North America

Alltech Dairy School: Invest Today for Profitability Tomorrow

Tom Lorenzen, Alltech On-farm Specialist, encouraged dairy producers to take a Sherlock Holmes investigative approach to herd health and environment during his presentation at Alltech’s 11th Annual Dairy School at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

[GREEN BAY, Wis.] – More than 250 farmers, nutritionists and industry professionals descended upon Lambeau Field recently, ready to accept the challenge, “Are you in it to win it?” and discuss innovations and investments every dairy should consider for a fruitful future.

While volatile milk prices and increased feed costs have caused many dairy producers to re-examine their playbooks and develop a new defense strategy, the 11th annual Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School, held Thursday, Nov. 13 in Green Bay, urged producers to consider working on their offense instead this year.

A pre-conference breakfast kicked off the event with Jake Peissig, JTP Farms, and Ray Diederich, Diederich Farms, each giving a virtual tour of their farms and sharing their experiences transitioning from labor to robotics in their presentation, “Robotic milkers: Are they the future?”

The main reasons JTP Farms changed to a robotic system were labor and herd health issues. Since the farm added the technology, the herd has had virtually no feet or leg issues, cell count has improved and cull rate decreased to 6 percent the first year. The two-and-a-half full time employees were also able to spend more time focusing on young stock and lactating cows and additional time in the field during planting and harvesting.

“You need to do your research. Don’t over think it. The more cows you have, the harder it gets,” Peissig said. “What are your goals? Tap all your resources and make sure you are dairying for the right reason.”

Jack Rodenburg, DairyLogix Canada, opened the main conference asking, “Do robotics have a place on your dairy?” Rodenburg foresees robotics greatly impacting the future of dairy production in the United States, as the technology can reduce labor and management time, improve productivity and lower costs, revitalize the family farm and offer a sustainable alternative to “bigger is always better.”

“In the future, we will be looking to robotics to reduce labor, improve productivity and narrow the gap between mega farms and 300-cow family run dairies,” Rodenburg said.

Robotics were not the only investment discussed at the Dairy School. Brad Rortvedt, territory sales manager for Alltech, brought up several key assets within dairy production during his presentation, “Game changers: Where to see the greatest return within your dairy.” Rortvedt encouraged producers to invest in technologies that drive peak milk performance, provide more consistent and higher quality forages and strengthen pre/post-fresh nutrition programs to increase milk production.

“Peak milk is the most efficient investment and will give you the highest ROI,” Rortvedt said. “By using all the tools available, we can measure success beyond the bulk tank milk.”

Nick Adams, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team, reminded the audience of another tool available that dairy producers should especially consider this harvest season. Alltech’s 37+TM Mycotoxin Analysis Program, using an improved liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method, analyzes for multiple mycotoxin contamination in a given feed sample. The program provides a risk assessment and calculates the risk equivalent quantity (risk factor multiplied by the quantity of mycotoxin) for that particular feedstuff sample. The mycotoxin management team then provides a complete contamination report and recommendations for management and nutritional applications that can assist with mycotoxin prevention and control.  

“Mycotoxin risk changes each year and throughout the feeding season,” Adams said. “Producers need to keep in mind the risk from mycotoxins is a moving target and what you feed today is not necessarily what you will feed tomorrow.”

The Dairy School’s keynote speaker, former Green Bay Packer running back Ahman Green, concluded the event with his presentation “Are you in it to win it like the Packers?” Green, an all-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers and a member of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame, discussed the importance of having a positive attitude, a solid integrity and a strong family support network.

Held each November in Green Bay, Alltech’s Dairy School is a long-standing tradition within the Wisconsin dairy community. More than 2,000 dairy industry professionals have attended the School since it first started in 2003.

Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. to Quadruple Capacity as Demand Grows

Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is expanding its capacity in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The brewery’s operations at its Angliana Avenue facility in Lexington will expand next year with the addition of a large 100,000- barrel Krones-Steinecker Combi-Cube B brewhouse from Germany, similar to the one shown here. Photo Credit: Krones AG

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – As demand for its beers and spirits grows across the United States as well as abroad, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is expanding its capacity and upgrading its facilities in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Its capacity will increase to 140,000 barrels thanks to two new brewhouses that will be installed by the end of 2015. The brewery’s operations at its Angliana Avenue facility, which currently contains cold storage for thousands of aging barrels of its flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale®, will expand with the addition of a large 100,000- barrel Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany.

