New Director Named to Lead Heart for Food stuff Animal Well-Being

Shawna Weimer, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing. She started the position Jan. 10, 2022.&#13

UA Technique Division of Agriculture photo by Fred Miller

Shawna Weimer, Ph.D., is the director of the Middle for Food stuff Animal Wellbeing. She commenced the situation Jan. 10, 2022.

By John Lovett
U of A Technique Division of Agriculture

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A University of Arkansas alumna and Iowa native with tutorial research and animal business practical experience is the new director of the Heart for Foods Animal Properly-Staying, a part of the University of Arkansas Process Division of Agriculture.

Shawna Weimer, Ph.D., started off Jan. 10 as the new director for the centre that provides applied exploration effects to producers and the community on animal wellbeing and very well-becoming. She will also be training a graduate-amount animal welfare program in the spring.

“Dr. Weimer is a fantastic fit as director of the Heart for Food stuff Animal Well-Being,” stated Jean-François Meullenet, senior affiliate vice president for agriculture-study and director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. “She has substantial encounter in animal well-remaining research both of those in the marketplace and academia and can provide unbiased viewpoints on exploration-primarily based info to animal producers. We are privileged to have Dr. Weimer sign up for our attempts to broaden the information and outreach on this significant issue.”

Consumers have progressively demanded that growers think about animal welfare. Used animal welfare research aims to increase additional science-centered requirements to the requirements of how animals are lifted, Weimer stated.

“Dr. Weimer has developed a fantastic approach and eyesight for the Centre for Meals Animal Well-Becoming,” stated Dave Caldwell, director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. “She is fully commited to obtaining the centre provide as a applicable resource for science-primarily based information on animal welfare for our professional stakeholders. I have visited with lots of of our stakeholders below in Northwest Arkansas, and everyone is really keen to begin performing with her as she develops her program.”

Two of the business stakeholders, Tyson Foodstuff and Cargill, shared enthusiasm about collaboration with Weimer and the Centre for Food stuff Animal Effectively-Currently being.

“We’re looking forward to ongoing collaboration with the middle as academic research efforts that are knowledgeable by market experience will guidance our efforts to consistently strengthen animal welfare,” stated Karen Christensen, senior director of Animal Welfare for Tyson Foodstuff.

“Cargill is thrilled to see the appointment of Dr. Shawna Weimer to the University of Arkansas Procedure Division of Agriculture,” explained Nick Wolfenden, sustainable animal welfare director–global for Cargill. “This appointment is a good addition to the academic space and a fantastic resource for businesses like Cargill to advance animal welfare. Cargill has a very long-standing history of collaboration with Dr. Weimer and we look forward to continuing those initiatives as we function to nourish the entire world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.”

The center’s aim is the enhancement of animal wellbeing, dealing with, and efficiency through husbandry practices that improve animal welfare. It will work closely with 3 models within the College of Arkansas Method Division of Agriculture: The Department of Poultry Science the Department of Animal Science and the Nationwide Agricultural Regulation Middle. 

Implementing study

“It is the desire task,” Weimer mentioned. “Transparency and debunking misinformation about animal welfare is a component of it, but we will be using research a phase even more to educate people today about what is actually proper for the animal, from the animal’s perspective. Used animal welfare investigation solves issues for the marketplace currently.”

The American Veterinary Health-related Affiliation also details to scientific proof important to reveal an animal’s very good welfare point out. Things of animal properly-becoming, in accordance to the AVMA, consist of the animal’s wellness, ease and comfort, nourishment, safety, means to categorical innate conduct, and if it is suffering from pain, panic, or distress.

Weimer mentioned farm animals generally do not show obvious indications of ache since they are evolutionarily prey animals. They instinctively hide their discomfort to secure by themselves from predators.

“Animal welfare is, of system, what you can see or how they are behaving, but you don’t genuinely know their mental condition,” Weimer stated. “So, we are making an attempt to appear at things from the viewpoint of the animal, or making an attempt to recognize what is actually finest for them, not just what seems to be ideal to us.”

Owning often been intrigued in animal habits, Weimer double majored in animal science and animal ecology for her bachelor’s degrees at Iowa Condition College. She went on to get paid her master’s in animal physiology at Iowa Point out with a specialization in ethology, the scientific examine of animal conduct.

Weimer worked in the Minnesota swine field right before pursuing her doctorate in poultry science at the University of Arkansas under Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton and Karen Christensen. Thaxton was the former director of the Middle for Foods Animal Perfectly-Becoming. At the University of Arkansas, Weimer targeted on noninvasive actions of lameness and worry in broiler chickens. Following earning her Ph.D., Weimer done publish-doctoral function at Purdue University. 

Weimer returns to Arkansas immediately after serving as an assistant professor and poultry welfare extension professional in the Department of Animal and Avian Science at the University of Maryland. She furnished extension, research, and teaching systems with the College of Maryland to interact straight with the Delmarva Peninsula poultry business.

Her analysis in poultry perfectly-becoming involves the results of enrichment, advancement charge, salmonella, and warmth pressure on immunology, intestine histology, skeletal morphology, and welfare in standard broilers. 

According to the USDA and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Firm, a community aim on poultry has come to be popular mainly because it is amid the most-eaten meats globally, 2nd only to pork. In 2020, the poultry marketplace in Arkansas offered $3.7 billion (about 50 per cent) of the state’s total agriculture money receipts, in accordance to The Poultry Federation.

As a co-founder of the Poultry Extension Collaborative, Weimer also features outreach plans and a every month newsletter at with poultry researchers from the University of Georgia, Purdue College, and Virginia Tech University.

Though poultry will be a significant emphasis for Weimer at the heart, she will also give investigate-based mostly information for other farm animal producers.

To learn additional about Division of Agriculture exploration, check out the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Observe us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.

To understand about Extension Packages in Arkansas, get hold of your neighborhood Cooperative Extension Company agent or visit Abide by us on Twitter at @AR_Extension.

To find out far more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture: The College of Arkansas Method Division of Agriculture’s mission is to reinforce agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trustworthy research to adopt ideal techniques. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension get the job done within the nation’s historic land grant instruction system as a result of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Company. The Division of Agriculture is a single of 20 entities within just the University of Arkansas Procedure. It has places of work in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on 5 procedure campuses. The College of Arkansas Program Division of Agriculture gives all its Extension and Research courses and companies with no regard to race, color, sexual intercourse, gender identification, sexual orientation, nationwide origin, religion, age, incapacity, marital or veteran standing, genetic information and facts, or any other lawfully secured standing, and is an Affirmative Motion/Equivalent Opportunity Employer.