Did Someone Say Glowing Pigs?

WOAH! Today was a lot to take in. We went to two different facilities today. The first one we went to was Purina Animal Nutrition Center and then University of Missouri.

The Purina Animal Nutrition Center was really big (like 1,188 acres big). Oh and I learned that the Purina Animal Nutrition Center is different than the Purina dog food which is owned by Nestle. The Purina Animal Nutrition Center is owned by Land O’Lakes. I always use their butter when baking. The two Purinas were one company at one point but they separated 30 years ago. Purina Nutrition is known for their checkerboard logo. It all started with the “Brown Family”. The Brown Family always wore checkerboard everything so they wouldn’t get lost from each other and can always find each other easily. Well the owner of Purina back then thought that was a good idea for there logo because it would stand out and everyone would know who and what they were buying and buying it from. He was right! Known everyone knows who or what company they are buying from with the checkerboard logo on it.

The Purina Animal Nutrition Center is where they do nutritional studies and research for horses, beef cattle, pigs, dairy cows and companion animals (not dogs and cats). The nutrition center opened in 1926 and started out with 260 acres and now have close to 1,200 acres. They have done 24,000 different research studies and over 110 patents. They create 6-8 patents a year (That is amazing!). They have 3,000 animals at their nutrition center. We quite a few of them. We visited their equine unit, cattle unit, dairy unit, and companion unit. They were all very interesting. I do not have any picture have Purina because they did not allow us to take any (I was a little sad). At their dairy unit they milked 263 cows and 53 were dry. In their dairy unit they have 36 different diets and 9 research studies going on. I think that is really interesting. Some fun facts I learned at the horse unit are: horses lungs have a surface area of 7 tennis courts (WOW. I was shocked as well)! Their resting heart rate is 24-40 beats a minute and their maximum heart rate is 240 beats a minute as for humans resting heart rate is 60-70 and maximum is 220 beats a minute. A horses heart is the size of a volleyball (that is HUGE!). On the nutrition center they also have a honeybee research for pollination. They have 200 hives with 15-20,000 in each hive! That is a lot of bees!

At University of Missouri we visited their animal science building and saw glow in the dark pigs! Yes I said glow in the dark pig and No I am not crazy or making it up. A couple teachers and students did some gene mixing and took a human diabetic gene and attached a florescent gene to it and put it in the pigs before they were born. So when they were born only a few of the pigs in the litter had the glow in the dark gene. Which is so awesome!!! We got to look at one pig with the gene and one without it. To do that they took up in to this room with the pigs side by side and turned off the light. My first thought was the whole pig was going to glow. It did not happen like that. When the light is off the only part of the pig that glows in the feet, nose and eyes. So we looked through black light goggles and the entire body lite up green!!!! That was the coolest thing I have ever seen! After we saw the pig we got to see all of there farms on campus. Which I liked a lot because we got to see all of animals. Again, I did not take pictures because we couldn’t take pictures of the glow in the dark pigs and then I forgot to take some of the animals.

After we were doing visiting all of University of Missouri’s ag facilities we got to explore there campus. There rec center was huge and amazing. It was the best rec center ever. I am pretty sure our tour guides were trying to convince all of us to transfer to their school it was that amazing. Of course I would never transfer because I really like OSU and secondly it is too far from home! Yes, mom I know you are reading this and thinking I am too much of a baby huey to go that far and I agree.

So far today has been my favorite day of the tour. Even though it is only like the second day of visiting and touring places. I learned so much and enjoyed every part of it all! I can not express enough how happy I am that I actually came on this trip and that Matt actually got it happen. I can’t wait for the rest of the week in the MidWest and visiting and learning so much more. Hope you all enjoy and are keeping up with my blog and our hashtag: #15MWAGTOUR



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