Minnesota Nutrition Conference Hosts 2nd Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition

The Minnesota Nutrition Conference hosted its second Graduate Student Poster Competition.  In an effort to enhance sharing of research results, graduate student participation and networking opportunities, the steering committee of the conference decided to host a Graduate Student Poster Competition starting in 2016.  Students from University of Minnesota and neighboring universities were encouraged to submit posters and abstracts of current or recently presented research, using formats acceptable by the American Dairy Science Association and American Society of Animal Science for these formats.  Eight entries were received in 2016, and included seven posters from University of Minnesota graduate students, and one from a graduate student at South Dakota State University.  In 2017, thanks to a greater effort by the committee and response, 15 entries were received from graduate students from the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, and University of Illinois. 

The Midwest Chapter of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) sponsored the competition in both 2016 and 2017.  Winning entries ranked from first to third place received cash awards and the student ranked first place also received a free 1-year membership to ARPAS. 

Nair Divek, Ph.D. student of Dr. Anup Johnny, competing with his poster entitled “Effect of a dairy probiotic, Lactococcus lactis, on Listeria monocytogenes in broiler chicks received first place. 

Second place was awarded to Haley Johnson; her poster was entitled “Effect of inclusion of modified distillers grains and soy glycerin in beef cattle finishing diets on ruminal fermentation”.  She is a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Marshall Stern and Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo. 

The poster entitled “Development of Swine Enteroids: a Novel Tool for Animal Nutrition Research” submitted by Michaela Trudeau, a Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Jerry Shurson and Pedro Urriola received third place in the competition. 

The greater number of entries during this second year of the Minnesota Nutrition Conference Graduate Student Poster competition demonstrates interest by students to share results of research they have conducted.  Further, it permits dissemination of research results in a succinct and effective manner, which also leads to student interaction with leaders of pharmaceutical, nutrition and feed manufacturing companies.  These are characteristics, which further distinguish the Minnesota Nutrition Conference from other similar conferences in the country.  Conference attendee evaluations of this competition reflected positive reception of this segment of the conference.  The committee is expected to approve continuing with this feature of the conference in 2018.