Eight Michigan State University (MSU) animal agriculture research and Extension projects will receive $350,000 in funding approved by the Animal Agriculture Initiative Coalition (AIC) for 2007-08.
From the emerging bioeconomy to traditional dairy cow fertility research, the AIC-funded projects address the needs of Michigan’s livestock industry and encourage open dialogue between producers and consumers.
Each year, state funding supports projects that are part of the Revitalization of Animal Agriculture in Michigan Initiative. The initiative, commonly referred to as the Animal Agriculture Initiative (AAI), is Michigan's animal agriculture research, teaching and Extension initiative. It’s housed at MSU.
The eight projects were selected from approximately 25 proposals submitted to the AIC addressing challenges identified by livestock industry leaders as affecting livestock producers and their industries in the state. Proposals were ranked on the basis of the issues identified as high priority by industry leaders, MSU Extension area of expertise teams and the AIC.
"I am enthusiastic about this year’s projects because we were able to address issues in line with farmer needs and consumer awareness," says Mike Orth, chairperson of the coalition and associate chairperson of the MSU Department of Animal Science. “The new projects reach into the industry and out into communities to strengthen Michigan’s economy by investing in the livestock industry.”
The AIC is made up of representatives from the MSU departments of Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Crop and Soil Sciences, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Large Animal Clinical Sciences, the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and MSU Extension. It provides program direction to applied research and Extension projects involving Michigan's beef, dairy, equine, poultry, sheep and swine industries, and works with various industry advisory committees to help establish research priorities for improving Michigan animal agriculture.
In addition to annual research project funding, the AAI invests in four industry-specific quarterly newsletters: Cattle Call, the Michigan Dairy Review, the Michigan Pork Quarterly and the MSU Equine Program Newsletter. More than 12,000 subscribers receive the AAI-funded newsletters, which feature research articles and opportunities for continued education through MSU Extension.
More than 175 research projects have been funded since the AAI was established in 1996. Projects funded for 2007-08 are:
Farm Animal Utilization of Leaf Protein Co-product of Cellulosic Ethanol Production --Michael Allen.
Management Tools to Reduce Methane and Ammonia Generation Pre- and Post-Excretion from Livestock Farms -- David Beede.
Expanding the Land Base for Manure Use: Integrating Livestock- and Crop-Based Cropping Systems -- Tim Harrigan.
Communities and Animal Feeding Operations in Coexistence: Conference on the Risks and Rewards of AFOs in the Community and the Animal Agriculture Emerging Issues Handbook -- Dale Rozeboom.
Enhancing the Fertility Potential of the Ovulatory Follicle of Dairy Cows to Reverse a 50-Year Decline in Fertility -- Richard Pursley.
Understanding Michigan Consumer Preferences for Livestock Products -- Glynn Tonsor.
Spartan Dairy 3.0: Model Testing and Extension Education Programming -- Mike VandeHaar.
Assessing the Economic Impact of the Animal Agriculture Initiative -- Steven Miller.
The Animal Agriculture Initiative is a partnership between MSU, livestock producers and industry organizations and the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Governed by the Animal Agriculture Initiative Coalition, its objective is to address challenges facing Michigan’s animal agriculture industry through research and Extension projects. To learn more about Michigan's animal agriculture initiative at MSU, visit www.animalag.msu.edu.