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Livestock Heat Stress Webinar Series

USDA Agricultural Research Service presents the free webinar series, ARS Research to Mitigating the Impacts of Heat Stress on Animal Health and Well-being in the Livestock Industry. This series includes three 60-minute webinars that will feature scientists discussing research and practices on heat stress mitigation in livestock and poultry. They will provide strategies and resources that can help improve the animals' health and well-being and help producers improve production efficiency.

Webinar Schedule

Webinars will run from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST). Preregistration is not required to attend.

July 27, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
August 3, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
August 10, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Recorded Sessions:

Session 1 - July 27, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST.
Session 2 - August 3, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST.
Session 3 - August 10, 2022, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST.

For questions about the webinar series, please contact Maribel Alonso (

Session 1: Mitigating the Impacts of Heat Stress - Swine and Poultry 

Date and time: Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Presentation: Improving Swine Heat Stress Resilience Through Management, Nutrition, and Genetics

Sow and piglets

Summary: Heat stress will become a more substantial issue for swine production as global temperatures continue to rise and is a limiting factor to efficient and sustainable swine production that must be addressed. This is especially true for heat stress sensitive populations such as gestating and lactating sows. A key aspect to mitigating heat stress-related health and welfare issues and production losses in swine may be developing better management approaches, nutritional strategies, and genetic selection techniques to improve heat stress resilience. As such, the USDA-ARS is focused on these three areas with the overreaching goal of improving swine heat stress resilience while maintaining or improving producer profitability.

Presenter: Dr. Jay Johnson, Research Animal Scientist, USDA-ARS Livestock Behavior Research, West Lafayette, IN

Dr. Jay Johnson is a Research Animal Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in West Lafayette, IN specializing in stress and nutritional physiology. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Missouri, his PhD from Iowa State University, and completed his postdoctoral training at Purdue University. The overall goal of Dr. Johnson's research program is to identify production-relevant stressors and evaluate their impacts on livestock health, productivity, and welfare. Dr. Johnson's research program uses an integrative physiology approach encompassing aspects of stress physiology, nutritional physiology, and ethology to develop and/or improve upon livestock husbandry practices that enhance animal health and welfare while maintaining or increasing economic return for producers. Specific areas of research include improving heat stress resilience in swine to reduce the negative effects of pre- and postnatal heat stress and mitigating the effects of early life stressors on gastrointestinal function in pigs and dairy calves to improve health, performance, and welfare metrics.


Presentation: Thermal Perches as Cooling Devices for Reducing Heat Stress in Caged Laying Hens


Summary: The webinar presents findings on the effects of chilled water-cooling perches on hen performance during hot temperatures, and physiological and behavioral parameters. In the study, 17-week-old White Leghorns were randomly assigned 1 of 3 treatments: cooled perch, air perch, and no perch. The results indicate that the cooled perches lessen the negative effects of heat stress on egg production, and physiological and behavioral responses. The system may be used as an alternative for reducing heat stress in poultry egg production, especially in the tropic and subtropic regions.

Presenter: Dr. Heng-Wei Cheng, Research Biologist, USDA-ARS Livestock Behavior Research West Lafayette, IN

Dr. Cheng received his M.D. from Medical School of Dongnan University, China and PhD from Wayne State University, Michigan. Dr. Cheng joined the faculty at the Harbin Medical University in 1979; and the faculty at the University of Southern California in 1989; and relocated his program to the USDA-ARS and Purdue University and began studying the mechanisms controlling stress response in poultry. He received PSA's Poultry Welfare Research Award in recognition of his excellence in achievements in the research of poultry welfare in 2014. Dr. Cheng has educated over 40 individuals who hold positions at several universities and governments, and privately funded research environments. He has been PI or co-PI of some 13 federal grants worth over $5M and has published over 130 refereed publications in a variety of journals including Aggress Behav.; Behavioral Brain Research; Brain Research; Cells; Front. Genet; J. Comp. Neurol; J. Anim. Sci.; Neuroscience; Nutrition; Psychoneuroendocrinology; and Poultry Science.

