Cow Feed Efficiency Project to be Focus at Dairy Science Showcase November 3

Research findings targeting improved feed efficiency through genetic and genomic selection will be this year’s featured topic. Dr. Lou Armentano is a key collaborator on the project.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Dairy Science invites department alumni and stakeholders to attend its third annual Dairy Science Showcase on Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at campus’ Dejope Hall.

The Showcase, designed to highlight the department’s research, extension and instructional efforts, will kick off with a “State of CALS and UW Dairy Science” presentation, followed by talks by faculty members and graduate students on current research initiatives. Participants also will have the opportunity to meet with master’s and doctoral students during a research poster session and help honor undergraduate scholarship recipients during a brief awards ceremony.

Kent Weigel, professor and chair of the dairy science department, says the goal of the Showcase is to foster interactions between the department’s campus community and its alumni and industry stakeholders. “We want our alumni and stakeholders to meet our new staff, graduate students and undergrads,” he says. “We also want to recognize those who have helped support our programs by sponsoring research projects, funding scholarships and contributing in countless other ways.”

The department is a major player in a $5 million National Institute of Food and Agriculture project that will deliver genomic predictions for residual feed intake (RFI) to the dairy industry. This trait will be used to select animals that digest feed and convert it to milk and body tissue more efficiently than their herdmates. Along with collaborators at Michigan State, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, Florida, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Wageningen University (Netherlands), and the Scottish Agricultural College, the researchers have measured individual dry matter intakes of roughly 6,000 Holstein cows to date. Results of the genetic, nutritional, and management aspects of this work will be featured at this year’s Showcase. In addition, Dr. Lou Armentano will give a preview of the 2015 National Research Council (NRC) Nutritional Requirements of Dairy Cattle.

As a steward of public trust and private investment, the UW-Madison dairy science program is committed to providing cutting-edge, science-based knowledge for the industry and unparalleled training to students interested in pursuing careers in the field. The department’s goal is to improve the quality of milk and the efficiency and profitability of its production around the world.

To attend the Dairy Science Showcase, please register online by October 23rd at dysci.wisc.edu/showcase/. Registration is free and covers complementary lunches and an ice cream social for participants. All activities will be held at campus’ Dejope Hall, located at 640 Elm Drive. Parking passes can be purchased when registering for the event.