USDA's Agricultural Research Service has honored three scientists that have made significant contributions to swine production and swine health research. Matias B. Vanotti with ARC's Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Converation Research Unit and Dante S. Zarlenga with ARC's Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. have been named 2019 Area Senior Research Scientists of the Year, while Jay S. Johnson with ARC's Livestock Behavior Research Unit, West Lafayette, Ind. has been honored as an Area Early Career Research Scientist.
Vanotti, based in Florence, S.C., was recognized for his outstanding technological advances in waste and wastewater management, including new phosphorus recovery methods and the use of anammox bacteria to remove nitrogen forms from septic systems and swine lagoons as well as help with water recycling aboard the International Space Station and future space exploration.
Representing the Northeast Area, Zarlenga was named one of the four 2019 Area Senior Research Scientists of the Year for his leadership in the diagnosis and control of helminth parasites that can affect the health and productivity of swine and cattle. He has pioneered studies on the molecular biology of Trichinella spiralis and other parasites that ushered in better detection methods, vaccine development and pasture management strategies to prevent grazing animals from infection.
ARS also honored area ARS researchers with the agency for seven years or less.
For the Midwest Area, Johnson was selected for his research excellence in the field of animal welfare and productivity, including his discovery of a promising new antibiotic alternative, investigations into the postnatal impact of in-utero heat stress in swine and for the evaluation and development of cooling pads for lactating sows vulnerable to heat stress, which costs the U.S. swine industry $900 million annually.
ARS is the USDA's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $20 of economic impact.