2004 Livestock Judging Team with coaches Wendall Landis (top left) and Dan Kniffen (top right)

2004 Livestock Judging Team with coaches Wendall Landis (top left) and Dan Kniffen (top right)


Penn State Excels at 2024 ADSA Student Meetings

Nine undergraduate students represented Penn State at the 2024 American Dairy Science Association—Undergraduate Student Division (ADSA-USD) meetings held in West Palm Beach, Florida, from June 15-18.

Study suggests Holstein dairy cows not harmed by producing beef crossbred calves

Facing economic challenges, dairy farmers are increasingly crossbreeding some of their Holstein cows with beef breed bulls to add value to surplus calves born in their herds. In an analysis of almost 40,000 cows, a team of Penn State researchers found that carrying and birthing the larger crossbred beef calves generally does not negatively affect dairy cow health.

Q&A: What do I need to know about avian flu?

Multiple states since March 2024 have reported dairy herds displaying symptoms caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza, raising questions about how the virus spreads, how producers can protect their animals, the risk of infection in people, and the safety of milk and meat supplies. Extension veterinarian Ernest Hovingh, clinical professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, answers these and other questions related to the this avian flu outbreak in dairy cattle.

Mushroom stump waste could be inexpensive, healthy chicken feed supplement

Feed costs for producing broiler chickens accounts for 60% to 70% of total production costs, and stump waste from the production of button mushrooms comprises nearly 30% of total mushroom weight. Marrying the two has the potential to reduce both cost and waste, especially in Pennsylvania, which is a national leader in the production of broiler chickens and button mushrooms. To learn whether the two are compatible, a team of Penn State researchers conducted a new study to determine how supplementing the feed of broilers with mushroom stump waste affected the growth and health of the chickens.

Dechow named Research Innovator of the Year by the College of Ag Sciences

Chad Dechow, associate professor of dairy cattle genetics, is the 2024 recipient of the Research Innovator of the Year Award, given by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to recognize faculty and staff who have made notable efforts to commercialize their Penn State research.  

Penn State’s Block and Bridle Club Recognized at National Convention

Penn State’s Block and Bridle Club captured first place for their Chapter Web Page and first place for Chapter Activities at the 103rd National Block and Bridle Convention, Jefferson City, MO, April 11-14, hosted by the Mizzou Block and Bridle Club.

Penn State Students Participate in 2024 North American Dairy Challenge

Five Penn State students traveled to Visalia, CA for the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, (NAIDC) held April 4-6. Team members were Lynneah Brady, Big Cove Tannery, PA; Kendal Jenkins, Columbia Crossroads, PA; Justin Merry, Arkport, NY; and Paige Peiffer, Lebanon, PA. Ashton Stiles, Blairsville, PA, participated in the contest as part of an aggregate team.

Penn State Extension introduces canine program to support dog breeders

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has announced the recent hire of Abby Hodder as the assistant clinical professor of canine behavioral welfare in the Department of Animal Science. Hodder’s onboarding marks the beginning of a Penn State Extension canine program designed to support professional dog breeders through education, outreach and applied research focused on canine behavior and welfare.

Probiotic feed additive boosts growth, health in poultry in place of antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly serious threat for public health, and the use of antimicrobials in livestock feed has been a major contributing factor in the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance to many drugs, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Led by Erika Ganda, assistant professor of food animal microbiomes, a Penn State research team conducted a study of natural feed additives that are promising alternatives to substitute for antimicrobial growth promoters.

Penn State Equine Science Showcase and Quarter Horse Sale returns April 27

The 22nd annual Penn State Equine Science Showcase and Quarter Horse Sale kicks off April 27 in the Snider Agricultural Arena at the University Park campus.  

Vaccine protects cattle from bovine tuberculosis, may eliminate disease

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a livestock disease that results in large economic losses to animal agriculture worldwide. The disease can also transmit to humans and cause severe illness and death. Researchers from Penn State, Addis Ababa University and the University of Cambridge have now demonstrated that a vaccine for TB currently used in humans significantly reduces infectiousness of vaccinated livestock, improving prospects for elimination and control. The study published today (March 28) in the journal Science.   

Loy named 2024 Penn State Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus

The Department of Animal Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has named Daniel Loy, of Ames, Iowa, its 2024 Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus.

Dairy cows fed botanicals-supplemented diets use energy more efficiently

Supplementing the feed of high-producing dairy cows with the botanical extract capsicum oleoresin, obtained from chili peppers, or a combination of that extract and clove oil resulted in the animals using feed energy more efficiently and emitting less methane from their largest stomach, according to a new study conducted by Penn State researchers.

