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Brian J Kerr

Research Animal Scientist

I grew up on a cash grain/swine farm in west-central Illinois. I obtained my B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign in 1988 under the direction of Robert Easter with a thesis project on understanding the use of crystalline amino acids in swine diets. From 1988 to 1990 I worked for a regional feed company in Minneapolis MN (International Multifoods/Supersweet Feeds) as a poultry and swine service and feed formulations manager where I formulated feeds, developed feeding programs, and trained the sales force on key nutritional advantages of each feeding program. From 1990 to 2000 I worked for a Japanese producer of crystalline amino acids located in Chesterfield, MO (Nutri-Quest, Inc.) as their research manager where I funded and conducted research projects to understand amino acid nutrition in poultry and swine, published company technical reviews on amino acid nutrition, and traveled extensively in North America and Europe speaking to scientists (university, industry, and livestock producers) concerning amino acid nutrition and use of crystalline amino acids in non-ruminant species. In 2001 I joined the ARS as the Research Leader of the Swine Odor and Manure Management Research Unit (8 years), Lead Scientist (12 years), and acting Research Leader of the Agroecosystems Management Research Unit (2 years). I conduct research to improve the utilization of nutrients (largely carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur) in non-ruminants in an effort to reduce the loss of these nutrients into the environment, including odor and gas emissions. In addition, I evaluate of biofuel co-products (corn co-products and crude glycerin), enzymes (carbohydrases and phytases), animal protein by-product meals (energy and amino acid digestibility), and lipids (source and quality factors) as feedstuffs for use in feed formulations in an effort to improve nutrient utilization efficiency and reduce feed costs for lean tissue deposition. In spare time my wife and I enjoy our morning coffee or evening drink on our deck, travel to our cabin in Upper Peninsula MI, take sporadic vacations, and visit family and friends.