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Swine Facilities and Farms

spotted pig

The Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University offers an impressive diversity of laboratory and lab facilities to support the swine research program. Kildee Hall is the home of swine faculty in the Department, and laboratories in this building cover the full spectrum of scientific disciplines: nutrition, physiology, animal behavior, meat science and both quantitative and molecular genetics. The Meats Laboratory is particularly impressive; it is a USDA-inspected facility and supports the full array of activities involved in the production of swine products, from fresh chops and roasts to smoked meats and sausages. In 2009, the refrigeration system in the wing was completely updated at a cost of more than $1 million.

There is continuous investment in new lab equipment. For example, in 2009 alone, the nutrition laboratory purchased a new bomb calorimeter, cell culture incubators, fluorescent/luminescent plate reader, gel documentation station and a nanodrop spectrophotometer.

The Department operates three swine farms. The  Lauren Christian Swine Research Farm supports research in breeding and genetics. The Allen E. Christian Swine Teaching Farm is a farrow-to-finish operation providing hands-on experience in swine husbandry from breeding to marketing to hundreds of undergraduate students each year. The Swine Nutrition and Management Farm provides growout facilities from weaning to market along with an outstanding array of metabolism capability. Additional satellite facilities complete the wide array of swine research capability in our Department.