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Agriculture News


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Creating ‘Farms of the Future’: New Penn-led webinar series to host grassroots discussions about sustainable, regenerative agriculture

A new virtual symposium series presented by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), in collaboration with PennPraxis, the community engagement arm at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, will explore the advantages, challenges, and opportunities surrounding animal agriculture and food production systems within Pennsylvania, the surrounding region, and across the United States. 

 

Gary Althouse (shown pre-pandemic) notes that the animal origins of the current Covid-19 crisis underscore the importance of veterinary expertise in sustaining both animal and human health.

Supporting agriculture and a safe food supply

Caring for a cow with uterine prolapse is not a task that a veterinarian can accomplish alone. The physicality and teamwork it demands—one person to position the animal, another to supply tools and equipment, sometimes a third to assist—makes it nearly impossible to sustain the social distancing prescribed to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Yet for Billy Smith and his fellow veterinarians that make up the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Field Service team, these kinds of encounters must continue, even amid a pandemic.

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For Improved Profit Margins, the Dairy Doctor is in

For Dr. Joe Bender, what goes on in the environment surrounding an animal is just as important as what’s going on inside of it. As a veterinarian and assistant professor of clinical dairy production medicine within the Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), Bender knows how an integrated approach to herd health can pay off in the bulk tank.

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Safeguarding farms and food

The Calving Corner is a popular attraction at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Dairy cows on the verge of giving birth rest in a spacious pen while an audience seated on surrounding bleachers eagerly awaits. On a Saturday earlier this month, Karen, a cow from Meadow Spring Farm in Lititz, had been showing signs of readiness for hours: changing position frequently, “nesting" in the bedding straw, and breathing rapidly, with occasional pauses for contractions.

Dr. Zhengxia Dou, Penn Vet, Agricultural Systems

Amazing Cows Hold Promise in Pioneering Sustainable Food Systems of the Future

In today’s climate change narrative, animal-based agriculture often endures criticism for its alleged contributions to the global problem. With some naysayers ranking the industry second only to the population explosion as a root contributor to global warming and other weather-related devastation, the concern for how food is – and can be – produced has become even more pressing.

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Stopping Disease in its Tracks: How Geospatial Mapping Protects Pennsylvania’s Producers

Tell a swine or poultry producer that their animals are sick and the first question they ask is, “How?”

Thanks to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), producers can now get an answer to that pressing question fast – or even stop disease from encroaching past their property lines altogether.

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Electronic sow feeding shows promise, despite challenges

It’s feeding time at the University of Pennsylvania’s Swine Teaching and Research Center in Chester County’s horse country.

Actually, it’s always feeding time in this loose pig environment. Sow gestation stalls are gone, free-roaming pig pens are in. The sow decides when she wants to eat, not the other way around.

Penn Vet's Sherrill Davison reminds poultry owners to collect eggs often. Eggs that sit for too long in the nest may have an increased risk of infection.

Vets Talk Treatment for ‘Mother of All Head Colds’

[STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA] — A Pennsylvania poultry farmer got an unwelcome Christmas present from his laying hens last year. Egg production dropped by a quarter, and some of his 36,000 chickens died.

Penn Vet's Sherrill Davison reminds poultry owners to collect eggs often. Eggs that sit for too long in the nest may have an increased risk of infection.

Penn Vet Avian Expert to Share Infectious Coryza Insights at Annual Conference Focusing on Poultry, Diseases

The 2019 Pennsylvania Poultry Sales and Service Conference and the 91st Northeastern Conference on Avian Diseases (NECAD) will be held Sept. 11 and 12 in State College.

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Dr. Gary Althouse Named Penn Vet’s Associate Dean of Sustainable Agriculture and Veterinary Practices

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) announced the appointment of Gary Althouse, PhD, DVM, to associate dean of Sustainable Agricultural and Veterinary Practices. The appointment was effective April 1, 2019.

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Johne’s Disease and the enteric microbiome

Paratuberculosis (or Johne’s Disease (JD)) is a chronic gastrointestinal disease of cattle caused by an infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). Infection with MAP results in inflammation of the intestinal lining, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and is ultimately fatal. 

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Enhancing Dairy ‘Farm Health’ for Economic Viability, Success

As the bar for keeping a farm out of financial stress nudges higher and higher, experts like Dr. Joseph Bender, Assistant Professor of Clinical Dairy Production at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School (Penn Vet), seek innovative solutions to not only stabilize the viability of the family dairy, but help it to flourish. Through their work at Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP), he and his colleagues combine expertise in dairy nutrition, reproduction, health economics, and conventional veterinary medicine, to boost economic productivity within animal agriculture.

Marshak Dairy Cows at New Bolton Center

Want to reduce emissions? Start in the gut of a cow.

As concern about climate change rises, researchers are working to develop innovative strategies to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Swine Production Facilities at New Bolton Center

Penn Vet Swine Group Discusses Global Challenges Arising from China’s African Swine Fever Outbreak

In China, a country that is home to more than half of the world’s swine population, the spread of deadly infectious disease - such as the current African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak - can carry tremendous implications for food supply and pricing across the globe.

Swine Production Facilities at New Bolton Center

Penn Vet Teams with Merck Animal Health to Educate Young Swine Veterinarians

Swine University participants, representing seven countries from across the globe, were involved in a training program that included lecture, interactive lab, and both small and large group activities. Facilitated by the foremost experts in swine health, the curriculum included a mix of practical and theoretical exercises on swine management, communication skills, economic analyses, and an in-depth review of diagnosis and treatment of respiratory and reproductive diseases.

Briana Wilson V'19, helps to establish a commercial goat dairy operation in Gambia.

Vet students’ goat dairy aims to fill a nutrition gap in Gambia

Briana Wilson, a third-year student in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, plans to pursue a career as a small-animal vet, mainly caring for cats and dogs. But this summer, she’s getting a trial-by-fire education in goat husbandry, project management, and negotiating the challenges of helping launch a business in a relatively remote region of a developing nation.

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How to avoid food poisoning from E. coli and salmonella

Customers shopping at the supermarket lately may have felt a swell of anxiety while passing by heads of romaine lettuce or the egg case—the former, recalled due to an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, and the latter linked to an outbreak of salmonella brandaerup infections.

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Agricultural Sustainability Project Reached 20.9 Million Smallholder Farmers Across China

Smallholder farmers who cultivate perhaps only a few hectares of land dominate the agricultural landscape in places like China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing their efficiency while reducing their environmental impact are critical steps to ensuring a sustainable food source for the world’s growing population.

Swine Production Facilities at New Bolton Center

Penn and Chinese pork producers swap ideas to share and learn

Pork is the world’s most consumed meat, thanks in large part to the Chinese. China consumes half of the planet’s pork and, accordingly, is home to roughly 50 percent of the world’s pigs.

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On the farm with Penn Vet’s Field Service

The School of Veterinary Medicine’s Field Service offers both routine and emergency care for equine and food animal clients within a 30-mile radius of the New Bolton Center Hospital. This service treats more than 24,000 patients at local farms annually.