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Dairy Innovation Hub initiative selects seven new projects for grant funding

Grace Connatser
Wisconsin State Farmer
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

The Dairy Innovation Hub initative, a part of the University of Wisconsin­-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, awarded one-year grants to seven "short term, high impact" projects.

The grant recipients are:

Kerri Coon, assistant professor in the Department of Bacteriology

Kerri Coon, an assistant professor of the Department of Bacteriology, whose project will study the capacity of flies to spread bacteria that cause mastitis and enteritis in dairy cattle

Steven Deller, professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Steven Deller, a professor and extension specialist of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, whose project will study supply chains within the Wisconsin dairy community

Jeremy Foltz, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Jeremy Foltz, a professor of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, whose project will study how manure regulations improve water quality 

Denise Ney, professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics

Denise Ney, a professor of the Department of Nutrition Sciences and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics, whose project will create a value-added product from whey to treat human obesity and related health problems

John Panuska, faculty associate and extension natural resources specialist in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering

John Panuska, a faculty associate and extension natural resources specialist of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, whose project will create an app to help farmers identify and avoid high-risk areas for manure application

Matt Ruark, associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Soil Science

Matt Ruark, an associate professor and extension specialist of the Department of Soil Science, whose project will develop best management practices for maintaining water quality, using nitrogen efficiently and improving soil health on farms

Heidi Zoerb, associate dean for External Relations of UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Heidi Zoerb, the associate dean for External Relations of the CALS, whose project will create an innovation competition for UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls students to develop solutions for challenges facing the dairy community

The Hub's original goal was to fund projects that met their four criteria – "stewarding land and water resources; enriching human health and nutrition; ensuring animal health and welfare; and growing farm business and communities." The projects will also address recommendations raised by the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0, which met from 2018-2019 to analyze what actions should be taken to keep the state dairy industry profitable.

CALS also announced that they recently approved six graduate student assistantships and will hire four more instructors. They also said they are planning the first virtual Dairy Summit conference, which will be on Nov. 18 of this year and will include research presentations, discussions and a Hub progress report. Registration is free. More information will be available in the coming weeks.