here, we're out here in a livestock producing area and we would much rather have a livestock specialist," said Sharpe.
Baker says the extension has yet to make a decision on whether a livestock specialist or a development director should take over to serve the Northeast region.
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