Denise Beam

2015 Scholarship Recipient


- Graduate Degree Award

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“Thank you very much for the investment you have made into the Targeting Excellence program and into the lives of students.  It is inspiring to know that there is a program like Targeting Excellence which was founded to support students pursuing degrees in animal science.  Thank you very much for your support through this scholarship; it is truly an encouragement!”

Hometown: Elverson, PA

School: Iowa State

Major / Species: Animal Breeding and Genetics;  Minor: Statistics

Career Goals: 

The details of my career goals have been evolving over time and are still evolving. I grew up on a small hog farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania where  I learned  ata young age that  I had an interest  in the swine industry. My passion for raising hogs  grew increasingly, and I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in the swine industry. With that goal in mind, I attended Penn State University where I pursued my Bachelors of Animal Science degree with a minor in Ag Business Management. That goal, combined with my desire to learn more, has led me to pursue a graduate level education at Iowa State University. I am working towards obtaining a Master’s degree Animal Breeding and Genetics, as well as a minor in Statistics. Upon the completion of my degree, I would like to continue learning about the swine industry through a job  focused on enhancing the genetic aspects of hogs. Genetics provide the swine industry with many opportunities for economic improvement, and it is my goal to aid producers in enhancing their profit through  better genetics  as well as applicable   technologies.

My current research for my Master’s thesis is focused on enhancing the production of F1females in commercial pig production. This will be accomplished by characterizing the change in selection intensity that occurs when Fi data is included in phenotypic estimating breeding values for purebred sows at the nucleus level. Ialso hope to examine the economic gains that are achieved from including this data versus when it is excluded. This project will not only generate information that will benefit pig breeding companies, but it will also enhance my understanding of the genetic flow and information transfer within the industry.

Understanding these key components will enhance my value in an industry job or a doctorate program, both of which I am considering. Should I enter the pork industry in a genetics-related job, the research that I conduct will add value to myself as an employee. I will have a better understanding of the interaction between the nucleus, multiplier, and commercial production herds. I could also add value to producers when given the chance to interact with them  because of  my background  in genetics  and raising hogs. If I continue my education  in a  PhD program, I will be able to apply the  genetic principles that  I learn through this project  as well  as those that  I learn through  class in a project that is even more valuable in enhancing industry production. As I  consider the different avenues that are possible considering the  background that  I have and the  education that  I am  obtaining, my  rudimentary  desire  is to  utilize the gifts that  I have been given to enhance food production for our growing world through the swine industry.