The Animal Science Committee continues to conduct meaningful research in the areas of swine nutrition, reproduction, genetics and management. Research is evaluated based on industry impact, application and reach, and must have no overlap with research being supported by other funding agencies.

In addition to continuing work in nutritional efficiency, mitigation of the impact of seasonality, and sow lifetime productivity, the committee has developed collaborative efforts with other National Pork Board committees including Welfare, Pork Safety & Quality, and Producer & Public Health. In 2016, these collaborations led to work in the following areas:

  • Alternatives to Antibiotics: This is a collaborative effort between the Animal Science, Producer & Public Health, and Pork Safety & Quality committees. The Antibiotic Alternatives Task Force developed a set of research priorities and from that sent out a call for proposals to conduct research to answer questions relative to alternatives to antibiotics, fate of antibiotics in the environment, administration of antibiotics and prevention versus treatment uses of antibiotics.
  • Heavy Weight Market Pigs: This is an effort between the Animal Science, Welfare, and Pork Safety & Quality committees. The request for proposals that was released in 2016 in this area sought proposals focused on floor, feeder and waters space requirements, changes in gut microorganism populations for live animals and chilling requirements and changes in pork quality and eating experience postharvest.

These collaborative efforts are a vital part of developing a coordinated research effort in areas that are multifactorial and therefore span more than one committee. Working together to define a problem, set research priorities and select proposals for funding is a wise approach to investment of Checkoff dollars.