Animal Agriculture Initiative Awards Research Dollars for 2009-2010

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Nine MSU animal agriculture research and Extension projects will share $350,000 in funding awarded by the Animal Agriculture Initiative (AAI) Coalition for 2009-2010.

Michigan agriculture is faced with numerous challenges—and opportunities. From maximizing environmental health and sustainability to harnessing energy from plants to measuring and monitoring consumer attitudes and perceptions to minimizing the risk of spreading animal disease, there is no shortage of industry research and outreach priorities in agriculture.

Mike Orth, chairperson of the AAI Coalition and associate chairperson of the Department of Animal Science, was pleased with the breadth and depth of the project proposals submitted for consideration by the AAI Coalition.

“I believe the proposals funded for the upcoming 2009-2010 project year can go a long way toward addressing some critical issues facing animal agriculture in Michigan,” Orth said.

The nine projects were selected from 20 preproposals submitted to the AAI Coalition requesting a total of more than $787,000 in funding. Proposals were ranked on the basis of how well they addressed the issues identified as high priority by industry groups, MSU Extension area of expertise teams and the AAI Coalition.

Projects funded for 2009-2010 are:

  • Bark Filter Mound Treatment Technology to Treat Milking Facility Waste Water, Steven Safferman, MAES biosystems and agricultural engineering scientist.
  • Biosecurity STOP SIGN Campaign: Stopping Disease at the Farm Gate, Ted Ferris, MAES animal science researcher.
  • Constructed Treatment Wetlands for Water Reclamation and Green Manure Production, Dawn Reinhold, MAES biosystems and agricultural engineering researcher.
  • Investigation of DDGS Feeding Effects on Sulfur Emissions from Swine Manure, Wendy Powers, MAES animal science and biosystems and agricultural engineering scientist.
  • Motivation, Barriers and Incentives for the Participation of Livestock Operations in MAEAP, Steven Miller, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.
  • Spatially Varied Impacts of Ethanol on Feed Prices, Levels and Livestock Production, Glynn Tonsor, MAES agricultural, food and resource economics researcher.
  • State of the State Survey: Weighing Michigan Public Opinion about Agriculture and Animal Welfare Issues, Janice Swanson, departments of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine.
  • Udder Defense in Periparturient Dairy Cows: Do Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) Play a Central Role?, Patty Weber, MSU Department of Animal Science.
  • Wirelessly Monitored Behavior and Activity as Indicators of Well-being in Non-caged Laying Hens, Janice Siegford, MAES animal science researcher.

In addition to funding the above-mentioned research projects, the AAI invests a portion of the award monies in a communications and marketing program and 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 readers subscribe to these newsletters, which feature research articles and notices of opportunities for continued education through MSU Extension programming.

The AAI is Michigan’s animal agriculture research, teaching and Extension initiative housed at MSU. It is a partnership between MSU, livestock producers and industry organizations, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and is governed by the AAI Coalition. Its objective is to address challenges facing Michigan animal-based agriculture through research and Extension projects.

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