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Illinois program turns cowgirl dreams into livestock research reality

URBANA, Ill. – The moment 4-year-old Sarah Graham sat in a saddle for the first time, she announced she wanted to be a cowgirl. For the suburban Chicago preschooler, it was an unlikely dream. But it stuck.

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5 Questions: Reproductive biologist thriving at the intersection of biomedical science and agriculture

This week’s 5 Questions Friday features Matthew Dean, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. Dean's group studies the female reproductive system, with the goal of improving fertility in both humans and livestock.

What motivates you in your work?

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Midwestern beef production works just as well off pasture

URBANA, Ill. – Beef producers in the upper Midwest know grazing land is in short supply. With more acres being developed or converted to cropland, producers who want to expand their cow-calf operations are looking for alternatives to traditional pasture management.

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High-oil corn packs punch for pigs

URBANA, Ill. – A new high-oil corn product offers greater amino acid and energy digestibility in growing pigs, according to new research from the University of Illinois.

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In pig brain development, nature beats nurture

URBANA, Ill. – Before humans can benefit from new drug therapies and nutritional additives, scientists test their safety and efficacy in animals, typically mice and rats. But, as much as they’ve done for biomedical research, rodents aren’t always the best research model for studies on neonatal brain development and nutrition. That’s where pigs can play an important role.

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Could super-charged cattle embryos solve world food challenges?

URBANA, Ill. – What if, in the next five to 10 years, we could double or triple milk and meat availability in developing countries without converting more land to cattle production? Millions of hunger-related deaths and nutritional deficiencies could be prevented, giving farmers and families a real shot at prosperity.

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Illinois regenerative agriculture meeting set for April 9

Urbana, Ill.  The new Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (IRAI) is inviting interested farmers, researchers, nonprofit groups, and others with a stake in resilient agriculture and food production to join its second public meeting on April 9.

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Rumen additive and controlled energy benefit dairy cows during dry period

URBANA, Ill. – Getting nutrition right during a dairy cow’s dry period can make a big difference to her health and the health of her calf. But it’s also a key contributor to her milk yield after calving. New research from the University of Illinois shows diets containing consistent energy levels and the rumen-boosting supplement monensin may be ideal during the dry period.

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Distinguished Illinois alum makes personal gift to Feed Technology Center

URBANA, Ill. – Construction on the University of Illinois’ new Feed Technology Center may be complete, but donations are still arriving to sponsor the facility’s $20 million price tag. For Ed McMillan and his family, the first individual donors, the choice to give to the Feed Technology Center was simple.

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Dairy calves benefit from higher-protein starter feed, Illinois study says

URBANA, Ill. – Dairy producers know early nutrition for young calves has far-reaching impacts, both for the long-term health and productivity of the animals and for farm profitability. With the goal of increasing not just body weight but also lean tissue gain, a new University of Illinois study finds enhanced milk replacer with high crude-protein dry starter feed is the winning combination.  

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