AMES, Iowa – The next time you see someone in a grocery store aisle enthusiastically teaching customers about the pork industry, you might have just met Iowa Pork Industry Center's new extension specialist. Lindsay Peters began this position in early January, with her primary responsibilities including content development, website management and overall support for pork center programming efforts.
She's gregarious and enjoys listening to and learning about others she meets, and strives to have at least one good laugh a day. Don't let that description fool you. She's also a self-described advocate of Iowa's pork producers and sees her role as a way to continue sharing that news.
"I was interested in this position because I am very passionate about educating producers and other individuals about the swine industry, and about keeping available informational materials current and relevant for the producers," she said.
Peters graduated from Iowa State University with a master's degree in animal physiology in December 2023, and this work allowed her to meet and work with faculty and staff affiliated with the pork center over the past few years. Through these connections she was able to network with large integrators, researchers, pork associations and others in the industry, all to her benefit.
"Building these relationships early has allowed me to kickstart my role as the new extension specialist," she said.
Peters grew up on a small hobby farm in northeast Nebraska, raising a few cow-calf pairs, a small number of grow-finish hogs, horses and rabbits. She was actively involved in showing all four species through 4-H and FFA. After receiving her bachelor's degree in animal science at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, she headed to Iowa State where she chose a specialization in ethology as part of her graduate work.
"I was and am driven to improve caretaker mental welfare," she said. "My grad school research helped me understand learning styles, personality types, and culture differences, and I know these factors can positively affect caretaker mental welfare."
Through her thesis work, she built a tailored swine euthanasia training module based on personality type that can help support swine caretaker welfare.
"I want to improve the industry's knowledge, and how tools and procedures can be utilized to ensure barn labor is well taken care of," she said. "We cannot ensure the welfare of our pigs without labor to care for them."
Peters can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 515-294-8963.
Shareable photo: Lindsay Peters.