Anna Schwanke

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Biosciences

Conference Attended: American Dairy Science Association

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Value: $1,694.0

Research Presentation: 

The research I will be presenting supports Food from Thought’s objective to enhance livestock health and welfare, as well as to promote efficient production. We investigated the effects on feeding behaviour and production of dairy cows of differing personality traits under two different levels of competition for feed. By comparing these two scenarios, we determined that there were limited effects of the personality traits of fearfulness and active-explorative on feeding behaviour, however, cows who were more active[1]exploratory were able to produce more milk under greater competition. These results will enable producers to make informed decisions when managing cows, as well as add to a growing body of research that aims to provide individualised management for animals based on health, production, and behavioural factors. By shifting to precision management of livestock animals, the agriculture industry will be able to improve resource efficiency (and reduce nutrient waste) while optimizing health and welfare not just for the group, but for each cow’s individual requirements. Therefore, this research project supports Food from Thought’s objectives, and explores novel areas of research into dairy cow personality and its impact on various management aspects of dairy production.

Objectives for Attending: 

As a graduate student exploring future career paths, this event will provide me with greater exposure to possible prospects in industry, as well as enhance my experiences in the world of research and academia. Attending the American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting will provide me with an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals working with precision dairy technologies. This will allow me to discuss new research ideas and directions with fellow researchers, as well as communicate with industry representatives. This event will expose me to new career possibilities, ideas, and technologies, as well as improve my communication and research skills. This is also an opportunity for me to represent the highly relevant and innovative research generated through the Food from Thought research program. I am very interested utilizing precision technology and individual animal personality profiles to provide support to producers developing precision management strategies, as well as improving industry sustainability and animal health and welfare through these means. With the overall goal to showcase research addressing emerging issues such as these, this conference will stimulate great discussion and thought and will allow me to grow as a researcher.