STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences


Sherry Hoyer


He didn't know it at the time, but a 1966 swine seedstock 4-H project was the first step in Steve Kerns' innovative career that now spans communities, companies and continents. "I came to Iowa State in 1970 as a freshman in animal science pre-vet. By the end of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to work only with swine," Kerns says. "Under the direction of Lauren Christian ('58 animal science), Lanoy Hazel ('41 PHD genetics), Al Christian and others, I started doing ultrasonic animal evaluation on swine breeding stock for independent breeders and swine test stations." For several years the Clearfield, Iowa, native spent his winter and summer quarters doing ultrasound scanning in states east of the Mississippi River and pursued his studies during the fall and spring. Kerns ('81 animal science) gained unmatched experience during this time that led to the creation of his first company offering ultrasound evaluation in 1977. Mentor Lauren Christian encouraged him to finish his degree before Iowa State switched to the semester system.