Lee Whittington, president of Prairie Swine Center, announced the appointment of Helen Thoday as Manager of Contract Research Services.

"Recruiting talented people with knowledge of and a passion for the pig industry is the foundation for making progress at Prairie Swine Center. Helen has the right combination of technical training, practical pork production and business experience that will allow her to bring value to our research clients," Whittington said.

As manager, Thoday will be responsible for coordinating with industry partners to assist in their confidential research needs. She will be responsible for growing the emerging areas of contract research including product development and licensing new products, biomedical applications and unique ways to evaluate new products for pork businesses that reduce the risk to producers who want to be early adopters of new technologies.

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Since inception, Prairie Swine Center has served the needs of private corporations worldwide that wished to have their products and services evaluated under commercial-like conditions with rigorous scientific oversight. A non-profit research corporation, Prairie Swine Center is affiliated with Univeristy of Saskatchewan. Thoday will also be involved in technology transfer for specific research projects and developing the center's social media.

Thoday's previous roles include PIC UK and as a Knowledge Transfer Manager for British Pig Executive. After winning a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2010 she travelled to Thailand, China, Brazil, America and Europe looking at different systems and the global exportation of pork meat and how it affected the United Kingdom.

"One thing I took from the 18 month study was that anyone I asked never thought that their industry would end up looking like it did the day I talked to them. Either the rate that it had expanded or contracted, diversified, or how legislation had shifted. The pig industry moves so quickly those farmers do not have time to keep up with new innovations and that is where the Prairie Swine Center adds so much value. We can do the research and then take the messages or innovation out to farm knowing it has the scientific background to deliver," said Thoday.