A boyhood on the farm
I’ve worked with pigs ever since I was a boy, but I never planned to become a professor! My career has evolved step by step, as I have progressed from one opportunity to the next. I grew up on a livestock farm in my native Denmark, and my first duty of the day was always to feed the pigs or milk the cows. The family farm was at the heart of everything I did, and thoughts of education took second place in those early years.
As a young man, I had every intention of becoming a farmer like my father. During my initial training, however, I became so interested in animal nutrition that I decided to study it before returning to farming. I studied Animal Science at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark, then took a job with a feed company, and after that completed a Ph.D. in Non-Ruminant Nutrition at the University of Illinois.
I could easily have spent my life working with cows rather than pigs, actually, but the head of pig feed at my first employer resigned, and I was asked to take on his role! So I’ve focused on pig nutrition ever since.