John Langdon is the new Extension livestock specialist. He started his new job Sept. 3.

As the new University of Missouri Extension area livestock specialist, John Langdon’s goal is to make the lives of producers better by acting as a consultant offering advice on their cattle, swine or other livestock operations to make them more profitable.

Based in Dent County at the Extension office in Salem, Langdon also serves Crawford, Phelps, Reynolds, Iron, Pulaski and Carter counties.

“Some aren’t too close but that’s not a bad thing. You get to drive a little and meet new people,” he said. The territory is similar to that of his predecessor, Ted Cunningham, who left over a year ago.

Langdon, a North Carolina native, said he plans to offer advice based on relevant research, preferably current research.

“Some of the stuff is older and it’s tried and true. But whatever works is something I want to help them do that’s cost effective,” he said.

Locally, his duties will include facilitating Beef Day and the 4-H/FFA Expo, working with 4-H and helping local producers.

“I just helped out with the Beef Day,” he said. “That was a pretty good success. I’ll also be heavily involved in the livestock expo. I think we’ll also do like a ‘scrimmage’ show to kind of help the kids, give them pointers and tips, so they kind of know what to expect when they go in the show ring, to help them do better. It’s like a pre-show to pump them up a little.”

As one way to help livestock producers, he plans to put on informational programs, like the upcoming Producers Day Oct. 4 at Wurdack Research Center. He’ll be doing a presentation on EPDs, or Expected Progeny Differences, a genetic selection tool used in breeding beef cattle herds. The program is on EPDs and their proper use.

Langdon was raised on a working hog and cattle farm in Benson, NC, that turned out about 25,000 feeder hogs and pigs a year.

“I enjoy working with cattle and hogs, as I have done so all of my life growing up,” he said. “I have helped my family select the most favorable Red Angus and Simmental sires to breed to our purebred cows of the same type for increased genetic merit and profitability from each successive calf crop.”

He also showed cattle, hogs and sheep in 4-H as a youth and participated in livestock judging in both 4-H and FFA.

Langdon earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural and environmental technology with a minor in agricultural business management at North Carolina State University, then went on to earn a Master of Science in animal breeding and genetics at the same school. He recently completed coursework for a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics at Texas A&M University and will graduate in December.

“I am looking forward to meeting and working with those with an interest in livestock, in the many facets of the livestock world that exist today,” he said. “It is my goal to help producers answer important questions regarding their production systems, and to help them realize goals they may have regarding improvements toward the necessary and beneficial aspects of their operations to help make them more productive, efficient, and successful.”