Iowa State University Animal Science Faculty Involved in First-ever Big Data and Livestock Production Conference

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USDA FACT InitiativeAMES, Iowa – A first of its kind conference focusing on the use and managing of big data as it pertains to research in production agriculture is a reality thanks to efforts of three Iowa State University animal science faculty and others who are part of the Livestock High-Throughput Phenotyping and Big Data Analytics steering committee.

Assistant professors Nick Serão and James Koltes, and James Reecy, professor, director of the office of biotechnology and associate vice president for research have been integral in developing the vision and agenda for the Livestock HTP and Big Data conference, set for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 13-14.

The program is billed as groundbreaking in nature for animal science, with the specific purpose of stimulating the expansion of high-throughput data use and creating vision and strategy to apply these data to production agriculture.

“High-throughput phenotype collection could revolutionize livestock production by facilitating advances in nutrition, reproduction, genetic improvement, meat science, all aspects really,” Serão said. “This information could help improve animal efficiency, well-being, health and food safety. Yet, we need to identify opportunities and knowledge gaps that should be pursued to make this happen.”

The day-and-a-half conference will be held at the USDA-ARS National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland, and features presentations from nine internationally recognized experts in the area of high-throughput phenotyping and data analysis. The agenda also includes lightning talks and poster and breakout sessions.

There’s no registration fee for the conference, but you are asked to preregister to ensure adequate meeting space and meal count. A special rate for lodging is available at a nearby hotel and that information is provided upon individual registration. The preregistration period runs from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, and you will be notified by Oct. 15 on the status of your preregistration.

More information including program, speakers, organizer contacts and preregistration requirements is on the conference website.


IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.

Nick Serão, animal breeding and genetics, 515-294-3435,

Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, 515-294-4496,


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