State -- An animal scientist with expertise in herd reproduction is the new beef cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Justin D. Rhinehart, who began his duties July 1, has been working with the state's beef cattle producers to maintain and develop Extension programs that improve feeder calf marketing, stocker cattle management and heifer development.
I saw an attractive opportunity presented by Mississippi State to work in an area where beef cattle are an important part of the economy, he said.
Cattle in Mississippi number just under 1 million head on more than 21,000 operations, according to Extension statistics. The total value of cattle and calf production in 2006 exceeded $216 million.
A native of Loudon, Tenn., Rhinehart earned his bachelor of science degree in agriculture and Extension education at the University of Tennessee. He received a master of science degree in reproductive physiology at the University of Kentucky and his doctorate in reproductive physiology from West Virginia University.
Dr. Rhinehart's training in beef cattle reproduction and heifer development will benefit producers throughout Mississippi, said Terry Kiser, head of MSU's Animal and Dairy Sciences Department. He is a
valuable member of our Extension program.
Rhinehart said his goals are to help beef producers pursue alternative marketing opportunities for products and use research findings to develop management practices that improve profitability.
Rhinehart and wife Rachael are the parents of two daughters, Sarah, 3, and Jenna, 2.