The original brewery structure at Cross Street will undergo a facelift that will allow visitors and anyone passing by to view brewing operations through two of the structure’s walls, which will be made of glass. The glass will display another exciting addition – that of another new, custom-made Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany, unique in that it can also produce whiskey mashes. Capacity of this smaller brewhouse will be 35,000 barrels of beer and whiskey for fermentation. The equipment will significantly increase the beer and spirits production capacity of the Lexington brewery and distillery – one of only a handful of combined operations in the United States.  

Construction and installation of the equipment will be completed in approximately one year. The increased capacity of the new system will be integral to increasing both brewing and distilling capacity for the company, which continues to expand globally, with distribution now in France, and soon to hit England, Spain and Japan. Currently, distribution exists in 25 states and five countries. Six salespeople across the United States were recently hired to keep up with new territories.

“It’s every brewer’s dream to have the problem of not being able to make enough beer to meet demand,” said Mark Phipps, technical director for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “That’s been the situation we’ve been facing in recent years, so it will be like waking up on Christmas morning once these new brewhouses are installed. Not only will the change be functional, but with the brewery updates, the whole facility is really going to be a great brewing and distilling showcase.”

Brewing and distilling will continue during construction, which has already begun. Along with the addition of glass walls on two sides of the structure, the brewery roof will be raised, and Kentucky fieldstone will be utilized for connector walls. The brewery and distillery buildings are part of the company’s unique campus that also houses a visitor center and is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience. By utilizing similar building materials as the distillery structure, the brewery updates will create a more unified campus aesthetic, said Deirdre Lyons, co-founder and director of corporate image and design at Alltech.

 “With our Town Branch Distillery, we chose to utilize glass to showcase the beautiful copper pot stills, which are really breathtaking to see from both an interior and exterior view,” Lyons said. “So we also wanted to show off the beauty of the new brew kettles through glass walls to our visitors from afar and to Lexington residents, since brewing is of course one of the processes at the heart of what we do.”

Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale Seasonal Brew Debuts; Local Honey and Hops Used

Four-packs of Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company will soon hit shelves across the country. The new limited edition winter seasonal from the brewery is a bourbon barrel-aged brown ale brewed with ginger and Kentucky honey. Both the honey and hops are from Kentucky producers.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Honey tastes better when it’s local, and even better still when it’s in a craft beer. Central Kentucky farmers are helping make the first winter seasonal brew produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. truly a practice in some of Kentucky’s greatest strengths – agriculture, bourbon and, increasingly, beer.

Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for six weeks, picking up the caramel and vanilla flavors of the barrel, as well as the sweetness of honey from Central Kentucky’s Hosey Honey, a Kentucky Proud product. That sweetness is balanced by the spiciness of ginger and bittnerness of hops from Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm in Clark County, a founding member of the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance. The brew comes in at 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). The beer is the first winter seasonal produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. in its barrel-aged seasonal series launched last year.

“Alltech is an agricultural company at its core, so we’re always excited to work with farmers on the beer side as well when we can,” said Ken Lee, master brewer for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “This winter seasonal is something we are really proud of not only for the local sourcing aspect, but also because it is just a really good beer. The ginger and honey are a perfect combination, particularly as the weather starts to cool down and people are looking to enjoy something to warm them up.”

Farmers and other Kentuckians benefit from these partnerships, said Kentucky’s Commissioner for Agriculture James Comer.

“This is what Kentucky Proud is all about – helping Kentucky producers work together to create exciting new products,” Comer said. “Kentucky consumers can feel good about enjoying products that help Kentucky farmers make a living. Congratulations to our Kentucky Proud friends at Alltech, Hosey Farms and Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm on this great new product.”

Kentucky Proud is the official state brand for farm products that are grown, raised or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians. More than 3,000 farms, businesses, restaurants, processors, school districts, colleges and universities, farmers’ markets, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Markets are members of Kentucky Proud.

This is the first time Hosey Honey has been used in a local craft brew, and nearly 1,700 pounds of the sweet nectar were required to make Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale. Craft beer fans can find out more about beekeeper Richard Hosey and the new brew through this short video.

 Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company’s barrel-aged seasonal program allows the brewery to step outside of its year-round offerings and further its reputation as one of the largest barrel-aging operations in the country. The brewery regularly ages 3,000 to 5,000 barrels at a time, and handles up to 1,000 barrels per week. The brews in the seasonal series are finished using the same process as Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale® and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout®, two beers in the brewery’s year-round lineup, which are both aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for six weeks.

Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale will be available in limited quantities in most of the territories nationwide where the company’s beer is distributed. It will be sold on draft and in 4-packs of bottles, and specialty snifters will be available at various on-premise locations. The suggested retail price for the 4-pack is $14.99.  The new seasonal will also be available for visitors to sample on tours at the beer tasting room at the Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. brewery. The brewery is at the same site as the Town Branch Distillery, which is a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and located at 401 Cross Street in Lexington.

Walking the Fields: What is the 2014 Crop Bringing in Addition to High Yields?

Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team, reported the latest crop results from Alltech’s 37+™ analysis during the company’s annual webinar, ‘Walking the Fields.’

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] –While experts are forecasting a record-plus year for yields, an abundant harvest does not always indicate a problem-free crop to feed to livestock. Preliminary data conducted by Alltech’s 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Program is now showing there might be more than meets the eye in the fields.

Late season rains have slowed harvest across the Midwest. As of Oct. 27, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the corn harvest at 46 percent, a 15 percent increase from last week, but 19 percent behind the five-year average. Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74 percent “good” or “excellent” condition, 19 percent was considered “fair” and only 7 percent was considered “poor”.

While these initial condition ratings look favorable, experts warn that seasonal conditions still might have taken a toll on the crop and left behind some masked mycotoxins.

“Cool, wet weather can be a precursor for mold growth and can lead to possible mycotoxin issues,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “Fusarium graminareum can produce a variety of mycotoxins and prefers high moisture and temperatures from 59 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This year’s growing season was cool and wet and the harvest season has also been delayed by wet weather.”

An early indication of the Fusarium issue was found in the wheat crop, where high levels of Deoxynivalenol (DON) were found east of the Mississippi River, Dakotas and into Canada. DON levels in these regions ranged from 1,000 ppb to 15,000 ppb. According to Hawkins, this places wheat at a potential high risk for livestock feed, and extreme caution should be used when feeding straw to ruminants.

Corn silage samples have also indicated there might be challenges in the 2014 crop.

“The 2014 corn season started off slow due to wet planting conditions and cool soil temperatures. As a result, while some corn was planted in April, most was done in early to mid-May and in some cases like northern Iowa, planting extended into June,” said Heath Paradice, technical manager for Alltech Crop Science. “The late planted crops are doing better than expected due to a late fall, but that corn is coming in at a higher moisture content.”

 The first 35 corn silage samples analyzed at the recently ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited Analytical Services Laboratory of Alltech using Alltech’s 37+ analysis contained an average of 6.83 mycotoxins per sample. Further analysis showed that Type B Trichothecenes, DON and other DON group mycotoxins had an average/sample of 2,087 ppb. Fusaric Acid, which can act synergistically with DON, had an average/sample of 1,322 ppb.

“Combined, these mycotoxins can have a significant impact on dry matter intake, milk production, growth rate, feed efficiency, gut health, organ function and immune response,” Hawkins said.

With an average/sample level of 126.7 ppb, Zearalenone is showing levels higher than in the past two years. Other Penicilliums, which can impact gut health and rumen function, are typically referred to as “storage mycotoxins” as they require little oxygen and can flourish rapidly in stored forages. Hawkins said this year’s crop has had some relatively high Penicillium levels already at harvest.

Corn that is stressed and damaged by weather events and insects is more susceptible to mycotoxins. While walking fields and looking for signs of molds, ear rot and stalk rot can be indicators for mycotoxins, there can be toxins present with no visible mold. Hawkins recommends having samples analyzed for mycotoxins.

“The outlook for corn grain is concerning as the crop has been subjected to a later harvest with increased rain while still in the field,” Hawkins said. “The crop may be harvested at higher moisture levels, which can put added pressure on drying and storage environment to ensure grain at 15 percent moisture or less for long term storage. An analysis such as Alltech’s 37+ can provide a more in-depth picture of the mycotoxins present and how they may impact livestock health and performance.”

Alltech Wisconsin Announces 2014 Dairy School Starting Lineup

[JUNEAU, Wis.] – Volatile milk prices alongside increased feed costs have caused many dairy producers to re-examine their playbooks and develop a new defense strategy, but the Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School is urging them to consider working on offense instead this year, asking “Are you in it to win it?”

A day dedicated to farmers, nutritionists and industry professionals to learn from experts on the latest innovations, practical concepts, marketing trends and management tools used in today’s dairy industry, the 11th annual Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School will be held Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

A pre-conference breakfast will kick off the event from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Jake Peissig, JTP Farms, and Ray Deidrich, Deidrich Farms, will give a virtual tour of their farms and share their experiences transitioning from labor to robotics in their presentation, “Robotic milkers: Are they the future?”

