Showcase to feature beef nutrition research


Courtesy of Iowa Beef Center

The “Beef Nutrition Showcase” will begin at noon Wednesday at the Iowa Beef Center. The showcase will have presentations on various ongoing research conducted by the Iowa Beef Center and the animal science ruminant nutrition group.

Amber Friedrichsen

Iowa State’s Beef Nutrition Showcase will allow attendees to tour the beef farm, hear from speakers and learn about the research being conducted on beef nutrition at Iowa State.

Starting at noon Wednesday, guests are invited to a tour of Iowa State’s Iowa Beef Center. At the center they will be able to see the facilities where research takes place, like the feeding and processing systems.

Attendees will go to the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at 1:30 p.m. for the showcase, where they will continue learning about how Iowa State is contributing to the beef industry.

Allison Vanderwal is an assistant scientist for the animal science department. Vanderwal, along with others, works on research for ruminant nutrition.

“We are a group that works under Stephanie Hansen; she currently has six graduate students, a postdoctoral student, myself,” Vanderwal said. “We do primary trace-mineral research. We are basically looking at zinc, manganese, copper and looking at finding the right levels that we want to supplement in cattle feed to maximize cattle efficiency.”

Hansen is an associate professor in the animal science department at Iowa State. Ruminant nutrition is Hansen’s area of expertise.

This research is what will be featured at the showcase. It gives people at Iowa State, as well as producers from across Iowa, the chance to learn about developments in the cattle industry that are under way.

“Our beef nutrition showcase is basically an event we are putting on […] to showcase what our lab is doing for producers of Iowa and surrounding states,” Vanderwal said. “It’s kind of an event to let us let producers know what kind of research we are doing right now that hasn’t been published.”

Vanderwal said once research is conducted, it can take a long time before the results are published and made available to producers. By putting on the showcase, the research can be advertised in a more timely manner.

“There’s kind of a lag from when research is completed to when it’s published,” Vanderwal said. “There is a little bit of a time before producers actually hear about what we are doing at Iowa State [so] I think producers will benefit learning our current findings.”

In addition to the farm tour and research presented, there will also be speakers at the event including Erika Lundy, a field specialist at Iowa State.

“Hansen will be talking at the event, as well as a lot of her graduate animal science students,” Vanderwal said. “We have Lee Schulz who is an economist who also partners with the beef center — [he’ll] be talking about cattle markets. Lundy with the Iowa Beef Center will be talking about finishing high quality beef in the feedlot.”

Vanderwal said she thinks those in attendance will benefit a lot from the experience. It is a chance for people to see how Iowa State’s Iowa Beef Center operates and what they are doing there.

While the event has happened in the past, it hasn’t been carried out the past few years.

“It kind of went away,” Vanderwal said. “We are going to try it again and this is sort of a brand new way of doing it this year.”