Pedro Carvalho is a UCD Feedlot Management Specialist. He conducts research at Desert REC.
What led you to become a feedlot management specialist?
I grew up with a cattle and crop farm background in Brazil, leading me to an Animal Science school to pursue my bachelor's degree. During my master's and doctorate degrees in the U.S. (the University of Illinois and Penn State University), I was exposed to these universities' extension work in their states by generating information to cattle producers, but also with society in general and students. These led me to seek an extension job position when I was getting close to graduating, so here I am today. Trying to follow the steps of those who I admire.
What brought your work to Desert REC?
The Imperial Valley in California has one of the largest concentrations of feeder cattle in the world. So, the amount of feeder cattle here speaks by itself. Moreover, Desert REC has one of the most recognized histories in cattle feeding research in the world, with names such as Dr. Richar Zinn (who has been here for over 40 years), Dr. Garrett, and Dr. Lofgreen, who were here in the past and are part of the cattle feeding system in this country.
What do you hope to learn from your research at Desert REC?
Most of our research is focused on what it's called applied research. We are always looking to generate information that can benefit the cattle producer. Since I arrived at the DREC in 2020, we have been researching alternative feed additives that will enhance cattle growth performance in the feedlot. In 2022, we went a step further and are comparing two different genetic groups (purebred Holsteins versus HolsteinXAngus cross) to answer current questions that beef cattle producers have in California. That is our major goal! We also have been working on spreading the knowledge that we generate with our CattleCal weekly podcast and monthly newsletter.
What is your favorite part about conducting your research at Desert REC?
The ability to conduct applied research is definitely my favorite part. Knowing that were are generating data that can be applied by the beef cattle producer is the favorite part of my job, as well as working with the people.