The main conference will follow at 10 a.m. and will feature several current dairy industry topics:

  • “Do robotics have a place on your dairy?” Jack Rodenbury, DairyLogix Canada
  • “Don’t let mycotoxins intercept your profits!” Nick Adams, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team
  • “Creating a winning environment: Does your team have what it takes?” Tom Lorenzen, Alltech On-Farm Specialist
  • “Game changers: Where to see the greatest return within your dairy” Brad Rortvedt, Alltech Territory Sales Manager

This year’s featured guest speaker will be former Green Bay Packer running back Ahman Green, an all-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers and a member of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. Green will present, “Are you in it to win it like the Packers?”

For more information or to register for this free event, please contact the Alltech Wisconsin office at (920) 386-9651 or

Alltech Appoints Aidan Connolly as Chief Innovation Officer

Aidan Connolly has been named Alltech’s Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for the commercialization of Alltech’s research. He will be based at Alltech’s corporate headquarters near Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Global animal health and nutrition leader Alltech has appointed vice president Aidan Connolly as Chief Innovation Officer, connected to the company’s global research department. Working closely with Dr. Karl Dawson, vice president and Chief Scientific Officer, Connolly will be involved with Alltech’s innovation pipeline and lead the commercialization of the company’s research programs.

In his new role, Connolly will put together a team within the company’s research department that will primarily focus on developing innovative, nutrition-based technologies. Their new product development will capitalize on the insights gained through the company’s considerable investment in nutrigenomics, the science of how diet affects gene expression.  

“Giving a rapid and effective response, backed up by cutting-edge scientific research, to the market’s changing needs, has always been one of Alltech’s biggest strengths. It is all about how these technologies are implemented to the market,” said Connolly.

Connolly brings a strong commercial background to Alltech’s research team. He graduated from University College Dublin with a master’s degree in international marketing. He has been with Alltech for nearly 25 years, initially in Ireland, and then in France, Brazil and the United States. From 2002 until 2008, Connolly held the position of vice president of Europe and was most recently based in Washington, D.C., as vice president of corporate accounts.

Today, Connolly is an adjunct professor of marketing at University College Dublin and a professor of agribusiness at the China Agricultural University in Beijing. He is also an executive board member of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation, and a former board member of the European Union Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures (FEFANA).

“As Alltech is moving forward to become a $4 billion company in the next 4-5 years, it is crucial that the company’s research and technical teams work hand-in-hand with sales and marketing. With Aidan joining our group, we will be even more strongly placed to support the industry with science-based nutritional solutions,” said Dr. Karl Dawson, vice president, Chief Scientific Officer at Alltech.

Based at Alltech’s Center for Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition at Alltech’s corporate headquarters near Lexington, Kentucky, Connolly will also maintain his current responsibilities as vice president, corporate accounts at Alltech. Connolly is well-known as the architect of Alltech’s annual global feed survey, which assesses global feed tonnage in more than 130 countries.

A Pink Pour: Special Edition Town Branch® Bourbon Supports Kentucky CancerLink; Winning Brew-off Ale Also Hits Market

