Student Spotlight: Julia Holen

Julia HolenName:  Julia Holen

Hometown:  Fergus Falls, MN

Degree Pursuing:  Animal Science, M.S.

Advisor:  Dr. Lee J. Johnston

Research Focus:  Swine Nutrition

Why did you choose your current field of study?

I grew up on a small farm with a variety of livestock, and quickly gained interest in swine production. As an undergrad, I became even more interested through my three internships specific to swine nutrition. I feel that this area of study is one that provides many opportunities for me to positively impact the swine industry.

Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?

I have really enjoyed my last three years as an undergrad at the U of MN. During that time, I was able to work with the swine nutrition department on various projects. The advisors and students were always very welcoming and eager to assist me with any questions or concerns.

In what ways has your involvement at the West Central Research and Outreach Center enhanced your educational experience?

Many aspects of the WCROC have enhanced my educational experience, most specifically the diversity the center maintains. I feel that my involvement has allowed me to become well-rounded in numerous areas such as experience with all stages of swine production, adaptability to alternative housing facilities, and practice with proper management techniques.

What has been a highlight during your time at the WCROC?

Living in the same house as the other WCROC interns and graduate students over two summers was a great experience. Not only was I able to learn about swine, but I also learned a great deal from the dairy and horticulture students that I would not have been able to otherwise. 

What are your future plans?

I am beginning my first semester of graduate school this upcoming month at the U of MN. Although I do not know where it will take me, I hope that the next few years will lead me to a career that emphasizes sustainable swine production and quality pork products.