The swine industry in the state of Michigan is growing. Currently ranked 13th among states in the number of breeding animals, and one or two positions better than that in market animals, the addition of a new packing plant in 2018 has led to new production capacity in Michigan. Michigan’s industry is predominantly characterized by the use of modern, intensive production practices and facilities. Michigan producers are forward thinking and at the forefront of participation in audit programs focused on food safety and animal well-being.
Currently, the MSU Extension pork work group includes specialists in Animal Science, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, BioSystems Engineering, Agricultural Food and Resources Economics and Occupational and Environmental Medicine as well as Extension Educators in the field. Current research in swine precision management at MSU includes computer vision and wearable technology approaches to individual- or group-level phenotyping (e.g. continuously monitoring growth, feed intake, welfare, aggression) and the adoption of technology to optimize the work of on-farm personnel.
The application of technology within the animal space to facilitate real-time management decisions has the potential to transform swine production in the USA. Generation and adoption of precision management technologies in swine production specifically could lead to substantial improvements in productivity, welfare and health of pigs and subsequently increased profitability of pig production.
This position is initially for one year, renewable annually based on performance, for up to three years.
The successful candidate is expected to deliver extension programming that is industry-responsive, proactive, and related to management of swine, especially focused on precision management. The candidate is expected to build strong relationships with the Michigan swine industry, state and federal agencies, and faculty and extension educators at MSU and in the region. The successful candidate will collaborate with others to identify stakeholder needs, develop science-based information, organize and deliver extension programs, and to report on and evaluate program impacts. The position includes the expectation to work with preliminary data generated by others in the swine group and the individual will be mentored by senior faculty who will provide further training and opportunities for professional development. The individual will participate with the appropriate Extension work group(s) and report against the group(s) plan of work.
The successful candidate is also expected to conduct applied research related to precision management of pigs, including aspects such as management, welfare, and genetic improvement. These projects may involve using applications for animal identification and phenotyping as well as developing science-based solutions to improve the health, welfare and profitability of pig production systems.
Doctorate -Animal Science or related discipline
The ideal candidate will have a PhD in Animal Science or in a related discipline that includes a focus on precision livestock systems. Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated capacity for teamwork in interdisciplinary environments is a must.
Good computer programming skills with knowledge of at least one commonly used language in data sciences or engineering (e.g., R, Python, Matlab, C++, etc).
Ability to translate technologies in development into practical applications to pork production systems.
Expertise related to current swine production and management practices.
Prior experience in outreach or extension programming and ability to develop and submit research and outreach proposals
Required Application Materials
letter of interest, CV, research statement, extension statement, and contact information for 2 references.
Please send inquiries regarding the position to Chair of search committee: Dr. Juan P. Steibel, firstname.lastname@example.org, with subject, Academic Specialist Position Precision Swine Management. For questions about the application process, please contact Robbyn Davenport, 517-355-8383, email@example.com.
Review of Applications Begins On
Summary of Health Risks
Animal contact and working in environments where animals are housed.
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