National Program 101 Food Animal Production
National Program Annual Report: FY 2007
- Reproductive Efficiency
- Conservation, Characterization, and Use of Genetic Resources
- Product Quality
- Genetic Improvement
- Genomic Tools
- Growth and Development
- Nutrient Intake and Utilization
- Integrated Systems
- Animal Well-Being and Stress Control Systems
The food animal production national program is charged with conducting cutting edge research to contribute to increased efficiency and sustainability of production of beef and dairy cattle, poultry, swine, and sheep. Research efforts in the animal sciences over the past century have had dramatic impacts on animal agriculture both in terms of improved biological and economic efficiency of production and in terms of quantity, quality, and safety of animal products. Many major challenges remain, however, requiring the dedicated focus of long-term research teams, particularly in the areas of reproductive longevity and animal well-being, adaptability to production environments, product quality, reduction of feed and energy inputs, enhancements in nutrient retention, and reduction of negative environmental impacts.
During 2007, 110 full-time scientists working at 20 locations across the U.S. were actively engaged in 45 research projects in the program. Research projects in this program area were approved through the ARS Office of Scientific Quality Review in 2002, making this the final year of implementation of these five-year project efforts.
During fiscal year 2007, USDA-ARS operated under a full year continuing resolution with no program increases from the previous year. However, previously “earmarked” funds were redirected during the year to permanent funding including funding for the national animal germplasm program ($390K), dairy cattle genetic improvement ($930K), bovine cloning ($956K), dairy functional genomics ($956K), rumen metagenomics ($50K), beef and swine genomics ($928K), forage animal production ($1.74M), grass-finished beef production ($1.875M) and poultry production and management ($1.67M) research. Total funding in the program for fiscal year 2007 was approximately $46.5M.
Several new permanent scientists were welcomed to the program including: Justin Holl (Clay Center, NE); David King (Clay Center, NE); Jimmy Kotz (Lexington, KY); Larry Kuehn (Clay Center, NE); Tara McDaneld (Clay Center, NE); and William Oliver (Clay Center, NE).
Retiring from the ranks of scientists in the national program during 2007 were Larry Cundiff, John Klindt, and Dale Van Vleck (all Clay Center, NE). The distinguished record of service of these gentlemen in the areas of animal breeding, genetics, and physiology is recognized world-wide in the beef, swine, and sheep industries and they will be missed.
In January 2007, Lewis Smith retired from USDA-ARS after 45 years of dedicated and excellent service as a scientist working in dairy cattle nutrition, research supervisor and administrator, and national program leader. He had served as national program leader for animal nutrition and in recent years as co-lead of the food animal production national program and lead of the aquaculture and animal well-being and stress control systems national programs. He leaves behind a portfolio of dynamic and significant programs marked by his leadership and direction.
Ronnie Green served as the national program leader for the program with co-lead responsibilities provided by Lewis Smith until his retirement. Jeff Silverstein became a welcome addition to the national program staff in October 2007 assuming the co-lead role. Contributions to the national program were also provided by program team members Evert Byington, and Cyril Gay.
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