Donors create international travel endowment to honor lifelong friend, ag alumna

In honor and memory of their dear friend, a Penn State alumna who died in 2022 at the age of 90, Helen and Steve Schreiner have created the Dr. Marion P. Cullen International Travel Endowment in Animal Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Lormore Named 2023 Department of Animal Science Distinguished Dairy Science Alumnus

Mike Lormore, DVM, MS, MBA, was recognized as the 2023 Distinguished Dairy Science alumnus in Penn State’s Department of Animal Science at a reception at the University in October.

College of Ag Sciences recognizes faculty, staff for research achievements

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences lauded outstanding accomplishments in research during the 2023 Research Awards Ceremony, held Nov. 1 at the Hintz Family Alumni Center on the University Park campus.

Department of Animal Science honors Elkin as distinguished alumnus

The Department of Animal Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has recognized Robert G. Elkin, professor emeritus of avian nutritional biochemistry, as its 2023 Distinguished Poultry Science Alumnus.

Gene integral to initiating, sustaining sperm cell development identified

With male infertility a mounting global concern impacting approximately 12% of men, according to the National Institutes of Health, a Penn State research team has discovered a gene that plays a key role in initiating and sustaining spermatogenesis. The finding, they said, may open a door for future therapies to boost sperm counts. 

College of Ag Sciences team receives $1.9 million grant for dairy cattle study

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and collaborators from the University of Minnesota have received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study parasite issues related to organic dairy cattle.

Penn State animal science student finds second home on the range

After wrapping up his career with the United States Navy, Aaron Kuhn, a second-year animal science student in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences who currently studies at Penn State Altoona, returned home to Hollidaysburg to revive his family farm.

One Health Microbiome Center honors creativity and mentoring with award series

The One Health Microbiome Center (OHMC) in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State has named eight recipients for its 2023-24 Inaugural Award Series, which reflects on a profound year of impacts and achievements and recognizes the talents of the OHMC community.

Cattle on low-protein rations may need amino acid supplement to boost milk yield

Reduced protein feed for dairy cows is designed to decrease environmental nitrogen pollution from their manure such as nitrate leaching, nutrient-laden run-off and ammonia volatilization, but can lower milk production. A Penn State-led research team found that supplementing the feed with the amino acid histidine may help in maintaining, and even increasing, milk and milk-protein yields.  

Animal Science department to provide biosecurity kits to 4-H programs statewide

Amid the recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry, all Pennsylvania 4-H animal project members are urged to practice stringent biosecurity measures both at home and during fairs, shows and other events. To promote good biosecurity practices, the Department of Animal Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is sponsoring a biosecurity kit for each county 4-H program in the state. 

Animal microbiome researcher awarded $1.3M to study pathogenic threats

Erika Ganda, assistant professor of food animal microbiomes and executive committee member of Penn State’s One Health Microbiome Center, was recently awarded two grants totaling $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead teams of scientists in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension in studies of pathogenic threats to livestock and people.

Curbing cow belches in the name of climate change mitigation

A Penn State livestock emissions expert has received a grant from the Greener Cattle Initiative to develop actionable options to mitigate enteric (intestinal) methane emissions from cattle — which are produced via belching.  

Newly identified protein function may reveal understanding of lifetime fertility

A protein in mouse ovaries regulates the formation of the ovarian follicle reserve — comprising a mammal’s egg cells and surrounding support cells, according to a study conducted by a U.S.-Canadian research team. The discovery provides a foundation for further research on premature ovarian insufficiency and menopause in women and reproductive problems in dairy cows.

Ag Progress Days highlights biodiversity, climate-smart ag, spotted lanternfly

Climate-smart agriculture, the importance of biodiversity and the latest news about the spotted lanternfly will be among the displays and presentations at the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building and Theater during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 8-10.

Penn State student wins second place at Equine Science Society Symposium

Penn State was well-represented at the recent 2023 Equine Science Society Symposium, with eight oral and poster presentations given by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, the most that Penn State ever has had.

Equine science faculty represent Penn State at Equine Science Society Symposium

Two researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were recently recognized at the 2023 Equine Science Society Symposium.

Precision technology, machine learning lead to early diagnosis of calf pneumonia

Monitoring dairy calves with precision technologies based on the “internet of things,” or IoT, leads to the earlier diagnosis of calf-killing bovine respiratory disease, according to a new study. The novel approach — a result of crosscutting collaboration by a team of researchers from Penn State, University of Kentucky and University of Vermont —will offer dairy producers an opportunity to improve the economies of their farms, according to researchers.