With $600,000 from Michigan State University and the backing of the animal agriculture industry, the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture was born in 2015. Since then, funding has diversified and grown considerably. In 2017, the state of Michigan budgeted $2.5 million and commodity organizations offered support while MSU contributed $600,000. Researchers and outreach professionals submit proposals through a competitive grants process and are awarded funding to confront some of animal agriculture’s most pressing challenges – antibiotic resistance, infectious diseases, improving animal welfare and protecting the environment, among others.
- Researchers and MSU Extension educators have offered management techniques to beef and dairy cattle operations affected by bovine leukemia virus, an immune disorder that costs producers more than $14 million annually.
- Infertility of lactating dairy cows continues to be a critical problem limiting profitability and sustainability of U.S. dairy farms. In response to this problem, researchers developed fertility programs to control ovarian development. These new findings may improve farm profit on an 800-cow dairy by $120,000 per year and revolutionize reproductive management of dairy cattle.
- Department of Animal Science faculty Janice Siegford, Juan Steibel and Cathy Ernst are helping swine and poultry producers prepare for new animal housing standards that will go into effect April 1, 2020.