Thank you so much to sponsors of targeting excellence, the board of directors, and the local committees for all of they support! Targeting excellence continues to be one of the largest supporters for students in animal agriculture and their hard work and dedication to young professionals is always appreciated. Thanks again for everything you do!
My interest in production animals started in high school when I began showing poultry through my local 4-H club. After years of managing my small poultry flock, I wanted to gain more experience on large scale operations. I received my undergraduate degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota, and during this time I got a job in the poultry nutrition lab working under Dr. Sally Noll. This experience not only confirmed my interest in animals, but also sparked a new interest in conducting research. I further pursued these interests by obtaining my master’s degree in animal science, with a focus in swine nutrition, working with Dr. Pedro Urriola, Dr. Gerald Shurson, and Dr. Sagar Goyal. My master’s research was focused on evaluating the survival of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in animal feed and feed ingredients. In addition to this, I traveled to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, where I assisted with a research trial evaluating rapeseed meal as an alternative feed ingredient. Along with my research projects, I was fortunate to be the recipient of the MnDRIVE fellowship. This program is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota to align university research with state industries to address grand challenges. Through this program I was able to gain valuable insights on the challenges of feeding the world sustainably.
Because of the many positive experiences during my master’s program, I decided to remain at the University of Minnesota to work toward my PhD in animal science. As part of my research I am investigating one of the greatest challenges in global animal agriculture: increasing the understanding animal nutrition and health interactions to reduce the reliance on antibiotic use. More specifically, my research uses an integrated systems biology approach to evaluate the effectiveness of antibiotic alternatives. This project is a collaboration with Purina Animal Nutrition, and working with a top industry partner has given me new insights on how the animal nutrition industry functions.
As I complete my Ph.D. program, I hope to find a challenging and rewarding position and career in the area of food animal health and nutrition. I am specifically interested in a research and development role in the animal feed industry. As a researcher, I enjoy taking basic science research to create innovative and applied solutions for producers. In addition to my interest in research and development, I would also be interested in a consulting job working with farmers. I enjoy interacting with others, spending time on farms, and actually handling the animals. Both of these career paths would ultimately satisfy my interest in production animal health and nutrition, and give me the opportunity to play a role in the efficient production of safe, nutritious, and sustainable food that will be needed to feed a growing global population.