A new limited edition pink label Town Branch® Bourbon just hit the local market from Town Branch Distillery and will raise money for Kentucky CancerLink to provide support to those diagnosed with breast cancer as well as their families. The special bottles will only be available in select locations throughout Kentucky for a limited time during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. Five dollars from each bottle sold will be donated to statewide nonprofit Kentucky CancerLink.
[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – It’s bourbon, it’s packaged in pink, and buying it will help those affected by breast cancer in Kentucky. A new limited edition pink label Town Branch® Bourbon just hit the local market and will raise money to provide support to those diagnosed with breast cancer as well as their families. The special bottles will only be available in select locations throughout Kentucky for a limited time during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
Five dollars from each bottle sold will be donated to the statewide nonprofit Kentucky CancerLink from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. and distributor Kentucky Eagle. Kentucky CancerLink, formerly known as Kentucky Pink Connection, provides transportation, mastectomy and lymphedema supplies, wigs, childcare assistance, and more to clients in need, with the goal of reducing or eliminating barriers to screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
“We wanted to do something to help, as breast cancer is so prevalent. Stop anyone on the street and they will know someone affected by this disease,” said Hal Gervis, global sales director for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.“This is one small way in which we can raise awareness through the pink label and also provide support to those in our local community who need the help during a difficult time.”
Joining the pink label Town Branch® Bourbon is a new, limited-edition brew from the company – a light-bodied, chocolatey ale that won the 8th Annual Kentucky Ale Brew-off. The beer has been dubbed Pikeville Porter as a nod to the upcoming sister brewery and distillery Alltech is building in downtown Pikeville and will soon be available statewide on tap only while supplies last. A collectible mason jar with the logo of the limited edition brew will be used during some pint night and “keep the glass” promotions at on-premise locations. Follow the Kentucky Ale Facebook page for more details. 
The recipe was created by husband and wife duo Chad and Mary Shive of Lexington, who have been brewing beer together “just for fun” in their garage since 2008. This was the first time one of the Shives’ concoctions has taken home a first place cup, though others have won in their respective categories at various homebrew competitions across the Bluegrass.
“Kentucky craft beer fans look forward to the limited edition Kentucky Ale Brew-off release every year,” said Ken Lee, master brewer for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. who is also charged with scaling up the homebrewers’ recipe at the brewery.  “It’s something novel, something kind of fun, and the best part is that it helps support the local homebrewing community.”
Recent winning entries of the Kentucky Ale Brew-Off include last year’s Black Mountain India Pale Ale, Hopfield and McCoy Imperial India Pale Ale, Kentucky Appalachian Ale, and Kentucky Coal Porter. The 9th annual Kentucky Ale Brew-Off will take place in May 2015.

Alltech’s 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Earns 2014 Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award

From the left, Dave Natzke, editor of Dairy Herd Management, presents the Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award to Dan Weiland, regional sales manager for Alltech Wisconsin, at the publication’s reception during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

[MADISON, Wis.] – The results are in. When it comes to mycotoxin analysis, dairy farmers want the most comprehensive evaluation possible in order to safeguard their operations. Alltech’s 37+TM Mycotoxin Analysis Program was one of 10 recipients selected for the 2014 Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award.

The fourth annual Dairy Herd Management Innovation Awards were presented Sept. 30 at the Sheraton Hotel during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, recognizing game-changers for the dairy industry in the areas of efficiency, functionality and technology. 

“There is no analytical method, risk assessment and on-site audit service similar to the 37+ program. By analyzing for more than 37 different mycotoxins at ppb and ppt levels, one is able to see the entire contamination profile and prepare for the cumulative and synergistic impact of multiple low level mycotoxins over time,” said Nick Adams, global sales director for the Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team. “The 37+ program’s feed analysis and risk assessment is coupled with an on-site audit evaluating feed storage, and operational logistics based on HAACP principles. The herd manager has access to a powerful tool to deal proactively rather than reactively with optimizing the health and productivity of the operation.”

Entries for the award were evaluated by Dairy Herd Management's panel of dairy farmers, agribusiness representatives and university experts and were judged on their originality within the marketplace, usefulness and value to dairy farmers.

The 37+ program, using an improved liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method analyzes for multiple mycotoxin contamination in a given feed sample. The program provides a risk assessment and calculates the risk equivalent quantity (risk factor multiplied by the quantity of mycotoxin) for that particular feedstuff sample. The mycotoxin management team then provides a complete contamination report and recommendations for management and nutritional applications that can assist with mycotoxin prevention and control.  

Alltech, a leader in animal health and performance, had previously earned a one-star innovation award for its Mycotoxin Management Program from INNOV’SPACE in France, a distinction program that awards new product and service innovations in agriculture. Alltech’s complete 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Program was officially launched to farmers in North America in November 2013 with the company’s first North American Harvest Analysis Survey.

‘Beer Masters’: Alltech Celebrates 16th Master’s Grad in Yeast Fermentation Technology

Jon Brown is the 16th Alltech employee to receive an advanced formal degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. Brown is an applications research specialist at Alltech and works specifically on optimizing solid state fermentation (SSF) production and researching new SSF microorganisms and substrates.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Specializing in brewing and distilling may sound like the wishful thinking of many a university student, but it is indeed a formal degree, and leading biotechnology company Alltech considers master’s graduates from the program to be essential to its core business and new product development. For this reason, the company is proud to congratulate its 16th employee to receive a master’s degree in brewing and distilling from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University, known for producing some of the foremost brewing and yeast fermentation experts in the world.

According to Becky Timmons, global director of applications research and quality assurance for Alltech, Heriot-Watt’s course is the most helpful and practical advanced education for employees given Alltech’s focus on yeast fermentation technologies. Employees who have participated in the program include researchers, quality specialists and senior salespeople.

