New Extension Swine Specialist Named

URBANA - A new University of Illinois Extension swine specialist is on the job and seeking input from the state's diverse pork producers on their needs. Hans Stein, formerly an associate professor at South Dakota State University, joined the U of I Department of Animal Sciences faculty on June 15, 2006.
calendar icon 19 June 2006
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A native of Denmark, Stein earned his Ph.D. in nutrition at the U of I in 1998 and served as a manager and consultant in the Danish pork industry prior to joining the South Dakota State University faculty in 2000.

"The pork industry in Illinois is diverse, especially in terms of size," said Stein. "Enterprises range from a few pigs to operations with 100,000 sows. I will be getting out in the state, meeting with producers, listening to them, and finding out what their needs are in terms of Extension programming."

Stein needs no introduction, however, to the importance of the swine industry. Stein's appointment as associate professor of swine nutrition and Extension swine specialist marks the return of a U of I Extension swine specialist, a position that had been filled by various faculty members on a part-time basis following Gilbert Hollis's retirement a few years ago.

The Illinois Pork Producers Association has committed $100,000 toward supporting the position through use of check-off dollars. The Swine Extension Specialist has been an invaluable resource for producers in the past, said Gary Asay, a pork producer from Osco, Ill. and current IPPA President.

"IPPA felt this was a worthy investment of checkoff dollars to continue to offer that resource and provide much-needed expertise to Illinois pork producers. We look forward to working with Hans for the betterment of the pork industry in Illinois,? said Asay.

"The Department of Animal Sciences is pleased to have Hans Stein joining our faculty as Swine Extension Specialist," said Neal Merchen, head of the department. "Hans is one of the foremost 'newer generation' swine nutritionists in the country and his presence will allow our department to provide greater educational opportunities to Illinois pork producers.

"Hans has also established himself as a top-flight researcher and much of his research can be translated directly into improved recommendations for swine production practices. Our department is committed to re-establishing national leadership in all areas of swine production science and the addition of Dr. Stein to our faculty is a big step in achieving that goal." A national search resulted in the selection of Stein, who grew up on a small livestock operation in Denmark.

His specialty is swine nutrition but Stein indicated his intention to reach out to experts in other areas such as management, genetics, health, and facilities in the Department of Animal Sciences, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and in other state universities. "I hope to eventually develop some regional programs to take advantage of the expertise in the Midwest," he said.

And, he added, he will be spending time in the field. "I will be getting around the state and working with the industry," he said.

Source: ACES News - 19th June 2006

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