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Interview with Professor Yoo-Yong Kim from the Program in Animal Science and Biotechnology

2024-02-13l Hit 695

 On November 27th, Professor Yoo-Yong Kim received a presidential commendation at the 26th Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Science and Technology Expo awards ceremony held at Suwon Convention Center. Professor Kim contributed to reducing production costs and securing price competitiveness for livestock farms by developing and distributing economic feed for pig farming. His efforts were acknowledged for strengthening the market competitiveness of domestically produced pork through these achievements, earning him the commendation.

South Korea tends to have high prices for swine feed, with corn and soybean meal being commonly used. In an effort to address the issue of expensive swine feed, Professor Yoo-Yong Kim has devised a plan to utilize palm and copra meals to produce economical swine feed. Professor Kim's economic feed has the advantage of being resistant to decomposition by carbohydrate digestive enzymes secreted in the animal body while having sufficient nutritional value. Additionally, one of the raw materials for the economic feed, palm meal, is approximately 30-40% cheaper than corn, enabling a cost reduction of around 20-30% in feed production. However, the feed has a brown color unlike traditional feed, which has not received much enthusiasm from livestock industry workers. Professor Kim's opinion is that the color of the feed is not important since livestock are color-blind and cannot accurately distinguish colors. As a result, for the past 12 years, Professor Kim has been providing technical advice to the Pukyong Pig Farm Cooperative and actively implementing the incorporation of palm meal in their livestock farms. Consequently, cooperative members are able to benefit from the use of affordable feed.

Professor Kim expressed his joy at the recognition of the collaborative achievements with his master's and doctoral students in the field of economic feed, regarding to receiving the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) Science and Technology Award. The MAFRA Science and Technology Award is based on a three-year performance evaluation, requiring the publication of at least seven papers annually. Professor Kim cited the fact that the presentation of experimentally proven results and the practicality of the research that can directly benefit farms as the factors that allowed him to win the award. He also discussed the challenges associated with the lack of research that can provide direct assistance to farmers and highlighted the importance of conducting research that is practical in the field.
In response to a question about his future plans, Professor Kim mentioned Denmark, a global leader in pork production, and expressed his commitment to exert efforts to reduce production costs in South Korea, which currently lags behind Denmark by about 40% in terms of productivity. Given that feed costs account for 50-60% of the livestock industry in the current situation in South Korea, he emphasized the necessity of research related to feed cost reduction. Professor Kim outlined his plans to conduct research not only on cost reduction but also on increasing productivity through disease prevention measures.
He also provided a concluding message to students in CALS, highlighting the importance of going beyond theoretical knowledge learned in school and applying wisdom to understand the agricultural field. Such an understanding can begin by contemplating what changes will be needed in the agricultural field and what changes I can bring about. Additionally, he expressed a hope that students would use their university life to discover their aptitude and consider various career paths in different fields.