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About the Animal Improvement Program (AIP)

Objectives  |  Project details  |  Awards  |  History  |  Directions


The primary objective is to improve dairy cattle productive efficiency, health, fertility, and other traits of economic importance by evaluating genetic merit and comparing management practices so that the United States and other countries can meet the dietary needs of their populations. Specific objectives include:


Objective 1: Expand genomic data used in prediction by selecting new variants that more precisely track the true gene mutations that cause phenotypic differences.
Objective 2: Evaluate new traits that can all be predicted at birth from the same inexpensive DNA sample.
Objective 3: Improve efficiency of genomic prediction and computation by developing faster algorithms, testing new adjustments and models, and accounting for genomic pre-selection in evaluation.


Project details



The AIP research program has received international, national, and regional recognition. A list of team and individual scientist awards can be viewed at AIP awards.



History pages include information about USDA dairy evaluation history, past AIP staff, and the centennial celebration of the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in 2008.



The AIP work site is located in Bldg. 306 on the east campus of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The main office is in Room 115. Detailed driving and public transportation directions are listed under the AGIL directions page.