Jessica Lowell

Jessica Lowell photo

I was raised in southwest Michigan near the town of Marshall.  Even as a little girl, I had a love for animals, which has continued into my adult life… just ask my Mom how many strays I tried to bring home!  We had a great experience raising a baby black squirrel that had fallen out of a tree; named him Lucky, and eventually he moved back into the oak trees in our yard.  I grew up in a family of farmers, so my background is rooted in agriculture.  My interest in swine nutrition started at a young age when I went through my Uncle’s farrowing house, and emptied an entire feed cart to fill all the sows’ feeders.  What can I say, they looked hungry!

As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, I majored in Animal Science.  I considered a career in Veterinary Medicine, worked at the Beef Cattle Research Farm, and interned at Binder Park Zoo; but as soon as I started working at the MSU Swine Teaching and Research Facility, that was it, I was hooked.  My interest in swine management and monogastric nutritution increased exponentially through my experience at the MSU Swine Farm.  I worked at the farm for three years, and much of my knowledge in swine production/swine care comes from my experience at MSU.  I was also fortunate to have a summer internship with Hord Livestock, a farrow-to-wean operation with about 24,000 sows.  I was involved in all aspects of operations for a 2800 sow barn.  Everything was extremely interesting; I especially enjoyed farrowing and processing newborns. MSU and Hord Livestock have been amazing learning opportunities and solidified my interest in swine production and nutrition.  I am very interested in learning more about nutrient utilization along with endogenous losses and how these affect dietary supplementation.

I look forward to my time here at the University of Illinois, working with Dr. Stein and his research team.  I am very excited to develop my Master’s thesis, and eager to learn more through my studies and research.  Time to get a new decal for my car window!

(Read more about Jessica in New student profile: Jessica Lowell)