Brooke McNeil

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Bioscience

Conference Attended: American Dairy Science Association Annual Meetin

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Value: $2,003.1

Research Presentation: 

The objective of the research project that I will be presenting at the ADSA Annual Meeting is to determine the affects of Echinacea purpurea on dairy calf health and growth. Echinacea purpurea is a medicinal herb, as there is research available supporting it has immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory effects when consumed orally. Such effects have potential to support health and growth, although the effects of its supplementation to dairy calves have been minimally investigated to date. The results of this project include some benefits to dairy calves; therefore, this research supports supplementing Echinacea purpurea to dairy calves on commercial farms. This project relates to Food from Thought’s objectives because: 1) it is research related to livestock (dairy calf) health and growth, and 2) it adds to research available on medicinal plant-based feed supplements for dairy calves which is a growing area of research, and a promising approach to support health and, therefore, reduce anti-microbial use while being an easy-to-implement on-farm strategy, all of which can be extended to supporting sustainable and increased food production (veal and/or milk).

Objectives for Attending: 

The objectives I would like to achieve through attending this conference include: 1) networking with other researchers including fellow graduate students and professors, as well as industry representatives to increase my connections which may lead to future opportunities, 2) experiencing an international research conference in-person for the first time as a graduate student, 3) gaining the experience presenting my own research at such a conference to exercise my public speaking skills and hopefully improve in that area, 4) learning about novel dairy-related research from listening to the presentations, and 5) exploring outside of Canada for the first time in my life. Attending a research conference in-person to gain the above experiences and skills is something I have been looking forward to since beginning MSc studies in May 2020. This experience will mean a lot to me and may be the last opportunity I have to attend a conference as a MSc student due to being in the final year of my MSc program. I am a keen HQP scholar, passionate about agriculture (especially dairy calf health and welfare), and I am very excited to attend this conference. Funding support would be extremely appreciated for this amazing opportunity, thank you for your consideration.