UW-River Falls Receives USDA Grant to Improve Reproductive Performance in Cattle

August 29, 2013— Two UW-River Falls faculty members, Justin Luther, associate professor of animal and food science, and Amy Radunz, assistant professor of animal and food science, have a received a $733,672 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will fund a project entitled "Strategies to Improve Reproductive Performance in the U.S. Beef Cattle Industry." The grant is a collaborative effort between UW-River Falls, UW-Madison, and Biozyme, Inc., with the project directed by UW-River Falls. 

Reproductive performance of the U.S. beef herd has not changed in the last 20 years and beef cattle inventory in the U.S. has declined concurrently. Global demand for red meat will continue to rise with rapid population growth and economic development. The overall goal of the project is to develop educational opportunities and nutritional strategies for improving beef cow reproductive performance. A comprehensive approach using research, outreach, and education efforts will be utilized.  

"This grant will give our students the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience with modern cattle reproductive management techniques," said Luther. "Simply put, funding from this grant will be used to give our students the 'cutting edge' as they continue to be strong contributors to the U.S. beef and dairy cattle industries." 

Research projects will investigate protein supplementation strategies in early pregnancy, which have potential to improve reproductive performance in beef cattle. A bovine reproductive management course will be developed at UWRF to provide students entering the food animal industries with a comprehensive understanding of reproductive management. Six undergraduate research internships will be funded to UWRF students in beef cattle reproduction and nutrition. A short course will be offered to upper Midwest cow-calf farmers, and farm reproductive management plans will be developed to implement management strategies and improve reproductive performance.      

For more information, contact Luther or Radunz at 715-425-3704.

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