USDA funds research to study the affects of weather variability on cattle

MADISON, Wis.  — The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture.

Research funding

The University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., received $9.9 million over five years to study the environmental impact of various dairy production systems and develop best management practices for the farm level.

The team will also develop an agricultural education curriculum with an urban foods focus at Vincent High School in Milwaukee in an effort to educate future leaders and consumers about the contributions of the dairy industry to economic and environmental sustainability.

Partnering research

The University of Wisconsin is partnering in the project with the University of Arkansas, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, North Carolina A&T University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington, along with four USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy and the industry-sponsored Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

Oklahoma State University received $9.6 million over five years to better understand vulnerability and resilience of Southern Great Plains beef in an environment of dynamic land-use and fluctuating markets.

The team’s goal is to safeguard regional beef production while mitigating the environmental footprint of agriculture.
The project also includes education and Extension components to train the next generation of producers and researchers in addressing the impact of climate on beef cattle.

Technology in use

Using a community- and citizen-science approach, the project will train young students and citizens to use GPS-enabled digital cameras and smartphones and web data portals to participate in field data collection.

The team is comprised of 32 scientists from OSU, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma, Tarleton State University, the Samuel R. Noble Foundation, and two ARS laboratories.

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