IDEAL Animal Nutrition grows team with focus on research

Hammers’ research involved several nursery studies examining alternatives to feeding high levels of zinc oxide.

December 11, 2023

3 Min Read
From the left, Simon Kern, Kelsey Hammers and Jeff Knott of IDEAL Animal Nutrition. IDEAL Animal Nutrition

Helping pig farmers solve everyday challenges with practical research-backed solutions is an important focus as IDEAL Animal Nutrition grows its team serving operations across the Midwest.

Kelsey Hammers joins the company as swine nutritionist and research coordinator, adding nutrition expertise alongside Jeff Knott and Simon Kern, while helping lead fast-expanding activity at the IDEAL Research Barn.

“We’re excited to have Kelsey join our team,” says Knott, swine nutritionist and founder/owner of IDEAL. “She brings fresh knowledge and experience that will benefit our customers and strengthen our research activities. Her work will support our main focus on delivering solutions at the slat-level. It will also grow our supporting focus on generating research-backed data to guide decisions – helping our customers get better results and higher returns.”

Hammers grew up on her family’s mixed farm in Missouri (crops and cattle) and has gained a variety of agricultural experiences throughout her life. On the swine side, as a teenager she participated in swine projects through the National FFA Organization and was involved in the world of show pigs. As her university experience steered to a focus on swine, she also gained experience working with commercial hog facilities in production and sales roles as part of internships and summer jobs. She earned her PhD in swine nutrition at the University of Minnesota, building on a master’s degree from Kansas State University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.

“I have enjoyed my time completing my formal education and I am excited to start my new role at IDEAL Animal Nutrition,” says Hammers. “I feel equally at home on farms with customers and in the research barn. I am looking forward to working with and learning from the IDEAL team and customers.”

Hammers’ master’s research involved several nursery studies examining alternatives to feeding high levels of zinc oxide. Her PhD dissertation took a different perspective on this subject, involving studies to examine the implications of high zinc feeding to gestating sows.

“I’m excited to transition from my academic training to working in the industry with the people that are doing the hard work of raising pigs. I will relate what I've learned and all my experiences to assist these producers with their operations,” she says.

For IDEAL, having a balance of people at different career stages with a diversity of experiences and perspectives is important, says Kern, who joined in 2018 after Knott started the company in 2014.

“Bringing Kelsey on board provides a nice complement to our team and adds synergy that will benefit everyone,” says Kern. “It also shows our commitment both to serving our customers and providing additional value through the activities at our research barn.

“Strengthening our research capacity with Kelsey will enhance our capabilities not only for conducting research but for carrying it forward and applying it in the field. We want our customers to have the best information possible to give them an edge for getting the most out of their operations.”

IDEAL Animal Nutrition was founded on a philosophy of integrity, service, science and innovation to advance the performance and efficiency of customer operations.

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