Why and How COVID-19 Affects the Dairy Industry

COVID-19’s effects can be felt in nearly all aspects of our lives, and how our food is sourced and chosen is no exception. In this hour-long discussion organized by the Wisconsin Alumni Association through the UW NOW series, experts on Supply Chain Management (Dr. Greg DeCroix), Meat Science (Dr. Jeff Sindelar), Dairy Science (Dr. Heather White), and Integrated Agricultural Systems (Michelle Miller, MS) discuss the hurdles and challenges faced in our current food supply situation. While the other experts discuss the intricacies involved in each of their respective fields, Dr. White discusses why and how the dairy industry has been affected by COVID-19 and steps we can take to mitigate the effect on dairy farmers.

Midwest Farm Bureau Report Interview

Josh Scramlin of the Midwest Farm Bureau sat down with Dr. Heather White for an interview on how the Dairy Innovation Hub will help Wisconsin and its dairy industry (ranging from milk to cheese to feed), consumers, farmers, and cows. Dr. White gave a comprehensive review of what the goals of the Hub are, including who is part of the Hub as whole. Hear what Dr. White has to say about the Hub here!

Progressive Dairy: Dec 2019

In the most recent issue of Progressive Dairy, Dr. Heather White was formally mentioned for two things: becoming the Dairy Innovation Hub faculty director and researching the effects of ammonium lactate product in transition dairy cows.

The former discusses the advisory council, which consists of 11 members representing different areas of dairy (be it cheesemaking, farming, protecting consumers, etc). These members come from various backgrounds, yet all share a common goal. Read more about their current positions!

The latter was written in conjunction with Michael de Veth, who is Vice President of Fermented Nutrition. This article, “Uncovering the hidden glucose source cows need,” gives an abbreviated background of how the GlucoBoost product works and why it would be beneficial to transition cows. A follow-up article will be published in Progressive Dairy in a future issue.

Dairy Innovation Hub Faculty Director

With the Dairy Innovation Hub passed and underway, Dr. Heather White has been appointed as the faculty director and is currently in her new role. She will ensure the Dairy Innovation Hub will progress smoothly and work directly with stakeholders and researchers. Dr. White will continue to keep doing impactful research while serving in this position. See a short synopsis of Dr. White’s expertise here!

Posted in DIH

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!