Haley Johnson is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota focusing on ruminant nutrition with emphasis on feedlot cattle. Her thesis research centers on the effects of manipulating growth and fermentation patterns on nutrient availability and performance of feedlot cattle. The rumen fermentation portion of her thesis focuses on the impact of ruminal parameters on the transformation and flow of fatty acids through the rumen. Her research on the effects of including distillers grains with solubles and soy glycerin in beef cattle finishing diets on ruminal fermentation was recently highlighted at the 78th Annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference, where she placed second in the graduate student poster competition sponsored by ARPAS.
In addition to working on her PhD, Haley has also accepted a position as a research scientist for Cargill Animal Nutrition within their Global Strategic Marketing and Technology team. Within her current role in Cargill Animal Nutrition, she generates research-based information that contributes to equipping Cargill’s consultants and technology deployment managers with further knowledge on industry-relevant rumen fermentation topics. This information is leading to deployment of dynamic feeding strategies and product development. As a professional animal scientist, her primary career goal and objective is to translate intricate science describing ruminal and animal function into appropriate on-farm or site applications for the benefit of the industry.
Haley is originally from southeast Minnesota, where she was exposed to the cattle industry growing up through her grandparents’ cow-calf operation. This exposure to the industry fueled her passion to pursue a degree in animal science. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science with summa cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota. As an undergraduate, Haley worked as a research assistant and received multiple grants, and also completed additional research for an undergraduate honors thesis. Haley says it is the time she spent as an undergrad in the lab that inspired her to continue on for her PhD in the fall of 2014. It was as she began her PhD program that she became increasingly passionate about giving back to the industry with her career direction. In an effort to connect her own research to industry professionals, Haley sought opportunities to network with industry professionals and share her research with those with the capabilities to apply them. This led her to present her findings at the Minnesota Nutrition Conference, where she became a member of ARPAS.
In the future, Haley hopes to be able to continue to inspire students and industry professionals alike through her research and involvement in groups like ARPAS.