When it comes to livestock nutrition, not all feeds are created equal. No one knows this better than Kolapo Ajuwon, an animal sciences professor who studies how animals metabolize certain nutrients. Understanding this process assists farmers in optimizing feed programs as well as housing and other farming practices. Currently, Ajuwon’s research focuses on fat cultivation in hogs. This study centers on minimizing fat production in hogs, which can present large cost to farmers and can spell health problems for the animal. The methods Ajuwon utilizes to minimize fat deposits in hogs could, eventually, become applicable to other animals, even humans. It follows that his research could have major consequences for the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Ajuwon’s research is focused on producing animal protein using healthy and sustainable methods, an important concept as the global population becomes increasingly difficult to feed.
Raised in Nigeria, Ajuwon was exposed to smallholder farms and the myriad of challenges come along with small-scale farming. An exposure to farming meant his interest in agriculture was piqued early on and Ajuwon went on to pursue a Ph.D. in animal sciences at Purdue. Ultimately, what drives Ajuwon’s research is the belief that a comprehensive understanding of livestock at the biological and molecular level will lead to better farmers, better consumers and a more sustainable system for global food production.