Joel DeRouchey, Kansas State University swine Extension specialist, is a regular contributor to Nutrition Know-How. DeRouchey works with his peers on the Kansas State Applied Swine Nutrition Team to bring the latest in applied swine nutrition research to the readers of Farm Journal's PORK. DeRouchey shares his thoughts on his career, the best piece of advice he's ever received and what readers can expect in 2019.
Q. Tell us about your background.
A. I grew up on a diversified purebred swine, cattle and sheep operation in Pukwana, S.D. I am rooted in livestock production with my grandfather DeRouchey being the 1st SPF purebred Hampshire breeder in South Dakota. He passed that love for livestock down to my parents and now to me. I graduated with his bachelor of science degree in animal science with a business emphasis from South Dakota State University in 1997 and received my M.S. in 1999 and my Ph.D. in 2001 in swine nutrition from Kansas State University. Since 2001, I have been a faculty member at Kansas State University as a swine Extension specialist.
Q. What’s a typical day on the job like for you?
A. My activities center around working with graduate students, livestock producers and various departmental faculty. I would suggest continual communication in various forms encompasses the vast majority of my time.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I cannot state one, but the core reason I work at a university is the ability to work with talented students and progressive livestock producers. Also, I am blessed each day to work side by side with fellow members of the Kansas State Applied Swine Nutrition Team Mike Tokach, Bob Goodband, Steve Dritz and Jason Woodworth that I also consider my closest personal friends.
Q. What can PORK readers expect out of your columns this year?
A. Our goal is to bring the latest applied nutrition, management and/or feed processing research information to help increase the profitability of your operation.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A. Early in my employment, Dr. Frank Brazle emphasized responding in a timely fashion to Extension agents, producers and others request for information. Also, he stressed those that do not respond timely to others will not have to spend future time on this as they will quit being asked and will become irrelevant.
Q. When you aren’t at work, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
A. Spending time with my wife Julene, and children James (15), Jenna (13) and Jacob (11) with sports, showing exhibiting at youth livestock events, church, community activities and attending K-State tailgating and football games.
Joel and his wife, Julene, have three children: James (15), Jenna (13) and Jacob (11).