(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor. Let’s meet up with Kyle and Joel as they discuss how swine research done at K-State reaches Kansas producers.
(Kyle) I had the opportunity to visit with Joel DeRouchey, he is with Kansas State University, a professor. Joel, I’m going to let you tell me what your title is. (Joel) Alright. I’m an Extension Swine Specialist here in our Animal Sciences Department. And really what that means is I take information that we generate with our research here at K-State and I spend a lot of time with our Kansas producers and those outside of Kansas, with the swine producers to implement the technology, the practical daily aspects of what they can do to improve the profitability and just the overall functionality of their swine farm. (Kyle) One thing with Kansas State University and the Animal Sciences Department, they have a lot of livestock. And with livestock comes manure and that takes management. You head that up as well? (Joel) Yes, so part of my responsibilities in Animal Sciences is to help with all the manure management aspects of all of our different livestock units. And we also have our core livestock units that are located just north of town, actually combined together to form a CAFOs or a concentrated animal feeding operations. So like many operations in Kansas that are larger in size, we have all the permitting, all the record keeping for both Kansas Department of Health and Environment and EPA. And I help coordinate the permitting and the record keeping for all those units. (Kyle) Now, as a professor at Kansas State University do you teach? (Joel) I teach. I have a role where I do some guest lecturing in a variety of undergrad classes. I do some guest lecturing in a variety of undergrad classes. There’s a graduate level class that I participate in. Formerly in my career, for over eight years, I taught one of the undergrad nutrition classes. But currently I spend most of my time with our graduate students with their research programs in swine nutrition, as well as then with our Kansas swine producers to give them information and help answer the questions that they have. (Kyle) Kansas is known as a cattle state, but we have one of the premier swine groups here at Kansas State University in the nation. (Joel) We’re very fortunate here within our Animal Sciences Department to be really focused on the nutrition area. We also have information that’s generated in reproduction but in the nutrition area there’s several faculty members, and this started with our administration decades ago, cause we knew in Kansas we’re not going to be, have everything to every species and in swine they decided to focus on nutrition. And we actually have one of the largest swine nutrition focused faculty, actually in the world in terms of the information and our resources here in that particular area. (Kyle) Can we talk about research with swine? How much of that, how important is research to your department? (Joel) It’s vital. When we talk about the teaching side, sometimes people have a hard understanding from teaching in class, and then you have research going on, how does that actually tie together? But what becomes important is operations get more sophisticated, they need more technical information. We can take that information that is generated through applied research and then take it to producers as well as into the classroom. One thing our department has focused on a lot in the last five years, is a very large undergraduate research program. And we have a number of students participate, work side-by-side with graduate students as well as faculty to complete research projects. And thus those students get that learning opportunity of discovery and generating information to help producers and they get a great sense of fulfillment, knowing that they are part of that information that’s being generated too, that gets applied by our producers. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Joel DeRouchey, he is with the Animal Sciences Department in Swine Extension at Kansas State University.
(Jamie) Thanks again for joining us at the Animal Sciences and Industry Department at Kansas State University. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.