A $300,000 federal grant will be used to help the University of Missouri create the National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics in Beef Cattle.
The project is a collaboration among USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, MU’s Division of Animal Sciences and MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
The focus, the university reported, will be on giving farmers and ranchers the answer to the question, “What is the return on investment if I invest in reproductive or genomic technologies?”
“We’re not just trying to fill people’s heads with new knowledge—it’s more about lighting a fire,” said Extension beef geneticist Jared Decker. “We’re focused on helping farmers and ranchers understand the technology, but, more than that, to trust the technology and identify ways they can use it. We want to educate producers and help them take that next leap.”
The project will provide continuing education for veterinarians and educational and training opportunities for veterinary students, graduate students, farmers, ranchers and allied industry professionals.
The university is still seeking a specific location for the center, which is in the beginning stages of development.
“We’re taking the model we’ve developed in Missouri over the past 20 years and making it a national center,” Decker said. “We’re hoping to spread the model of integrating research and extension in genetics, reproduction and economics and putting that together. That’s worked really well in Missouri. Now, let’s spread it nationally.”