Company News: Topigs Norsvin, The Maschhoffs, and Verdesian

May 8, 2018 08:00 AM
Topigs Norsvin implements PRRS resistance in breeding value estimations, The Maschhoffs adds to its leadership team, and Verdesian launches a renewed focus on grower nutrient use efficiency and a new mission statement. 

Topigs Norsvin Implements PRRS Resistance in Breeding Value Estimation
Topigs Norsvin has recently implemented selection for increased natural resistance to PRRS by using the WUR SNP in breeding value estimation. The WUR SNP is a genetic marker for a major gene associated with natural resistance to PRRS.

Several research trials have demonstrated that pigs with the favorable WUR genotype were more resistant to PRRS as a result of lower virus load and greater daily gain upon challenge with the PRRS virus. This means that pigs with the favorable genotype were better able to cope with the infection, thereby reducing the overall economic impact of disease.

Implementing selection for increased resistance to PRRS in the Topigs Norsvin breeding program presents a natural, readily available control strategy for the most costly swine disease in the world. By incorporating WUR SNP genotype into the breeding program, Topigs Norsvin has introduced an effective defense mechanism against this economically important disease.

Topigs Norsvin continues to invest in breeding for natural disease resistance to specific diseases like PRRS, as well as general robustness to disease challenge. This will lead to healthier and more sustainable pig production.

For more information, Communication managertelephone communication manager Peter Loenen at + 31.411.648846 or email

The Maschhoffs Welcomes Justin Fix and Rich Hollis
The Maschhoffs recently welcomed Justin Fix and Rich Hollis to the company to serve in leadership roles.

Rich Hollis assumed the role of Vice President of People Strategy and Resources for The Maschhoffs in April. Rich joined the company from Rabo AgriFinance, where he served for more than 13 years in various Human Resources leadership roles, most recently as Executive Vice President of Organizational Development.

Rich Hollis

Hollis earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Education from Western Illinois University. He and wife Gail reside in Columbia, Illinois with their sons Zac and Tyler, and are active in the Illinois Beef Cattle Association and local Illinois 4-H and FFA programs.

Justin Fix assumed the Director of Genetics role, where he oversees the company’s portfolio of genetic animals, proprietary genetic lines and data. Prior to joining The Maschhoffs in March, Fix was the Director of Genetic Programs for Smithfield Premium Genetics for nearly five years. He also spent many years at the National Swine registry, ultimately becoming the Vice President of Technical Service for the company.

Justin Fix

Fix received his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in Agricultural Business. From there he attended North Carolina State University, where he received his M.S. and PhD in Swine Breeding and Genetics. He is working on his MBA from the University of Iowa. Fix and wife, Cally, reside in Cumming, Iowa with their daughter Maryette.

“I remain passionate about attracting, retaining and developing the industry’s best people,” Bradley Wolter, President of The Maschhoffs, says. “I am confident that Rich’s passion for people and Dr. Fix’s passion for advancing the swine industry will serve this company and the industry well for years to come.”

To learn more about joining The Maschhoffs’ team, visit

Verdesian Launches Renewed Focus on Grower Nutrient Use Efficiency and New Mission 
Verdesian Life Sciences has announced a reformulation of its mission, positioning statement and approach to create a more mission-driven organization committed to providing sustainable nutrient use efficiency (NUE) solutions for farmers and growers.

Verdesian’s new mission statement reads: At Verdesian Life Sciences, we enable a sustainable future for farmers through nutrient use efficiency.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Verdesian has stepped up recruitment of scientific, sales and marketing talent committed to sustainable nutrient use efficiency, increasing its technical sales and development department by 15% to provide greater access to Verdesian technologies and science.

Kuide Qin Ph.D., Chief Science Officer for Verdesian, was recently brought aboard to lead nutrient use efficiency technology R&D. Kuide is a veteran scientist working with sustainable agriculture and modern farming formerly with Dow AgroSciences and Bayer Crop Science.

Dr. Qin’s work focuses on efficient use of agriculture inputs, with an aim to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural chemicals while increasing production.

Verdesian has launched a number of new nutrient use efficiency technologies over the past year for both row crop and specialty crop growers along with a number of planned launches in 2018 and 2019.

Verdesian’s growing portfolio includes over 300 patent proprietary technologies developed in partnership with leading global research institutions and universities, including the United States Department of Agriculture, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California Riverside, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

For more information, go to Verdesian Life Sciences.

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