Accomplishments

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.   

Penn State Excels at ADSA Student Meetings

Eight undergraduate students represented Penn State at the 2023 American Dairy Science Association—Undergraduate Student Division (ADSA-USD) meetings held in Ottawa, Ontario, from June 24-27, and the Penn State Dairy Science Club was recognized for its outstanding achievements in several areas.

Happy trails: Don’t miss the Equine Experience at Ag Progress Days

Whether you are an avid horse person or just an interested spectator, there is something for horse enthusiasts of all ages at the Equine Experience at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, taking place Aug. 8-10.

Penn State security center announces 2023 grant recipients

The Penn State Center for Security Research and Education has awarded $152,500 in funding to six Penn State faculty through its 2023 grant program.

Animal scientist receives USDA grant to study reproductive dysfunction in cattle

A Penn State animal scientist has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team conducting research on reproductive dysfunction in cattle.

Penn State dairy cattle geneticist finds mutant gene threatening Holstein calves

In the fall of 2020, when Chad Dechow, Penn State associate professor of dairy cattle genetics, got a call from veterinarians in New York describing a strange condition affecting Holstein calves on two farms under their care, he was unfamiliar with the condition that came to be known as calf recumbency. Since then, he and his collaborators identified the underlying genetic mutation and devised a simple genetic test to identify Holsteins that harbor the mutation. 

Troy Ott named acting director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Troy Ott , professor of reproductive physiology and associate director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, has been selected to serve as acting director of the Huck Institutes during the appointment of Andrew Read as interim senior vice president of research at Penn State. Ott’s position will be effective July 1.  

Campbell honored by American Meat Science Association for achievements, service

The American Meat Science Association has named Jonathan Campbell, Penn State Extension meat specialist and associate professor of animal science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the recipient of its 2023 Distinguished Extension and Industry Service Award.

Ag Sciences alumna commits gift to Animal Science, create graduate fellowship

Penn State alumna Julie Smiley has made a $1 million gift from her future estate to endow the Smiley Family Excellence Fund in the Department of Animal Science and the Thomas Miller Graduate Fellowship in the Department of Entomology.

Penn State's renamed One Health Microbiome Center affirms broad expertise

The Microbiome Center in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State has announced its renaming to the One Health Microbiome Center, reflecting its collaborative culture and aspirations to write its next chapter in the booming study of microbial communities that live throughout the world's environments.

Distinguished professor edits book on sustainable dairy cattle nutrition

Alexander Hristov, Penn State distinguished professor of dairy nutrition, edited a recently published book, “Advances in Sustainable Dairy Cattle Nutrition,” which focuses on how the dairy sector could reduce the carbon footprint of milk and its contribution to climate change.

Penn State Team Was Part of North American Dairy Challenge

Four students from Penn State’s Department of Animal Science traveled to Saratoga Springs, NY, to be part of the North American Dairy Challenge, one of the premier learning and networking experiences for tomorrow’s dairy leaders. The event was hosted by the Northeast Region on March 30-April 1.

Staniar receives 2023 President’s Award for Engagement with Students

Burt Staniar, associate professor of animal science in the College of Agricultural Sciences; has received the 2023 President’s Award for Engagement with Students. The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society.

Students, faculty in College of Ag Sciences lauded for exceptional work

The Penn State chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society, recognized Penn State faculty and students during its annual meeting, which was held April 5.

Peters named Penn State Animal Science Distinguished Alumna

Jana Peters, retired animal science advising coordinator, has been selected as the 2023 Animal Science Distinguished Alumna by Penn State’s Department of Animal Science.

Foundation grant to fund research on reducing methane emissions from livestock

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture has awarded a grant to a team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to fund research aimed at reducing enteric, or intestinal, methane emissions from cows and sheep, using plant and fungal sources.

Penn State Spur Collectors club secures outstanding college chapter awards

The Penn State Spur Collectors club, a collegiate chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, recently received two L.A. Dixon, Jr. Memorial Outstanding Collegiate Chapter awards at the 47th annual National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Peters Named Penn State Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus

Jana Peters, retired Animal Science Advising Coordinator, has been selected as the 2023 Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus by Penn State’s Department of Animal Science. She was honored at the 105th Little I, held April 1 at the Snider Agricultural Arena.

Animal science alumna interns with Save the Elephants

Studying abroad is the dream of many students, and one Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences alumna used her undergraduate study abroad experiences as the foundation for her continued academic studies and a once-in-a-lifetime internship.  

Workshop series to focus on workforce development in animal agriculture

An interdisciplinary team of educators and faculty from Penn State Extension and Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is investigating methods to improve skill sets and increase diversity in the livestock production workforce, with the goal of eliminating workforce barriers and enhancing secure food animal production. As part of this work, Penn State Extension is offering a free monthly workshop series, from March to May, focused on workforce development in animal agriculture.

New partnership will address health and food safety challenges in Kenya

Representatives from Penn State, Meru University of Science and Technology, and Meru County in Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding in a ceremony in Kenya to formally commence their new partnership. This collaboration also will involve the Technical University of Denmark.