Michigan Alliance for Animal AgricultureDOWNLOAD FILE
M-AAA is a partnership among Michigan animal agriculture industries, Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension focused on the advancement of the Michigan animal agriculture economy.
Partners include: Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Horse Council, Michigan Meat Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Pork Producers, Michigan Sheep Breeders Association, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (associate member) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
With competitive grant funding starting in 2015, the State of Michigan invested in M-AAA research to advance the animal agriculture industry from fiscal years 2017 to 2019.
Examples of M-AAA projects
Animal housing standards
By April 1, 2020, all Michigan producers will need to house pregnant pigs in pens where they can turn about freely. Researchers at MSU, alongside collaborators, are developing a host of tools to identify pigs suitable for group housing that are more likely to live in harmony.
Managing diseases such as bovine leukemia
A survey of 113 Michigan dairy herds found an 88 percent herd-level prevalence of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) — a retrovirus that causes infection in dairy and beef cattle that can lead to more devastating diseases. Since BLV prevalence is not easily predicted, producers need systematic monitoring such as the BLV Herd Profile Test to stay ahead of this disease. Increasing efficiency of fertility programs Infertility of lactating cows is an issue that limits both profitability and sustainability of dairy farms. In response, researchers developed fertility programs to control ovarian development.
Several more ongoing projects cover topics such as combating antibiotic resistance, managing infectious diseases and improving animal welfare. These projects take place in partnership with approximately 80 farms located across the state and in more than 50 legislative districts.
Status of M-AAA
The governor’s FY20 executive budget did not include funding for M-AAA, but the Senate proposed $3 million (SB 133) and the House proposed $1M (HB 4229). The conference committee agreed on $3 million. Unfortunately, M-AAA was one of the 147 line-item vetoes made on September 30.
Recurring funding is needed for research and extension projects to enhance Michigan animal agriculture through the M-AAA.