AnSci Connection - May 2019

Notes from the Department Head


It is hard to believe that we have completed another school year here at the University of Minnesota.  In many ways, it is especially hard to believe we arrived at the end of May because the weather, until very recently, seemed more like March.  Summer is certainly here, and that is evidenced by the empty classrooms and reduced number of students on campus.  However, the pace of activity does not really slow down for faculty, staff, graduate students, and all whose efforts keep this place actively engaged in addressing global challenges through the research and extension missions of our Department.

On Friday, May 17 our Animal Science Grad Club hosted our annual Luau, giving us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the past year and recognize the accomplishments of some truly outstanding individuals that contribute to the graduate student experience in our department.  Mateus Peiter (adviser, Marcia Endres) and Grace Dewi (adviser, Anup Kollanoor Johny) were both presented with ‘Outstanding PhD Student’ awards. Amanda Reiter (advisers, Marcia Hathaway and Krishon Martinson) and Trent Dado (Advisers, Marshall Stern and Alfredo DiCostanzo) were both presented with ‘Outstanding MS Student’ awards. These students were selected by our Graduate Studies Committee in recognition of their accomplishments in the areas of academics, research, and service. The Animal Science Graduate Club present Dr. Pedro Urriola with the Outstanding Animal Science Faculty award.

Our congratulations to Dr. Pedro Urriola who Provost Hanson recommended to the board of regents for promotion to the rank of Research Associate Professor.  Dr. Pedro Urriola was hired by the Department of Animal Science as Research Associate in 2012 and then as a Research Assistant Professor in 2014.  We are proud of the role that Dr. Urriola plays in so many facets of our department.  Dr. Urriola has initiated new research areas that use in vitro systems for evaluation of nutritional properties of novel co-products, developed risk-based models to decrease virus transmission in feed, and actively engaged in systems biology to evaluate the safety and health promoting properties of animal feed additives and ingredients. He serves as the co-instructor for ANSC 4401, an online swine nutrition course, where he serves as the main coordinator.  He also instructs the Journal Club for the Integrated Animal Systems Biology Team.  In CVM, he contributes to numerous courses.  Pedro also spends a good deal of time engaging with swine producers in Minnesota.

As we resume this Animal Science Department Newsletter in fall, we look forward to hearing from you about what you would like to see included in future editions.  Please see the link below.

For those of you working on farms, the weather has made this spring a challenging one for planting or harvesting early forage.  Our thoughts are with you.  Please be safe!

Hope all of you have an excellent month.  Ski-U-Mah!


Congratulations to Joe Thurston for presenting his Honors/Animal Science thesis presentation titled, “Mycoplasmas and Lameness”. He was advised by Dr. Milena Saqui-Salces.

Congratulations to Julia Holen for completing her MS program this May. Julia was advised by Dr. Lee Johnston.

Congratulations to Allison VanDerWal for completing her MS program this May. Allison was advised by Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo.

Congratulations to Trent Dado for completing his MS program this May. Trent was advised by Drs. Alfredo DiCostanzo and Marshall Stern.

Congratulations to German Huber for completing his MS program this May. German was advised by Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo.

Congratulations to Gabriella Furo for completing her MS program this May. Gabi was advised by Dr. Sally Noll.

Congratulations to Leonard Fung for completing his MS program this May. Leonard was advised by Drs. Gerald Shurson and Pedro Urriola.

Congratulations to Kirsten Sharpe and Brigit Lozinski on placing in first and second in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering’s Waste to Worth Conference. Kirsten Sharpe (advised by Brad Heins) won first place with her poster entitled “Energy consumption in commercial Midwest dairy barns”.  Brigit Lozinski (advised by Lee Johnston) won second place with her poster entitled “Innovative use of solar energy to mitigate heat stress in sows.”

Congratulations to Yuan-Tai Hung who was invited to participate in the sixth Annual Evonik Doctoral Student Seminar. This seminar celebrates Evonik’s continued contribution to efforts in animal nutrition. It will be held in Wild Dunes/Isle of Palms, SC from October 17-20, 2019.

Calendar of Events

June 12 - PQA+ & TQA, Mankato, MN

June 18-20 – International Precision Dairy Farming Conference, Rochester, MN

June 19 – PQA+ Advisor Re-certification, Mankato, MN

June 26 – PQA+ Training ONLY, Mankato, MN

July 3 – SowBridge Program – “Culling Criteria”

July 10 – PQA+ Advisor Re-certification, Fairmont, MN

July 10-11 – Midwest Farm Energy Conference, Morris, MN

July 17 - PQA+ & TQA Training, Marshall, MN

July 25 – Horticulture Night, Morris, MN

July 25 – PQA+ Advisor Re-certification, Pipestone, MN

August 1 – PorkBridge Program – “Contract Growing: The In’s and Out’s”

August 7 – SowBridge Program – “Dealing with Delayed Puberty in Gilts”

August 14 – PQA+ and TQA, Waseca, MN

August 22 – September 2 – Minnesota State Fair

August 28 – PQA+ and TQA, Morris, MN