Ralco Contributes $100,000 Toward New South Dakota State University Swine Research Unit
MARSHALL, MN — While many universities are reducing the size of their swine programs or shuttering them all together, South Dakota State University (SDSU) is making a bold investment in the future of swine production by constructing a state-of-the-art swine research unit. To help enable SDSU’s investment in the next generation of swine production leaders, Ralco has made a $100,000 financial contribution toward the multi-complex facility.
Dr. Bob Thaler, professor and Extension Swine Specialist at SDSU, says the project has received significant state and swine producer support; however, Ralco’s contribution as an allied industry member will help the university reach its goals.
“We can’t thank Ralco enough for their support because that has started our fundraising momentum again,” Thaler says. “We have done really well in our fundraising and now we have plateaued. I believe this contribution from Ralco has provided our fundraising with momentum again. Ralco was one of the first allied industry members to step up and say we want to be part of this, and that step has excited the industry about this project.”
The extensive research facility will include two new complexes focused on reproduction, intensive nutrition and management research. As well as a 1,200-head wean-to-finish barn adapted for large-scale research. The unit will include a classroom and viewing areas that are accessible for public education and outreach efforts to enhance the understanding of the pork production process.
Dr. Jon Holt, swine nutritionist at Ralco, says the contribution will help Ralco achieve its goal of providing a safe and abundant global food supply.
“Increasing global food production will take new technologies and innovation, and we want young people to realize that they can make an impact in agricultural fields. Donating to projects such as the SDSU Swine Teaching and Research Facility supports both of those causes,” Holt says. “We also feel it is important to have close ties to local universities, and SDSU has shown their commitment towards expanding opportunities for educating future employees in agriculture and providing facilities to increase public awareness of swine production.”
Thaler shares the view that educating the next generation of swine experts is critical to a strong swine industry that will continue to meet the needs of the future.
“What is as important as the financial support of this project is Ralco’s trust that we will train good students coming out of here, and we will do good research that will help the industry. It’s not just the financial contribution but it’s Ralco’s belief in us that we are going to do what is right for the industry and that this will be a benefit to the entire swine industry,” Thaler says.
Ralco is a third-generation family owned multinational company with distribution in more than 30 countries. A leading global provider of livestock nutrition, animal health products and crop enhancement products; Ralco supports large segments of the livestock, poultry, aquaculture and crop industries.