Human capital has long been a challenge for the protein sector overall, but has recently become a real concern for the swine business within industry and academia, said Maynard Hogberg, Iowa State University. He noted the pressing issue for both is that of the increasing need for scientifically trained personnel. This comes at a time when there are fewer swine faculty within universities, the academic output of graduate students is decreasing and interest among domestic students in the swine industry is declining.
Source: National Hog Farmer, December 3, 2017.
There is a difference between being good at a subject and being good at doing a job, said Hogberg. The skills specifically needed in animal breeding and genetics graduates, he said include an understanding of modern science and swine production systems as well as how their research might impact animal well-being, the environment, food safety and consumer acceptance. Critical thinking about and analysis of problems is critical as is the ability to work in a team approach as well as independently.