New Iowa State Cow-Calf Specialist Brings Experience, Enthusiasm to Job

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Katy Lippolis

Katy Lippolis


AMES, Iowa – Katy Lippolis may not be an Iowa native, but the new Iowa State University extension beef cow-calf specialist said her roots in agriculture began here and she truly believes she was always meant to end up in Iowa.

“My grandmother was raised in Varina and my dad used to spend summers on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Iowa,” she said. “I heard stories about crops and animal agriculture and was instilled with a deep respect for farmers from an early age. And even though my family was not in a place to have land, my dad wanted me to experience livestock in some way.”

That experience started for Lippolis in high school in Colorado with a business of training difficult horses. She learned the importance of teaching the owners to maintain that training, which created her passion for teaching and education.

At Colorado State University, she earned a double major in equine science and animal science and built leadership skills through a variety of work and club opportunities. She also honed her enthusiasm for animal health and nutrition and realized she had a natural affinity for working cattle, even though she had never raised cattle. This led to a masters program in beef systems management at CSU where she became more deeply involved in information and research on beef cattle, including serving as the coordinator of the Colorado Beef Quality Assurance program.

“My research focused on low-stress weaning with nose flaps, and their effects on performance, vaccine efficacy and carcass quality,” she said. “This research and the educational aspects of the BQA program strongly influenced my desire to remain involved with producer education, and help develop management strategies to improve production, total industry efficiency and profitability for beef producers.”

This desire led her next to Oregon State University for a doctoral program which solidified her interest in improving calf and feeder cattle performance through management and nutrition, specifically during weaning.

“My research highlighted the importance of the cow-calf sector in cattle performance and health in the feedlot, which guided my goals for developing realistic strategies for producers and educating producers in these strategies,” Lippolis said. “The extension cow-calf position at Iowa State is the perfect role for me to do this.”

She’s been on board for less than a month, but already she’s collaborating on several research opportunities, working with stakeholders and assisting with Iowa Beef Center workshops. The teaching portion of her position includes instructing the animal science department’s cow-calf management course, and her extension responsibilities involve facilitating relationships with producers, developing online tools and resources and generally serving Iowa’s cow-calf industry.

“My goal in this position is to add to the available information and education for cow-calf producers across the state. In the future, I hope to increase the availability and concentration of our workshops and programs through avenues such as live videos, webinars, research reports, fact sheets, and articles,” she said. “It is truly an honor to be serving Iowa cattle producers, and I am extremely excited to help continue growing Iowa’s leading edge in beef production.”


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit

Katy Lippolis, Iowa State Extension cow-calf specialist, 515-294-3020,



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