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Researchers receive USDA grant

Four NDSU researchers recently were awarded a $350,000 grant from the USDA-National Research Initiative's Animal Growth and Nutrient Utilization Program.

Kimberly Vonnahme, assistant professor of animal sciences; Justin Luther, assistant professor and sheep specialist; Kasey Carlin, assistant professor of animal sciences; and Christopher Schauer (not pictured), center director of the Hettinger Research Extension Center, received the grant for "Influence of metabolizable protein supplementation in late pregnancy on offspring feed efficiency, carcass quality and fertility in sheep."

The objective of the proposal centers around the concept of developmental programming, where a stimulus to the mother may have impacts on the growth and development of offspring. While protein supplementation during pregnancy in livestock is showing to positively influence the carcass quality and fertility of offspring, the biological causes are unknown.

Grant reviewers commented, "The multi-disciplinary approach with a reproductive physiologist, ruminant nutritionist, meat scientist and sheep extension specialist as key players in the application is another strength of the grant application."

The studies will take place at both the Hettinger Research Extension Center and the Animal Nutrition and Physiology Center on campus.


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