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Podcast: Balancing good pig science with practicality

The 17th episode of the Real P3 podcast continues discussions with swine nutrition experts to hear their thoughts on the research presented at the annual Midwest American Society of Animal Science meeting in Omaha, USA. This edition discusses a slightly different approach to research and how it applies to pig producers.

The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals from around the world are interviewed about challenges and solutions in their day-to-day work. This episode is a continuation of the previous podcast with Dr Caroline Gonzalez-Vega of Evonik. Dr Casey Bradley speaks to Dr Jim Smith who resides in Indiana, USA. Having been in the industry since 1998, Dr Smith currently serves as a liaison between the research marketing and product development and the dealers and customers as a senior technical swine nutritionist with Kent Nutrition Group, which is located in headquartered in Iowa, USA.

Highlights of the Midwest ASAS meeting

His highlights from the Midwest ASAS meeting were the Gary Allee Symposium: Science in Practice, which reviewed the last 50 years, as well as the statistical symposium and discussions around the microbiome. He discusses points from each in this podcast.

He noted that the statistical symposium raised many good questions and brought to light a challenge Dr Smith is facing regarding statistics vs practicality. “We would gladly implement technology to a customer that would work half the time and know that we were going to get a specific or an expected return.”

He added, however, that if we were to put that to an academic situation and test it, it is going to fail because it does not pass the p-value of 0.05. “I’m always trying to balance the good statistical science with the practicality,” he said, noting he always asks if is practical.

It is a tough place to be in, he said, because on the one hand “we are taught to be scientists and the statistics say one thing, but on the other we know what it would do in the field.”

Earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast

In the previous weeks, Pig Progress published earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series: