Delivering Timely Animal Health and Wellbeing Programs
MSU Extension animal agriculture programs focus on educating and helping farmers raise healthy, productive animals that also result in profitable farms and satisfied employees and consumers. Resources in this priority area focus on the following programs.
Young Animal Management
Programs provide intensive, hands-on opportunities to equip animal care providers with the skills necessary to effectively care for young animals and improve the productivity of these enterprises on Michigan farms.
- Calf Care Schools help animal care providers improve their knowledge and skills in building strong immune systems in calves, effective treatment for common calf diseases and sanitation of equipment.
- Lamb and kid education offers pre-birth management of the doe/ewe, including vaccinations and nutrition. It also includes postbirth management of the doe/ewe and kid/lamb, including problems at parturition and feeding mother and offspring.
Biosecurity programs provide producers and industry representatives with the knowledge and tools to improve animal health on farms.
- Areas of emphasis include biosecurity in transportation, with farm visitors and between animals on the same farm.
Animal Health programs include risk assessment and management strategies to effectively reduce disease incidence while addressing the areas of current and emerging diseases such as:
- Bovine leukemia virus, bovine tuberculosis and parasite management.
Programs in this area address the areas of animal housing and comfort, low stress animal handling and best practices for herd health management. Producers gain knowledge and skills that help them improve animal wellbeing on their farms and better communicate their animal care practices to the general public.
Practical, on-farm learning opportunities are taught for animal control officers and law enforcement workers who may lack experience and knowledge related to livestock evaluation, handling and management.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
HACCP training is offered by MSU Extension for food producers and processors. Food safety continues to challenge food processors as governmental regulations increase as a result of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy
Energy audits and assessments help producers reduce energy consumption and find efficient ways to incorporate renewable energy on their farms. MSU studies have shown that, on average, agricultural operations can realize a 40 percent reduction in energy expenses over a 3.8-year payback period when recommended energy conservation practices are implemented.
Genetics and Reproduction Management
Programs in this area teach management practices that optimize reproductive performance. The importance of genetic selection to improve production, health and fitness traits is emphasized.
Production and Marketing
Programs in this area seek to improve profitability on farms by teaching improved nutritional management, feed management, grazing practices, enterprise analysis and budgeting, cost of production, and marketing alternatives. Additionally, MSU is a research leader in the grass finished beef industry, helping producers find answers to production and marketing questions.
Labor Management and Employee Training
Programs in this area provide employers with training in employee management, leadership and labor law compliance. Regular, progressive training for farm employees is critical to the farm’s success, and leads to employees who are more engaged on the farm.
Livestock and the Environment
Programs in this area address environmental issues related to livestock production, including the areas of manure and nutrient management, odor management and mortality management. Producers gain knowledge and skills that help them minimize environmental risks to protect animal and human health, water resources and prevent soil erosion.
Explore more Animal Agriculture Programs
MSU Extension has invested in ultrasound scanning technology in central Michigan. Breeders can scan yearling bulls and heifers for carcass traits and have this information included in National Cattle Evaluation ultrasound EPDs.
Programs in this area help ensure that food reaching consumers is of utmost quality. Producers and processors learn how their practices affect the final products, and learn tools and techniques to improve overall quality and safety of beef products.
MSU Extension are organizing the regional Bull Breeding Soundness Exam Clinics. This educational opportunity will provide more explanation to the future of your herd, and what may need to be done to make your future as successful as possible.
Cattle Feeding Short Course is an educational opportunity for producers of beef products, to become aware of nutritional and management practices for improving cattle feeding operations.
Animal deaths are unavoidable on the farm and farmers need a plan and methods for managing both “routine” (normal and natural) mortality and “mass carcass” (catastrophic or disaster) management plans.
MCA & MSU Bull Evaluation is a bull appraisal program and facility that affiliates with Michigan State University. This educational opportunity provides a lot of value and information to producers.
Meat cutters are in high demand for industry processors and in meat departments of grocery stores. This free, hands-on certificate training has in-person and online interactive learning components on how to cut and package meat.
Michigan food establishments that process meat products will need to obtain a special variance under FDA guidelines, and MSU Extension has created a special self-directed online training for the variance requirements and application process.
A network of livestock producers, meat processors, distributors, buyers, and food professionals looking to make business connections, find answers, and build viable markets for local and regional meat in Michigan.
My Horse University is an educational opportunity for horse enthusiasts all throughout the world to gain access to research and knowledge from experts through online courses and products.
Seneca Valley Virus is a disease that circulates among the pig population. There is little information known about this disease, but the common clinical signs associated with the disease are blisters or erosions on the pig's snout, mouth or feet.