Name: Henrique Scher Cemin
Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Education: DVM, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; MSc in Poultry Nutrition, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; currently pursuing Ph.D. in Applied Swine Nutrition, Kansas State University.
Q. How did you become interested in pursuing a career in the swine industry?
A. My first contact with pigs took place during vet school in Brazil. I was an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Bortolozzo’s lab and had the opportunity to learn about swine production and reproduction. I assisted the graduate students in large-scale commercial research. That was where my interest in swine started.
Q. Tell us about your internship experiences.
A. As an undergraduate, I was an intern in the swine department and later in the poultry department. As an undergraduate, I also had the opportunity to do a 4-month internship with BRF, the largest poultry and swine producer in Brazil. During that internship, I was in the field visiting farms with veterinarians, as well as feed mills and packing plants. It was a great experience that shaped the way I see animal production, from how people are involved in the production chain to the hard work they put into it.
Q. Did you take part in undergraduate research?
A. I was fortunate to be able to help many graduate students while I was an undergrad. During my time with the swine team, I spent a month at a 5,000-sow farm helping with research in swine reproduction. During my time with the poultry team, I helped with several broiler and broiler breeder nutrition trials. Those experiences were fundamental in my decision to pursue MSc and Ph.D. degrees. I was fortunate to work with amazing graduate students and professors that became my mentors and had a profound impact on my education.
Q. Tell us about your current research.
A. My research focuses especially on amino acid nutrition for pigs. I enjoy working with applied nutrition, which means translating what we find into a practical solution that will help producers or other swine nutritionists. Through my research, I determined the histidine requirement of nursery pigs, which ultimately allows nutritionists to increase the use of synthetic amino acids and decrease diet costs. I also evaluated the interactions between branched-chain amino acids in swine diets and, through a meta-regression, created a model to predict their impact on pig performance. Finally, I also evaluated increasing amounts of soybean meal in nursery diets and its impact on performance of pigs raised in commercial environments. I believe the research conducted during my Ph.D. will have an important impact in the swine industry as it involves current topics that have a significant influence on diet costs and producers’ profitability.