Getting to Know Heather Tucker
What is your official title at Novus?
Ruminant Research Scientist
How long have you been with Novus?
Five years this November
What is your background in the industry?
I have a Ph.D. in animal nutrition focused on dairy cattle and did a lot of research with industry partners during my Ph.D. at Purdue and post-doc at the Miner Institute.
Which Novus product is your favorite?
They are all my favorite! Each one does something unique and the fact that I get to work with all our products in our research trials makes my job fun and challenging.
What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
Specific to Novus, I would say being part of the team to get the MINTREX® VERIFY℠ Profit Tool from an excel spreadsheet to a web-based application that our sales and technical team use in the field with customers. Outside of Novus, I am pretty proud of completing my Ph.D.
What is your favorite research that you have presented and why?
The recent trial we completed on benefits of maternal MINTREX® supplementation to progeny is a favorite. The response we saw to improvements in muscle mass and morphometry of the progeny was phenomenal and really supports the value of MINTREX®. It is also really exciting to see that a mineral source you feed to the dam can impact the fetus she is carrying.
How do you work with your team to address customer needs and overcome challenges they face?
I talk with our ruminant technical services team members throughout the world on a regular basis to understand what challenges our customers are facing, what information the team needs to help, and where our research should be focusing to support them. I then take those conversations and figure out how we can use the data we have to help or what research we need to do. Everything we do in research is a group effort which allows us to apply the results to as many customers and situations as possible.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the animal agriculture industry today?
Low milk prices are a huge challenge to the dairy industry in the United States currently and though there has been a small increase recently, it is still a really difficult situation for most farms.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Kayaking, playing with my dog and quilting.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Ireland has always been on my travel bucket list and I hope to go soon.
What is your favorite dairy product?
Who doesn’t love milk! Coffee milk is a huge favorite of mine.