In an effort to support research needed to evaluate methodologies that help maintain and improve cow health while conforming to organic regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $1.4 million grant to a team co-led by \Dr. Pablo Pinedo, a D.V.M. who is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University.
“Dairy is the second largest segment of organic agriculture,” said Pinedo. “So, we need to continue developing science-based approaches for prevention and treatment of disease. We need procedures based on studies that are supported by rigorous research. Our long-term goal is to contribute to a better health that will result in better cow welfare.”
In a collaborative initiative, researchers from the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University and Kansas State University will come together to test and develop new treatment strategies for organic dairies and take what they have learned to other producers and dairy practitioners throughout Colorado and across the country.
One challenge facing organic dairy researchers is that organic dairies are typically much smaller than conventional dairies, making it hard to find animal populations of a suitable size for studies. To help overcome this challenge, Pinedo and the team are partnering with Aurora Organic Dairy, which will open the doors to its large herd in Colorado for this study.
“We are looking forward to working together with CSU to accomplish the goals set up by the different research trials,” said Juan Velez, chief agricultural officer at Aurora Organic Dairy. “Cow health and welfare are priorities for us.”