Lauren Finlay

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Biosciences

College: OAC

Conference Attended: American Society of Animal Science/Canadian Society of An. Sci. Annual Meeting

The conference is academic-based learning from researchers and agricultural producers across North America. Professors from universities present current research findings and research gaps across all disciplines of the agricultural industry – from pasture and forage quality research, nutrition, to animal breeding and genetics. There is a focus on current research in live presentations and open discussions on focused topics across many different animal species. This conference also allows for students breaking into the industry to present their own research through presentations and posters, as well as the opportunity to network with other industry professionals.

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Value: $1,955

Research Presentation:

Using Data from Methane Measurements to Predict Feed Efficiency in Beef Cows on Pasture

The objectives of my current research are to create a mathematical model to predict feed efficiency in beef cows on pasture, using current technologies for enteric gas production monitoring. This will allow for genetic selection for improved feed efficiency, a trait that allows for beef animals to consume less feed, produce less enteric gases such as methane, and also produce equal or better progeny than inefficient animals. This benefits both producers and the environment.

Objectives for Attending:

By attending this conference, I hope to expand my knowledge in all aspects of animal health and nutrition from a science and research-based perspective. Having this opportunity to learn about other current research will build on the knowledge from my undergraduate and graduate courses, and apply new perspectives to both my current research and my career as an animal nutritionist. My current job involves vitamin and mineral nutrition of all species and life stages, and I hope to gather invaluable information on current research advancements, gaps, and potential improvements in the agricultural and animal nutrition industry.

This conference will also allow me to share my current research findings and individual perspective with other industry professionals. I hope to have more discussion with other graduate students and researchers on the strategies and procedures I have utilized in my research trial, to share my knowledge and individual experiences and gain beneficial feedback and discussion prior to my thesis defence.

Also, I will be able to network in person with other professionals in the industry and new graduate students, building relationships and connections that can continue to grow. This has become even more important with the past year of COVID lockdowns and the increase in virtual meetings and learning. I hope to share with my colleagues the ways the industry will have to continue growing and changing to adapt to the increase of virtual business, teaching, and connections. This is also very important to me as I have already begun my career in the animal nutrition industry, and have had to adjust to building relationships virtually with coworkers, researchers, and connections in other companies and businesses. While I do appreciate the lessons and skills learned from starting my career in the industry primarily online, I hope to also maintain my skills in creating personal connections when meeting colleagues face to face. I believe the future will incorporate both types of relationships and am very excited for the opportunity to make in-person connections and discussions with researchers.