Danbred North America announces the addition of Caitlyn Abell to its team. Abell completed her doctorate degree with co-majors in animal breeding and genetics and statistics from Iowa State University in July, where she participated in numerous swine research projects, including estimating the total costs associated with incorporating genomic selection into a swine breeding program. In this newly created position, Abell will bring that knowledge and experience to Danbred North America, where she will serve as a research geneticist.
“Caitlyn brings significant modeling and statistical analysis skills to our genetics team, which will benefit Danbred North America’s customers as we continue to develop products that meet the needs of a more complex and competitive industry,” says Tom Rathje chief technical officer for Danbred North America. “She will work directly with customers to ensure they capture the greatest possible genetic potential out of their multiplication and breeding programs.”
With a focus on performance at the commercial production level, Abell will develop and implement genetic improvement programs for the Danbred North America nucleus herd. Among her responsibilities, Abell will manage the company’s vast data sets, monitor selection programs and genetic progress, and apply the cutting-edge technology of genomic selection to speed progress in the nucleus lines. Her research expertise will be utilized by designing trials and working with pork industry partners to advance the capture of genetic progress across multiplication and commercial herds.
Originally from Kentucky, Abell received her undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University in 2009 and then joined the prestigious research program at Iowa State University where she conducted research in sow longevity, productivity and genetic improvement. In 2011, the National Swine Improvement Federation awarded Abell the Lauren L. Christian Memorial Graduate Student Award for her research on the genetic parameters associated with litters per sow per year and its relationship with other economically important traits.
“This is an exciting time in swine genetics,” Abell says. “I am looking forward to working with Danbred North America’s customers and helping them maximize their productivity and profitability through genetic improvement.”