John B. Cole
PEAK Sr. VP, Research & Development
What is your background?
I’m from south Louisiana, and I grew up in Lafayette and New Orleans. I left home at 16 to attend the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. After graduating, I attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where I majored in animal production and minored in microbiology. After several years in graduate school, I received Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in animal breeding and genetics. In 2003, I accepted a position as a Research Geneticist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, where I studied dairy cattle genetics and genomics. My work there included the development of the US national evaluations for stillbirth, assisting with the transition to genomics, and research on genetic diseases. After 17 years with USDA as a scientist and laboratory manager I decided to make a change and came to PEAK in 2021 to lead the R&D program.
What are your personal responsibilities in your position?
My role is to make sure that the scientists on the R&D team have the tools they need to do their job. I also work with PEAK Beef, PEAK Genetics, and PEAK Production teams and PEAK partners to ensure that we at R&D understand your challenges and know what problems you need help solving.
Why did you choose PEAK?
I felt it was time to make a career change, and when the chance to lead the R&D team for a great company came up I jumped at the opportunity.
What motivates you to come to work each day?
I’ve got a fantastic team working with me at PEAK, and we’ve got an opportunity to go out and bring another great scientist into the team. We’re also given the responsibility of solving hard problems that have a real impact on PEAK’s success. There aren’t many scientists who have the chance to get out of bed each morning and make a real difference.
What is the most important thing to know about the PEAK R&D team and your role?
We’re here to help, whether that’s new product development, troubleshooting existing services, or engaging in outreach and education.
What are you most excited about in regard to the PEAK R&D team?
I believe that the PEAK R&D team can help PEAK Genetics to make better bulls and PEAK Production to deliver high-quality, innovative genetics efficiently. If we do our job well it will make everyone else’s job easier.
What big question or challenge do you wish to solve in your career?
I want people to walk onto the best farm in their county, look down the alley, and say, “Those are PEAK cows!”
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Outside of work I like to listen to and play music, and I’m an LSU baseball fan.
If you could have one item in your fridge at all times, what would it be and why?
Andouille, because you can’t get good sausage in Wisconsin.
Looking for a career at PEAK?
Find out more how you can get started with PEAK.