K Leanne Brooks 2016 Scholarship Winner

K. Leanne Brooks

I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as an award recipient this year. It means so much to me to know that others are invested in my education. Thank you for all that you do!

Hometown: Victoria, VA

School: North Carolina State University

Major / Species: Animal Science – Nutrition

Career Goals: My interest in livestock animals and agriculture began during my childhood in rural Virginia. When it was time to apply to college, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in animal science. During my undergraduate career at Virginia Tech I became interested in animal research after volunteering in a research lab in the animal science department. Upon completion of my Bachelor’s degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences, I decided to further my education by pursuing a Master’s degree in animal science. Throughout my two years as a Master’s student, I conducted research pertaining to the role of nutrition in animal growth and development mainly focusing on the use of prebiotics in neonatal pig formula. After earning my Master’s degree, I interned at a biotechnology company where I worked with direct fed microbials research.

My research experiences during completion of my Master’s degree and my internship brought me to the realization that in order to achieve my career goal of being a prominent member of the livestock production industry, I would need to pursue a Ph.D. During my time as a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University, I have been able to further develop my research and career goals. My current research focuses on the use of direct fed microbials to improve growth performance and gut health in nursery pigs.

My coursework and research at NC state have heightened my passion for monogastric nutrition. Upon the completion of my Ph.D., my career goal is to become a swine nutritionist for a livestock production company. In order to reach that goal, I look forward to gaining more work experience in the industry after graduation either in research and development or any other area where my skills may be needed. With the world population increasing at a staggering rate, the need for livestock production to become more efficient while still maintaining a safe product is ever growing. My ultimate goal is to to be a part of the effort to feed future generations by contributing my time and efforts to improving monogastric nutrition.