Poultry nutritionist joins Arkansas poultry science faculty

Benjamin Parsons joined the faculty in January
calendar icon 19 March 2024
clock icon 3 minute read

Poultry science nutritionist Benjamin Parsons plans to bring his passion to the poultry science department and Center of Excellence for Poultry Science through research, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas.

Parsons joined the University of Arkansas System's Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and the poultry science department as an assistant professor in January. In his new role, Parsons carries out research through the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Parsons will also teach through the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The Division of Agriculture, with the Bumpers College, provide the traditional land-grant triad of teaching, outreach and research.

"We are very excited to have Ben join the department as a tenure-track assistant professor working in the research focus area of poultry nutrition," said David Caldwell, poultry science department head and director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. "Our department has made very impactful advances in this field, and we are thrilled to have Ben join us and develop a program that I am certain will be of tremendous value to our industry stakeholders."

Parsons' research program will focus on the evaluation of nutrient availability in feedstuffs by determining its digestibility, retention and bioavailability. Bioavailability is the amount of a nutrient that is absorbed in the intestine, transported and used for metabolic functions within the body. He also plans to investigate the ability of feed additives to improve nutrient digestibility and study the effect of dietary components on intestinal secretions and nutrient losses. Parsons said that poultry nutrition research is vital for producers to be able to address industry challenges.

"This research is important for improving the precision by which we feed poultry, to ensure that their nutrient requirements are met and that optimal performance is achieved, while also minimizing the amount of inputs needed per unit of product produced," Parsons said. "I also want to identify ways in which we can improve the quality of feedstuffs that we need for poultry and increase the availability of nutrients within the diet, while also minimizing wastage of nutrients."

Parsons received a PhD in poultry science from the University of Arkansas. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"I'm excited and honored to join the department as a faculty member and do my part to ensure the success of our students and the poultry industry as a whole," Parsons said. "We have a truly great group of faculty, staff and students, as well as a rich history."

Caldwell noted that Parsons will also assume responsibility for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in poultry nutrition that are fundamental to the department's academic program.

"Ben's background and training make him a perfect fit for this position, and we couldn't be happier about having him join our faculty," Caldwell said.

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