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  • Research Grant Program
  • Funded Research
Research Grant Program
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To further our mission, Holstein Association USA invites research proposals with expected outcomes
to benefit the profitability from Holstein cattle. Research may involve traditional production disciplines of genetics, nutrition, or reproduction as well as dairy foods or economics.

Please submit applications by August 15, 2019.

pdf Research Grant Application

pdf Application Only



     

Research priorities

The mission of Holstein Association USA (HAUSA) is to provide leadership, information, and services to help members and dairy producers worldwide be successful. To further that mission Holstein Association USA invites research proposals with expected outcomes to benefit the profitability from Holstein cattle. Research may involve traditional production disciplines of genetics, nutrition, or reproduction as well as dairy foods or economics. Genomics is expected to be part of most projects, but it is not a requirement.

Traits of interest for the research program could include but are not limited to the following: Holstein longevity, health, production, immune system, and locomotion.

Grant Guidelines

  • Principal investigators at US Universities or non-profits are eligible to apply for grant funds.
  • Holstein Association USA is particularly interested in research that advances the profitability and health of Holstein cattle through genetics, but proposals researching other areas of improvement are also invited. Research on the economic benefits of Holstein cows or their products are welcome as well. Grant proposals should represent research in the U.S. on animals or products of the Holstein breed.
  • Research funded with HAUSA grants are expected to be innovative, exploratory and based on sound science. Research proposals of all sizes will be considered, but Holstein grants are expected to be funded within the range of $10,000 to $80,000 per year. Grant durations are expected to be one to three years. Initially, funding requests greater than $80,000 per year or durations longer than three years are not expected to be funded.
  • All projects are expected to obtain approval from local Animal Wellness committee or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Funds for HAUSA approved projects will not be released until a copy of initial approval of project by Animal Wellness Committee or IACUC is on file at HAUSA.
  • Research applications will be reviewed by select HAUSA staff, HAUSA board representative(s) and a few external reviewers, if needed. Purpose of the reviews is to select proposals for recommendation of funding by HAUSA board.
  • Grant funding from Holstein Association USA, Inc should be credited in written research publications and acknowledged in oral presentations.

Progress reports

  • Biannual progress reports and final report should convey state of research on the project (what is completed and what is still underway if multi-year project), a copy of current Animal Wellness committee approval, disbursement of funds and status of publications or oral presentations. Copies of written research publications are also requested.
  • Incomplete or inadequate progress reports may limit release of funding for multi-year grants.
  • At completion of the project, a PowerPoint presentation of outcomes emphasizing increased profitability of Holstein cattle should be prepared for use by HAUSA to convey research results to Holstein members.

Timeline

Research proposals are invited throughout the year, but anticipate being evaluated on an annual cycle. Granting schedule for 2019 is outlined below:

  • Holstein Grant program announcement and request for proposals: June 15, 2019
  • Proposal submission date: August 15, 2019
  • Preliminary review and decision for recommendations to November 2019 HAUSA Board of Directors meeting.
  • First year of approved grants is expected to be funded during January 2020.
  • Progress reports are requested twice a year (May 1 and November 1).

Funded Research

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RESEARCH PROJECT APPROVED IN FALL OF 2017
 

Utilizing genomic information to increase genetic gain and minimize
the unfavorable effects of inbreeding in the US Holstein population.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Christian Maltecca, North Carolina State University

DURATION OF PROJECT: January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Executive summary of proposal: Within this proposal we aim at developing and utilize novel metrics of genomic relatedness and inbreeding to curtail the accumulation of harmful recessive loci in the population as well as maximizing the amount of additive variation available for selection in order to maintain maximum genetic progress per generation. Software to efficiently decrease the overall genomic load while maximizing genetic gain will be developed and tested in the US Holstein population. A list of unfavorable haplotypes across traits will be obtained and efficient methods to manage these haplotypes in the population deployed.

 
RESEARCH PROJECT APPROVED IN FALL OF 2018
 

Breeding Holstein cows for heat tolerance using the slick hair gene.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Anna Denicol, University of California Davis

DURATION OF PROJECT: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021

Executive summary of proposal: Heat stress is estimated to cost the US dairy and beef industries $1.7 billion annually due to decreased milk production, reproductive failure and higher culling rates. In total, 45% of US dairy cows are located in areas affected by heat stress; by 2040-2060 average summer temperatures are projected to be warmer than the warmest temperatures on record. One way to decrease heat stress is to breed Holstein cows for heat tolerance based on the slick gene. The slick gene was first described in Senepol cattle and introduced into the Holstein breed by crossbreeding. Holstein cows carrying the slick genetics have shorter, sleek hair coats, higher sweating rate and are more tolerant to heat stress. Importantly, milk production is less affected in slick cows during heat stress, but there is currently no information about performance of young animals carrying the slick gene. Our aim is to produce slick Holstein calves and non-slick half-sisters, and compare their performance from birth to the first 30 days of lactation and beyond in commercial farms in California and Florida. Results from this project will be crucial to provide permanent solutions to heat stress through genetics and provide profitable dairy production in a warming world.