Scientists Recognized for Contributions to Swine Research

( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

Source: USDA ARS

USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) honored outstanding scientists that have helped advance swine production and swine health research. 

Matias B. Vanotti, with ARS’s Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research Unit in Florence, S.C. ,and Dante S. Zarlenga, with ARS’s Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., were named 2019 Area Senior Research Scientists of the Year. Jay Johnson with ARC's Livestock Behavior Research Unit in West Lafayette, Ind., was honored as an Area Early Career Research Scientist.

Vanotti was recognized for his for outstanding technological advances in waste and wastewater management, including new phosphorus recovery methods and the use of anammox bacteria to remove nitrogen forms from septic systems and swine lagoons as well as help with water recycling aboard the International Space Station and future space exploration. He represents the Southeast Area.

Zarlenga was honored for leadership in the diagnosis and control of helminth parasites that can affect the health and productivity of swine and cattle. Zarlenga pioneered studies on the molecular biology of Trichinella spiralis and other parasites that ushered in better detection methods, vaccine development and pasture management strategies to prevent grazing animals from infection. He serves in the Northeast Area.

Johnson was recognized for research excellence in the field of animal welfare and productivity, including his discovery of a promising new antibiotic alternative, investigations into the postnatal impact of in-utero heat stress in swine, and for the evaluation and development of cooling pads for lactating sows vulnerable to heat stress, which costs the U.S. swine industry $900 million annually.

ARS is the USDA's chief scientific in-house research agency focusing on solutions to agricultural problems affecting the U.S. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $20 of economic impact.

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