It is my great honor to be a 2017 recipient of Targeting Excellence Scholarship. Thank you all so much for your effort and generous support of young professionals in animal agriculture industry. Really appreciate this opportunity. I am encouraged and passionate to make my contributions back to the industry in the future.
Hometown: Ames, IA
School: Iowa State University
Major / Species: Animal Science
Career Goals: Growing up in a rural family in northern part of China, I always appreciate the value and significance of education for me to pursue my dreams and career goals. With the increase in global human population, there is a growing demand for animal products. Maximizing animal production and minimizing production cost while producing high quality and safe products has always been the single most important goal for all producers. But not every producer can achieve success due to various challenges. As a swine nutritionist, my career goal aims at doing research work either in private or public sectors that will help the swine industry deal with challenges during pork production and keep the industry growing and thriving. I obtained my bachelor and master’s degree in Animal Science in China. Since U.S. is one of the world’s leading pork production countries, learning more about American swine management will increase my capability to help producers in hog production. Thus, I joined Dr. John Patience’s program at Iowa State University (ISU) in January 2015 to pursue my Ph.D. degree. With the emergence of antibiotic resistance and increasing public concerns over the contribution of antibiotic usage in animal agriculture in the development of antibiotic resistance in human health, it is urgent for producers to minimize antibiotic usage in pork production. My research goal is to find effective antibiotic alternatives that can help maintain gut health and growth performance of swine. My dissertation project evaluates how diet composition, especially fiber, affects gut health, immunological response and performance in nursery pigs under both healthy and disease challenged conditions. It involves the evaluation of nutritional, microbiological and immunological responses. Two abstracts had been presented at the 2017 ASAS MW meeting. I hope to pursue an academic career or obtain an R&D position in the U.S. after graduation. To enhance my competitiveness as a future faculty candidate, I enrolled in the preparing future faculty program at ISU in Fall 2016. I know that my application for a research position will be strengthened if I can demonstrate success in recruiting funding; to this end, I successfully received a grant proposal from the Iowa Attorney General Office last year, with limited input from Dr. Patience. Realizing that communication and leadership skills play important roles in my success as a researcher, I joined Toastmasters International and now serve as the secretary of the Town & College Toastmasters club. I also take extra English classes at my own cost to improve my pronunciation and make myself more understandable. Additionally, I enjoy assisting my colleagues with their projects and volunteers in industry events to show our appreciation of their support. As an example, I have twice volunteered at the Targeting Excellence fund-raising event. These activities also allow me to experience new things and provide me with more opportunities to enhance my networking. In summary, I have clear career goals in mind and am making efforts to achieve them. Sincerely, Qingyun Li