Rachel Hodges

Rachel Hodges

Thank you to the TE Sponsors, Board, and Committee for equipping students like myself with the resources necessary to flourish in our studies of food animal production. The support provided by this community is appreciated and valued, and will help students pursue higher education in the field of food animal production.

Awards Received

2021 Undergraduate Award (North Carolina)

Hometown:

Hometown:

Raleigh, NC

School:

School:

North Carolina State University

Major:

Major:

Nutrition Sciences

Career Goals:

Career Goals:

I will graduate in December of 2021 with a B.S. in Nutrition Science from North Carolina State University. I aspire to further my education through graduate school studying animal science. Being that I am currently studying nutrition science, I hope to apply my undergraduate knowledge to a more animal science-concentrated setting in graduate school. Having a degree in nutrition science will allow me to have in-depth knowledge on the nutritional aspect of research and how it can play a role in other circumstances of the production process. After doing research at NC State, I have found a passion for swine. At Smithfield Foods, I worked as an intern for the head of nutrition, Dr. Chris Parks. Under his supervision, I performed research trials on feed quality and digestibility and collected data in their quality assurance lab. I was given the opportunity to work with many different departments within Smithfield such as the feed mill, research and welfare, and grain buyers. The opportunity to work with the world’s leading pork producer allowed me to see all the moving parts of a successful animal production company. I am currently working in a research lab at NC State University under my advisor, Dr. Jonathan Holt. I have had the opportunity to work on two different trials’ one looking at the impacts of a phosphorus-deficient diet, and the other focusing on the metabolic rate of a component within the diet. Doing research trials that allow me to perform hands-on tasks has given me the opportunity to learn about swine nutrition in a way that simply cannot be taught in a lecture hall. It it through these opportunities that I have found a field that I am truly passionate about. I was recently accepted into the P4 program at NC State and will be starting this experience in May. I am looking forward to performing a research project that focuses on complex statistical methods. This experience will significantly improve my research abilities and knowledge of the statistical methods that are common in animal production research. I hope to use this opportunity to expand my network, as well as improve my qualifications for research in my future career. My goal is to eventually work for an animal production company in a research position or as an animal nutritionist. Ultimately, I see myself obtaining my PhD in animal nutrition and working up in a company that works in swine production. I want to take my passion for animals and apply it to the production world to improve swine living conditions as well as production quality and meat quality. Working in swine research gives me the opportunity to do both hands-on work as well as lab work and analysis of data. This balance provides me with the best of both worlds in animal science, and I hope to continue with this type of work in my future career.