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Tom Rathje
Chief Technical Officer, DNA Genetics LLC

Tom Rathje currently serves in the role of chief technical officer at DNA Genetics LLC in Columbus, Nebraska. A native of Iowa, he grew up in Clinton, Iowa, on a diversified cattle and cropping operation. Rathje received his bachelor's degree in animal science from Iowa State University (1989) and his master's degree (1991) and Ph.D. (1995) in animal breeding and genetics and an MBA (2004) from the University of Nebraska, where he currently holds an adjunct professorship in the department of animal science.

He has worked with DNA Genetics since its founding in 1995 and has played a key role in the development of the company, including being responsible for implementation of the breeding program within nucleus and customer production systems and working in management to develop and support the growth of the company.

DNA Genetics has grown to become the second-largest provider of swine genetics to the North American market and produces the most widely used terminal line in the swine industry, influencing over 40 percent of the pork produced. In this position, he continues to pursue interests in genetic research, including: application of genomic selection in pigs; disease susceptibility; sow longevity; identification of novel traits to improve production efficiencies; and furthering the application of animal breeding principles to improve livestock populations at the commercial level.

His personal interests include partnering with his wife, Kristi, to keep up with their three adult children, son-in-law and now two grandchildren. They have a growing business breeding and marketing purebred Simmental cattle.