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The Feet First® Team

The Feet First® Team is an international collaboration of researchers, veterinarians and nutritionists whose mission is to further advance the swine industry through the identification and prevention of lameness. 

Feet First team members include:

  • Dr. Cathy S. Carlson (University of Minnesota)
  • Dr. John Deen (University of Minnesota)
  • Dr. Christoph Mülling (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • Dr. Zachary Rambo (Zinpro Corporation)
  • Dr. Christof Rapp (Zinpro Corporation)
  • Dr. Marrina Schuttert (Veterinair Centrum, The Netherlands)
  • Dr. Kenneth Stalder (Iowa State University)
  • Dr. Sarel van Amstel (University of Tennessee)
  • Dr. Rob van Barneveld (Barneveld Nutrition Pty Ltd, Australia)
  • Dr. Terry Ward (Zinpro Corporation)
  • Dr. Mark Wilson (Zinpro Corporation)
Dr. Cathy S. Carlson, DVM, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of MinnesotaCarlson

Carlson earned a doctoral degree from North Carolina State University, where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship. She earned a DVM degree from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. She is a Diplomate of the America College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Carlson focuses her research efforts on skeletal diseases that affect both animals and humans, primarily osteochondrosis and osteoarthritis. She collaborates actively with researchers in Norway and Sweden in studies focused on the pathogenesis of osteochondrosis in pigs and horses.


Dr. John Deen, DVM, Associate Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota

Deen earned a doctorate of veterinary medicine at the University of Guelph, Ontario, in 1984, and a doctorate of veterinary epidemiology at the same university in 1993. He gained board certification in swine health management from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1994.

He is a member of the swine welfare committees of the National Pork Board and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, a member of the steering committee for the American College in animal welfare, and a board member of the Professional Animal Audit Certification Organization.


Dr. Christoph Mülling, DVM, Professor of Veterinary Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Germany

Mülling earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Free University in Berlin, Germany, in 1988. After six years in a large animal practice, he returned to the Free University earning a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine in 1993. Since then he has been active with academic research and teaching. In 2006, Mülling accepted a position as associate professor in Clinical Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nottingham. In 2007, he joined the University of Calgary as a professor of Veterinary Anatomy, serving as the associate dean curriculum from 2008 to 2010.  

He accepted the position of professor of veterinary anatomy at the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. His current research focuses on the pathogenesis and pathomechanisms of diseases of the bovine, equine and porcine foot.


Dr. Zachary Rambo, Swine Research Nutritionist – Zinpro CorporationRambo

Rambo earned his doctoral degree in swine nutrition from Purdue University, where he focused his research on the effect of zinc and skeletal muscle growth and metabolism. He also completed work evaluating the impacts of dietary fat sources on carcass composition and quality. He earned his master’s degree in beef cattle nutrition and his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University.

His duties at Zinpro Corporation include providing technical services and support for swine customers of the North American and International sales teams, as well as overseeing swine research projects.


Dr. Christof Rapp, RNS Regional Manager - Europe, Zinpro Corporation

Rapp earned both a doctoral and a diploma’s degree from Hohenheim University, Germany. He joined Zinpro as a research nutritionist in 1999. Currently, he is RNS Regional Manager - Europe, working out of the European office located in Boxmeer, The Netherlands.

His primary responsibilities include conducting research on animal performance, providing technical support to Zinpro customers and troubleshooting nutrition-related problems in sow herds. Over the past five years, he has developed specialized knowledge of factors influencing sow lameness.


Dr. Marrina Schuttert, DVM, Veterinair Centrum Someren BV – De Varkenspraktijk, The Netherlands

Schuttert graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of the University in Utrecht. From there she joined a large veterinary practice in Someren (an area of the Netherlands with the densest swine population) and for the past ten years has specialized in swine health.

As former board member of the group of large animal practitioners in the Netherlands and a veterinarian for the Dutch swine research farm (Sterksel), Schuttert also trains students in sow management. She has excellent working relationships with feed companies and breeding organizations.


Dr. Kenneth Stalder, Professor, Animal Science, Iowa State University

Stalder earned a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics with a minor in immunobiology from Iowa State University, and a master’s degree from Western Kentucky University. His previous experience includes three years in the feed industry with a large cooperative in northeast Iowa. 

Stalder is a member of several swine committees at the National Pork Board (USA). In 2005, he was awarded the Young Animal Scientist extension award from the Midwest section of the American Society of Animal Science. Much of his research and extension programs have focused on swine longevity and feet and leg soundness.


Dr. Terry Ward, Global Director of Research and Nutritional Services, Zinpro Corporation

Ward earned his doctoral and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University, and his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He began his professional career with Consolidated Nutrition in Decatur, Ind., as a swine and poultry nutritionist and later joined Zinpro as a Research Nutritionist. In 2002, he was appointed Director of the Research and Nutritional Services (RNS).

In 2012, Ward was appointed Global Director of the company’s RNS group. In this role, he manages all research and technical service activities for the company worldwide.


Dr. Mark Wilson, Swine Reproductive Physiologist, Zinpro Corporation

Wilson earned both a doctoral and a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. The first 11 years of his professional career were spent as a professor at the University of Minnesota (Waseca) where he coordinated the swine research at the Southern Experimental Station. Wilson then served as director of technical service at United Feeds, while overseeing the boar and sow research. He has also spent time working for Minitube of America and Ralco Nutrition.

Currently, Wilson is part of the research and nutritional services team at Zinpro Corporation and is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota.


Mr. Sarel van Amstel, BVSc, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee

van Amstel earned his veterinary medicine degree (BVSc) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He later returned to the Onderstepoort School of Veterinary Medicine in Pretoria, where he became board certified in internal medicine. In 1989, he was promoted to full professor and chair of the department of medicine.

He moved to the United States in 1996. He gained board certification with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2000, and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2001. His research includes factors relating to sole horn in cattle and lameness in swine.


Dr. Robert van Barneveld, Consultant Research Scientist (Nutrition), Barneveld Nutrition Pty Ltd, Australia

van Barneveld earned his doctoral degree and bachelor’s degree (with First Class Honors) from the University of Queensland. He is a Registered Animal Nutritionist through the Nutrition Society of Australia and holds associate professorships with the University of Queensland and the University of New England.

Currently, van Barneveld is a consultant research scientist and nutritionist specializing in feed evaluation for monogastrics. He is a specialist director of Australian Pork Ltd., a director of the Pork CRC Ltd., general manager of the CHM Alliance Pty Ltd., and chairman of Australian Pork Ltd.’s research and development advisory committee.