Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: North Carolina State
Major / Species: Animal Science (Animal Breeding and Genetics) and an en route Master of Statistics
Throughout my collegiate life and past swine internships, many experiences have strengthened my desire to have a career in swine related to the genetic improvement of swine populations. I grew up in a small town in northern Iowa and while in high school I got my first taste of agriculture working at a family-owned farrow-to-finish operation.
This experience ignited my passion for swine production and prompted me to pursue a major in Animal Science at Iowa State University. During my undergraduate career I was fortunate to have internships at Iowa Select Farms, Progressive Swine Technologies and was a Research Assistant at the Iowa State University Swine Testing Station. These experiences allowed me to work in multiple sectors of a commercial swine operation including a sow farm, nursery, and finisher. I was able to get a great perspective on the economic drivers of a commercial swine enterprise, swine production in general and various husbandry techniques.
I have also generated a strong desire for research related to the genetic improvement of animal populations. I received my Masters at the University of Nebraska and my thesis project involved gaining a better understanding of the genetic architecture of body temperature regulation in beef cattle through the use of dense marker assays. After receiving my Masters I wanted to do research on what Itruly had a passion for, which led me to pursue a Doctorate in Animal Breeding related to swine at
North Carolina State University. My current projects are related to drug clearance across breeds of pigs, characterizing the genetic architecture of the growth and feed intake trajectory utilizing genomic information, characterizing the heterogeneity in genomic inbreeding across the genome and its relationship to inbreeding depression, and the development of methodologies to model the intraday feed intake trajectory from FIRE stations. These projects have a very strong applied component that should greatly improve the profitability and overall efficiency of swine enterprises and novel ways to select for complex traits that are economically important. Furthermore, the diversity of the current projects I am working on allows me to further develop my research and modeling skills.
Due to my previous swine experiences and the depth of my research projects I believe that I have the potential to improve the profitability and efficiency of the commercial swine enterprise. My passion for swine production has only become stronger since my first day at the farrow-finish swine operation and ever since then I knew that I wanted to be involved in swine production. My career goal is to work at a swine breeding company and be actively involved in their research and day to day production aspects.