The USDA has announced it will contribute $4.4 million to an international research collaboration seeking to control and eliminate Johne's disease in cattle, sheep and goats.

The project is being coordinated by the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. The group includes researchers from two dozen other universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, state and federal governmental agencies, and stakeholder groups such as the National Milk Producers Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Johne's disease is a bacterial infection in cattle and ruminants (sheep, goats and deer) that causes chronic gastrointestinal inflammation. Approximately 40 percent of all dairy farms in the United States are infected with the bacterium that causes Johne’s and results in more than one billion dollars in economic loss every year.

USDA, University of Wisconsin