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Trent Torrance is a 1992 graduate of Western Illinois University's agriculture program. Torrance was recently named vice president of animal nutrition and health at JBS United and was appointed to the JBS United Board of Directors (Sheridan, IN).
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WIU Ag Alum Named JBS United VP, Board of Directors Member

December 17, 2015

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MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University alumnus Trent Torrance was recently named vice president of animal nutrition and health at JBS United and was appointed to the JBS United Board of Directors (Sheridan, IN). According to its website, JBS United is a company that offers livestock nutrition and health products across the globe through the JBS United or affiliate brands.

Prior to his most recent VP position, Torrance was the managing director of the company's animal health group and held a number of other positions at JBS United since 2001. He also worked as unit leader with the University of Illinois Extension in McDonough County (IL) from 1998-2001.

Torrance is a 1992 graduate of Western's agriculture program, and as the vice president of animal nutrition and health, he will provide leadership for the company's animal health group, poultry nutrition group and specialty ingredient group. As a student at Western, Torrance said he had "excellent experiences." He was a member of the Horn-n-Hoof Club, as well as of the Livestock Judging Team.

"Being a member of the WIU Livestock Judging team was the best experience I had while at WIU," Torrance said. "It was instrumental in developing problem-solving, communication and leadership skills that I continue to use today. Having the opportunity to develop these skills under the leadership of our coach, Bruce Engnell, was pivotal in my development. He was a leader in the agriculture industry who served with humble character, while molding future leaders. I would not be where I am today without the influence and encouragement of Bruce. In addition, Dr. John Carlson was also a very positive influence on me while attending WIU. His genetic selection class was the influential in motivating me to attended graduate school."

Torrance also noted that one of the benefits of attending Western is the School of Agriculture's close-knit and unique environment within the University and encourages current (and future) students to take advantage of it.

"Get to know your instructors and ask questions and seek their guidance to help you fulfill your career goals. They are there for one reason—to teach and develop young people. Increasing undergraduate education and development is becoming secondary at land grant and research institutions within the animal science departments, and the faculty and staff in the WIU School of Agriculture are committed to undergraduate teaching," he added.

According to WIU School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker, Torrance is an "excellent" role model for Western's agriculture students to pattern themselves after in regard to his career preparation activities while he was at WIU.

"His collegiate experience began with an interest in livestock evaluation, which turned into a prestigious career in animal health," Baker said. "I appreciate Trent's desire to stay connected with the School of Agriculture and the University, which can be attributed to his initial experiences with our present and past faculty and staff. Trent definitely exemplifies, 'Once a Leatherneck, Always a Leatherneck.' It is alumni like Trent that provide the deep, rich heritage of the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University."

After graduating from Western, Torrance earned his M.S. in animal science from the University of Missouri.

Torrance — whose wife, Debbie Smith Torrance, also graduated from Western (with a master's degree in education administration) — lives in Zionsville (IN). The Torrances have two children, Hailey (18) and Brock (15).

For more information about the opportunities the WIU School of Agriculture offers, contact Baker at (309) 298-1080 or via email at

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing