The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University has named a new interim director.
Agricultural engineer Jay Harmon is a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and an Extension livestock housing specialist at Iowa State. He brings expertise in pork production systems to the position, which promotes efficient pork production technologies in Iowa. His goal is to increase awareness of the center and support member organizations in promoting their services and knowledge.
The Iowa Pork Industry Center, established in 1994, is a coordinated effort of the ISU colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. Through the center, Iowa pig farmers receive accurate and timely information to aid in making their operations more efficient and profitable.
“Iowa State has great people, doing great work,” Harmon said. “My role is to increase visibility of the Iowa Pork Industry Center and encourage the continued cooperative work of the partner departments and organizations.”
Harmon works with farmers, on-farm construction businesses, veterinarians, appraisers and other agribusiness groups in his role with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. His main research and Extension programs involve ventilation training, for which he has developed a training trailer to be used with clients across the state, along with programs on energy conservation, building design to meet animal welfare concerns and air quality. He teaches animal production systems in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
He has a doctorate in agricultural engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Purdue University. He is a registered professional engineer.
Harmon succeeds Rodney “Butch” Baker, who served two years as IPIC interim director. Baker is senior clinician at ISU’s Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine.