Emily Croft

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Animal Biosciences

Conference Attended: American Society of Animal Science

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Value: $2,230.00

Research Presentation: 

My current research focuses on the effects of supplementation of metabolizable energy to beef cows during late gestation on cow and calf performance and metabolism. This research is related to both animal wellbeing and efficiency as Food for Thought objectives. As the calf grows rapidly during late gestation it begins to crowd the cow’s digestive tract, creating changes to the capacity for intake and digestion. This may make it difficult for the cow to meet her requirements on a typical forage-based diet. These deficits in energy may be exaggerated by increasing energy demands from the growing fetus and the udder. It is hypothesized that the supplementation of metabolizable energy during late gestation will assist the cow in meeting the increased demands during this time, requiring less metabolism of her own body reserves. This is beneficial to cow well being, as her needs will be more correctly met and she will not be sacrificing her own fat and protein stores. Additionally, this is beneficial to efficiency as the cow will not need to be fed excess to recover lost body condition and reserves while she is simultaneously supporting her calf.

Objectives for Attending: 

The main objectives I hope to achieve at this conference are gaining experience discussion my research and its implications with other academic professionals, and networking to discover career paths that allow for research extension and the improvement of raising livestock. I believe its is extremely important to communicate research so that it can be implemented into practice as efficiently as possible. I hope through the attendance of this conference that I will gain experience in communicating my own research, as well as observe how other experienced academics communicate their research. I also look to gain feedback from these experienced academics on how to better apply and interpret the results from my research to make it more applicable for a general audience. I believe the experience of presenting my research orally will better prepare me for a career in which I can communicate novel research and management practices to producers to improve efficiency in food production. As I near the end of my Master of Science degree in Animal Biosciences I look forward to a career in the livestock industry in which I can contribute to animal well-being and efficiency. Due to COVID-19 my networking opportunities throughout my degree have been limited and I have not had many opportunities to discuss potential career paths and research concepts with my colleagues. I believe this is integral to a successful grad school experience. I hope that in attending this conference I will have the opportunity to broaden my network and create connections with other academics and industry members who are passionate about livestock production and raising animals in agriculture.