Session #1 - July 27, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Mitigating the Impacts of Heat Stress - Poultry 

Date and time: Wednesday, August 3, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST


Presentation: Improving Environmental Control and Building Design for Heat Stress Mitigation in Broilers

Summary: As climate change continues to present challenges for broiler producers to mitigate heat stress, cost-effective cooling solutions are needed for long-term sustainability and resiliency in broiler production. To meet those needs, building design and environmental control strategies must evolve to improve efficiency of energy and water use during live production. This webinar will highlight USDA-ARS research towards improving building and ventilation system design and operation strategies for broiler chickens to mitigate performance losses and improve well-being during heat stress conditions.

Presenter: Jody L Purswell, Agricultural Engineer at the USDA-ARS Poultry Research Laboratory in Mississippi, MS

Joseph "Jody" Purswell currently serves as the Research Leader of the USDA-ARS Poultry Research Unit at Mississippi State, Mississippi. He joined USDA-ARS in 2005 after receiving his PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Kentucky. His research program is focused on development of improved housing design and environmental control methods, improving energy and water use efficiency in poultry production facilities, and developing climate change mitigation strategies for poultry producers.

Session #2 - August 3, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Mitigating the Impacts of Heat Stress - Cattle

Date and time: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Cow in a field

Presentation: Natural Variations in Cattle Exposed to Heat Stress

Summary: Not all livestock respond to stress in the same manner. In fact, natural variations including differences in breed, sex, and docility of cattle can impact stress and immune responses. This is also true for the response of cattle to heat stress, an environmental stressor that has been shown to have significant negative impacts on cattle health and growth. A better understanding of the impact these natural variations have on cattle in response to different stressors can help producers be better prepared during periods of elevated environmental temperatures. This webinar highlights the impact of natural variations in cattle exposed to heat stress conditions.

Presenter: Dr. Nicole Burdick Sanchez, Animal Physiologist, USDA-ARS Livestock Issues Research Unit, Lubbock, TX

Dr. Nicole Burdick Sanchez, originally from Ontario, Canada, grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. She graduated with her B.S. in Animal Science in 2005 and a M.S. in Animal Science in 2007 from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Dr. Sanchez completed her Ph.D. in Physiology of Reproduction at Texas A&M University in 2010. She then joined the USDA, ARS Livestock Issues Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas as a Research Associate in 2010, and transitioned to a permanent Research Animal Scientist position in 2013. Dr. Sanchez's research focuses on studying interactions between stress and immunity in cattle and swine, and how changes in metabolism influence these responses. Additionally, she has investigated differences in innate immune and metabolic responses caused by naturally-occurring variations in livestock including temperament.  Since 2004, Dr. Sanchez has authored or co-authored 3 book chapters, 68 peer-reviewed journal articles, 163 abstracts, and 38 technical and proceeding reports.


Presentation: Using Nutritional Supplements to Decrease the Severity of Heat Stress in Feedlot Cattle

Summary: Changes in environmental temperature influence many species of livestock. Cattle are particularly influenced by heat, which can result in negative impacts on many aspects of growth and production, and health. Methods that can mitigate these negative impacts of heat stress are in high demand by the cattle industry in order to maintain cattle well-being and growth. This webinar will discuss the use of feeding nutritional supplements to cattle, and the potential for these products to reduce the severity of heat stress responses..

Presenter: Dr. Rand Broadway, Microbiologist, USDA-ARS Livestock Issues Research Unit, Lubbock, TX

Dr. Rand Broadway was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta.  He received a B.S. in Biochemistry (2009) and a M.S. in Food Science and Technology (2011) from Mississippi State University.  He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University in 2014.  After completion of his Ph.D. program, Dr. Broadway joined the USDA-ARS, Livestock Issues Research Unit in Lubbock, TX as a Research Associate, transitioning to a permanent scientist position in 2016.  Dr. Broadway's research focuses on animal health and food safety related issues in beef cattle and dairy calves.  His current program focuses on non-pharmaceutical supplements to mitigate the negative effects of diseases such as salmonellosis, liver abscesses and Bovine Respiratory Disease.  Simultaneously his research aims to identify pathogen colonization, migration, and translocation patterns to enhance food safety, growth, and carcass performance.  Dr. Broadway has authored or co-authored 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 68 abstracts, and 6 technical articles, and a book chapter.  

Session #3 - August 10, 2022, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST


For questions about the webinar series, please contact Maribel Alonso at