US Farm Report: Undergraduate Appearance

The US Farm Report is out, and UW-Madison makes quite the appearance! Students at the undergraduate and graduate level are featured throughout the video, which exemplifies the enthusiasm, dedication, and passion the students have for what they do. At the 21 minute mark of the video, the report is taken at the Dairy Cattle Center (DCC) on the UW-Madison campus and features an undergraduate student, Michael Moede. Michael is majoring in Dairy Science and works in Dr. Heather White’s lab. His interest in cows began at a young age, and he plans to be involved in the dairy industry in the future.

EAAP & ISRP 2019

From August 26-August 30 and September 3-September 6, Dr. Heather White took Ryan, Henry, and Sophia to Europe to present research at EAAP in Ghent, Belgium (European Federation of Animal Science) and ISRP in Leipzig, Germany (International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology), respectively. This was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to collaborate with other Universities, gain new contacts, and explore new cultures, ideas, and scientific topics. Dr. White had two talks at EAAP. Henry presented one poster, and Sophia and Ryan both presented 2 posters at EAAP. Ryan had one at ISRP and Sophia two.

Members of the White Lab reunite with a past exchange student at EAAP.
Left to right: Henry Holdorf (PhD student), Pascal van Krulen (former exchange student), Dr. Heather White (PI), and Ryan Pralle (PhD candidate).

Posing in front of posters at ISRP.
Left to right: Henry Holdorf, Ryan Pralle, Sophia Erb, and Dr. Heather White.

Farrington Internship for Research

This summer, UW-Madison and Tuskegee University partnered together through a Farrington Internship to help Animal Science students determine career paths. The White Lab was pleased to have Naomi Waldon, an Animal Science major at Tuskegee, assist with feed efficiency projects and have her own independent laboratory project.

Naomi did not have lots of experience with cows at first, but that did not stop her! With guidance from graduate student Malia, Naomi was able to weigh cows, draw blood, and understand the inner workings of a farm. She was also able to work in the lab for an independent project which was an extension of Claira’s Master’s work. Even though she had some prior experience from lab courses taken at Tuskegee, the experience itself allowed her to shape her future goals for her career path after graduation.

It was great having Naomi in the lab, and we wish her best of luck in her endeavors!

Left: Malia (left) and Naomi (right) pipette serum into microcentrifuge tubes after collection from cows for lab analysis. Thanks to Michael P. King for the photograph.

Right: Naomi sets up the Catachem, an autoanalyzer, for analysis of the serum samples in the lab.

ADSA 2019

The annual American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) meeting took place in Cincinnati, OH. Here, current and alumnae graduate students from the White Lab presented their research with both poster sessions (Dr. Kristina Weld, Malia Martin, and Henry Holdorf) and oral presentations (Rafael Caputo Oliveira, MS and Ryan Pralle). Dr. Heather White herself gave two talks about he transition period and the relevance of understanding how methyl donors and feed efficiency are at play. She also received the prestigious Foundation Scholar Award, a distinguishing accomplishment as part of her contribution and dedication to Dairy Science.

Dr. Heather White receives the distinguishable Foundation Scholar Award.

Dr. White met up with colleagues from UW-Madison’s Dairy Science Department.

Dr. Victor Cabrera (left), Dr. Heather White (center), Theodore Halbach, MS (right).

Dr. Heather White with some alumnae and current lab members at ADSA 2019.

Back (L to R): Dr. Kristina Weld, Rafael Caputo Oliveira, MS, and Ryan Pralle.
Front (L to R): Malia Martin, Dr. Heather White, and Henry Holdorf.

Overview of Subclinical Ketosis Talk at Form-a-Feed Conference

Dr. Heather White had given a talk at the annual Form-a-Feed conference in Red Wing, MN in January 2019 on subclinical ketosis. Her topics included defining specificity vs. sensitivity and how it relates to diagnosing cows on farm, as well as touching upon some of her research which has demonstrated to have potentially positive health outcomes shortly after calving in transition cows. Jenna Hurty-Pearson wrote an article on the talk, which is found in the most recent issue of Progressive Dairyman. Click here to read more on the overview of Dr. White’s talk. Click here to read the Editor’s Choice publication mentioned in the Progressive Dairyman article of the research overseen by Ph.D. candidate Rafael Caputo Oliveira under Dr. Heather White.

Funding Dairy Science Research: Dairy Innovation Hub

In early May, the state of Wisconsin called a hearing at the Capitol building in regards to a state senate bill called the Dairy Innovation Hub, where $7.9 million would be invested into dairy research. Dr. Heather White was asked to testify in front of the Senate on why this bill would be beneficial to America’s Dairyland.

In mid June, the Dairy Innovation Hub was included into the state budget by the Finance Committee. Not only will this bill help fund dairy research here at UW-Madison in the Dairy Science Department, it will also provide funds to the other UW campus locations throughout the state, such as River Falls and Platteville. With the extensive coverage of this bill, all things dairy can be explored.

For the final state budget in early-mid July, Governor Tony Evers has stressed the importance of the Dairy Innovation Hub by explaining how it will be a profitable and positive influence on the dairy industry here in Wisconsin by helping all impacted by dairy.

In early August, the Board of Regents convened to approve the Dairy Innovation Hub spending proposal. By doing so, this allows each university (UW-Madison, UW-River Falls, UW-Platteville) to understand how much money will be going to each program and how it will be spent. From research to extension, all dairy niches will be positively affected by this at the three locations and throughout the state.

The Dairy Innovation Hub budget has officially passed on October 2, 2019 and will (briefly) fund four distinct areas of Dairy Research:

1. Animal Health and Welfare
2. Human Health and Nutrition
3. Land and Water Resourses
4. Farm Business and Community Growth

This is an exciting time to be a part of dairy research!

The Many Facets of Ketosis

Check out a series of popular press articles Henry is publishing through Purina. Through diet, we are understanding how ketosis and starch digestibility are related and the impact this has on cow health and milk production. He has also written about how the dry period relates to ketosis, explaining how even time off from producing milk can affect lactations later in life. Stay tuned for more articles from Henry!

Congratulations Claira!

Claira received her Master’s degree early May 2019 and has decided to continue her dairy science education by going back to Cornell University to do a Ph.D. with Dr. Jessica McArt. Congratulations and good luck Claira!!!

Progressive Dairyman Article- 2017

Back in 2017, Dr. Heather White’s Lab Group was featured in an article in Progressive Dairyman!

The article highlighted the importance of women in science and the hurdles women overcome to get where they are. Check it out here!

Congratulations Kristina!

Kristina completed and received her Ph.D. in Dairy Science in April 2019. She will be working for Purina as a consultant on dairy cow nutrition in southwest Wisconsin. Congratulations and good luck Kristina!!!