Our primary focus in Year 1 of the Dairy Innovation Hub was establishment of a framework for efficient and effective utilization of the ongoing base funding. This will help ensure the additional capacity created in research, teaching and outreach at UWRF is properly focused and sustainable.
We formed a campus DIH Steering Committee comprised of department chairs, faculty and staff from across CAFES to help provide oversight of activities. The Committee is charged with making funding decisions on proposals submitted for the various DIH priority areas.
Year 1 funding at UWRF was spent on Equipment, Supplies and Facilities Renovations. Laboratories on the main campus as well as our dairy facility at the Mann Valley Farm benefitted from these funds. Analytical equipment, basic laboratory renovations, hutches for young cattle, and installation of gates and panels for dairy herd separation are examples.
We also awarded several Faculty Research Fellowships which are in progress with Year 2 funding. These fellowships provide the capacity for current faculty at UWRF, most of which have 100% teaching appointments during the 9-month academic year, to further engage in research projects important to the DIH’s overall goals. Faculty fellows will receive reassigned time during the academic year and/or engage in summer projects. Fellowships also carry some additional funding for supplies and equipment. The initial awards cover multiple research projects across several departments in CAFES, and nearly all involve multiple faculty in a collaborative approach.
Looking ahead to Year 2, our DIH activity will expand with increased funding to include new faculty hires as well as research support staff. Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellowships will also be established. Additional Faculty Research Fellowships and Equipment/Supplies/Facilities Renovations proposals will be funded.