“A brewing and distilling master’s program is not just about drinking beer and making whiskey,” said Timmons. “Yeast fermentation is fundamental to our core business in animal health and nutrition. To understand our products and what they do, this is the best course you can take.”

Alltech works with universities globally to collaborate on research, create further educational opportunities for its employees and provide work experiences to the universities’ current students. To date, the company has inked 20 formal research alliances with universities in all corners of the world.

Although Alltech does not currently have a formal research alliance with Heriot-Watt, it does have a long-standing relationship. Since 2000, 16 Alltech employees have obtained a master’s degree in brewing and distilling from the Scottish university.

Although employees are required to pay 20 percent of the program tuition initially as a representation of their personal commitment, Alltech covers the entire tuition for employees upon their graduation. Heriot-Watt’s program involves nine modules, which may be taken independently, an on-site summer practicum and a thesis. Most employees complete their degree within four years.

The growing wealth of expertise is exciting to Timmons and Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.

“These graduates will be the pioneers of our new product development,” said Dr. Lyons. “They also represent the specialized yeast fermentation technology expertise that we’ll be bringing to our new Alltech Brewing & Distilling Academy in Lexington, Ky., USA.”

The Heriot-Watt graduates to date, including Dr. Mark Lyons and Timmons herself, have assumed integral roles in the company in the areas of regional management, quality, engineering, research, product development and regulatory affairs. Their expertise has been applied to a variety of Alltech’s global initiatives ranging from algae and animal nutrition product development to the company’s growing international beverage division, which produces the Kentucky Ale® family of beers, as well as Town Branch® bourbon and other spirits.

In addition to the 16 graduates, there are six employees in the program currently as well as a number of other employees who will be commencing their studies soon.

Heriot-Watt has an illustrious history, with faculty members having included Anna McCloud, often considered to be one of the founders of modern brewing science; David Manners, one of the finest starch researchers in the world; George Bathgate and Geoff Palmer with numerous publications in the areas of malts and barleys; Graham Stewart, a leader in the development of  high gravity brewing and the 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Service in Brewing and Distilling award from Alltech; and Inge Russell, a renowned yeast expert, the editor of the Journal of the Institute of Brewing and scientific advisor to the Alltech Young Scientist Competition. The school is recognized globally for its specialty program in brewing, distilling and yeast fermentation technology.

Mineral Requirements to Be Reevaluated at Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference

[INDIANAPOLIS] – Is there a shift coming in pig mineral nutrition? According to one swine nutrition expert, change is inevitable – and overdue.

“Trace minerals are often supplemented into swine diets at levels above recommendations in the belief that this will enhance productive performance,” said Dr. Don Mahan, professor emeritus at Ohio State University. “This method can negatively affect not only the animals, but also the consumer and environment, as a greater level of trace mineral supplementation into diets can result in the additional excretion of minerals and more mineral waste flowing into the environment.”

The National Research Council (NRC) routinely publishes a review of the nutritional requirements for swine based on the available scientific literature; however, Mahan said that the relevance of most of the published literature is questionable, particularly in the mineral area.

Mahan will present some of his recent studies on addressing proper mineral nutrition at the Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sept. 4. The paper, “A New Approach in Determining the Micro Mineral Needs of the Growing Pig,” highlights how the current NRC recommendations for micromineral supplementation are well above the pig’s requirement. One conclusion from his studies is that when mineral levels at or above 50 percent of the NRC (1998, 2012) requirements were fed, there was no effect on pig performance.

Mahan’s paper also indicates that organic trace mineral digestibility values averaged 20 percent greater than the digestibility of inorganic trace minerals. Mahan said that it is important to not only look at the mineral levels that are being fed to pigs, but also the source of the minerals. Organic trace minerals offer a form of supplementation that can be more naturally absorbed, stored and utilized by the animal.

Though there has been limited new research carried out in the area of trace mineral nutrition recommendations, Alltech has remained steadfast in the investigation of the nutritional benefits and appropriate levels of organic trace minerals for animals and their effects on the consumer and environment. To that end, Alltech has partnered with scientific experts, such as Mahan, in the investigation of trace mineral technology.

“As an industry, our focus, now more than ever, needs to be on efficiency. With proven methods for attaining improved productivity with less input, we need to further examine utilizing these technologies,” said Dr. Ryan Samuel, research project manager at Alltech. “In fact, current recommendations for mineral nutrition may be adding to the inefficiency and waste coming from our pigs’ diets.”

Alltech is proud to once again be a sponsor of the Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference held annually since 2000.