Extension Spotlight

Chances are if one goes looking for expertise on the latest strategies in swine management or you’re just curious about the intricacies of building a new pig barn in these parts, you may stumble across a home raised Wapello County farmboy by the name of Colin Johnson.  All things pigs and people, all things bacon, and all things manure, he’s got you covered.  That’s because Colin is the regional swine field specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO).
With a varied background in diversified farming, servant leadership and education, Colin Johnson serves ISUEO clients with passion. Colin says it’s the Land Grant philosophies of research, education and teaching at ISU that make service for ISUEO such a great fit for him.  After earning degrees in Animal Science form Kirkwood Community College and Northwest Missouri State University he spent time across the ocean working in the Danish pork industry. There he gleaned much about international agriculture and innovative pork production methods. He came to Iowa State University as a graduate research assistant earning his M.S. in 2002 and remained on staff for the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU for 8 years before moving to his current field specialist role.  Today he covers 19 counties in south central Iowa but also works widely across the state and country on a variety of pork and agricultural issues. 
Three highlighted programs Colin actively facilitates are the Community Assessment Model for siting new swine barns, swine carcass ultrasound programs, and production and financial decision tools and software. Iowa is in a good place to be expanding its pork industry with plentiful supplies of feed ingredients, adequate and growing processing capacity and vast farmland which values manure nutrients.  Colin says that while worldwide demand for pork is growing and Iowa is an ideal place to raise the pigs, we still must do so in an environmental, economic and socially sustainable manner.  And ISUEO has the research and tools to help the industry do so.  Whether you’re a pork producer, land owner, agribusiness representative, consumer or public constituent, Colin is always glad to connect on issues related to pork production and its role in our landscape. Colin Johnson can be reached at 515-291-9287 or colinj@iastate.edu. Additional resources are available through the Iowa Pork Industry Center at https://www.ipic.iastate.edu/.

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