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Gary L. Allee Symposium recap by Kaitlyn Sommer, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Illinois - Urbana, Champaign

Brian Kerr started off the Dr. Gary Allee symposium talking about “A Metabolic understanding of nutrition”. The main take away’s from Dr. Kerr presentation is that we need to know the underlying mechanisms, and other influences that affect these mechanisms such as social, environmental and disease. We also need to solve the problem at hand or at least part of it, and this can be done by the scientific method. Research results typically have more implications than just nutrition, and lastly challenge your research and your peers but do it cordially and in a respectful manner. 

The second speaker was Dr. Kevin Touchette, who spoke about nursery piglet research under Dr. Allee, which contains many different themes. Dr. Touchette emphasized on how many of the studies Dr. Allee published evaluated proposed mechanism of action or the influence of products on the piglet’s various physiological systems. But during these studies Dr. Alee also looked at a more practical conditions such as growth performance and how these are practical for producers. The last thing Dr. Touchette talked about is how the challenges in the industry from 20 to 30 years ago continue to be similar to the challenges we face today in the pork industry.

Dr. Goodband, presented on Dr. Allee’s contribution to Protein and AA concepts and use in swine nutrition. Dr. Goodband spoke on a multitude of research Dr. Allee had worked on while at Kansas State University and Mizzou. Dr. Goodband emphasized that Dr. Allee believed in getting different people from backgrounds together and working together on his research which was important to the industry and for pork producers.

Dr. Gary Stoner did an interview format presentation, where he spoke about Dr. Allee and his methodology of teaching. Dr. Stoner spoke about how although all of Dr. Allee’s students may have taken different paths, what they learned were very similar due to Dr. Allee’s teaching style. Dr. Allee preferred a teaching style where he challenged, questioned and led his students to teach themselves.

The last speaker of the Gary Allee symposium was Dr. Joel Spencer who presented Dr. Allee’s philosophy on teaching, research and the swine industry. Dr. Spencer spoke about the five columns of focus; students, science/industry applications and those working together, producing food for the world, building relationships and lastly having fun doing what you love.

Dr. Spencer also stated that this will be the last year the Gary L. Allee symposium will be held, but it is not the end Dr. Allee’s impact on future Animal Scientists.

A recording of this symposium will be available after the meeting on the meeting website.