Category: Podcasts

Chasing Fostering Excellence | Mike Ellis

About the Guest

Mike Ellis was born and brought up in a coal mining village in the north of England.  He obtained B.S. (in Agriculture) and Ph.D. (in Applied Swine Genetics) degrees from the Department of Agriculture at the University Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where from 1978 he held the position of Lecturer in Pig Production.  He moved to the University of Illinois in 1992 where his current position is Professor of Swine Production Management.  Dr. Ellis’ research interests span a range of areas related to applied swine production with a particular focus on managing the growth of pigs in wean-to-finish facilities, animal handling and transportation, pre-weaning mortality, and pork quality.   He has advised over 60 students for MS and/or Ph.D. degrees and has published over 180 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 300 abstracts, and in excess of 300 occasional publications and reports, and has given presentations at over 250 scientific and producer meetings worldwide.  

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Venture Capital and its Critical Role in Livestock Production and Animal Health | Kevin Lockett

About the Guest

Kevin brings nearly 20 years of experience in financing, managing, growing, and investing in early-stage companies.

Kevin brought his operational expertise in managing and growing other organizations to the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) in 2013 as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer where he oversaw all financial, human resource, information technology, and legal aspects of the organization. Kevin’s major focus was on the daily management of the organization’s assets which included real estate, limited partner positions in venture funds, and direct equity positions in early-stage animal health, agriculture, and human health companies. His extensive experience in finance and growing early-stage companies also helped prepare the KBA’s portfolio investment companies for future acquisition.

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Equipping the Team for Optimizing Performance | Jon Hoek

About the Guest

Jon Hoek grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL, and was inspired to Agriculture by his Grandpa.  He graduated with a degree in Agricultural Production Management in 1986.  From 1987 to 1997 he owned and operated a 550-sow farrow to finish swine operation. Jon finished a 20-year career with Belstra Milling in 2017 to start a technology company focusing on precision livestock farming and human capital.  Jon has presented both internationally and domestically on the topic of pig production, systems management, and barn culture.  Jon and his wife Laureen have four children and two grandchildren and reside in Wheatfield, IN. 

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The Modern Family Farm | Dave DeVries

About the Guest

Dave DeVries is a third-generation farmer from Drayton, Ontario, Canada. With his wife Lauren, they operate Zeldenrust Farms Ltd.,  a farrow to finish hog farm, producing hogs for the Raised Without Antibiotics market. Dave and Lauren have been blessed with four boys ages 6 years, 4 years, and 8-month-old twins. It has been a joy to watch the boys take a keen interest in agriculture from a young age.

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