The M-AAA is a partnership among Michigan animal agriculture industries, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension focused on the advancement of the Michigan animal agriculture economy.
Animal agriculture industry partners
- Michigan Allied Poultry Industries
- Michigan Cattlemen’s Association
- Michigan Farm Bureau
- Michigan Horse Council
- Michigan Meat Association
- Michigan Milk Producers Association
- Michigan Pork Producers
- Michigan Sheep Breeders Association
- Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (associate member)
With competitive grant funding starting in 2015, the State of Michigan invested in M-AAA research to advance the animal agriculture industry from fiscal years 2017 to 2020.
Examples of M-AAA projects
Emergency preparedness for livestock transportation accidents
Elizabeth Ferry, an MSU Extension educator, is using M-AAA funding to provide outreach and training on emergency response preparedness for accidents or emergencies that involve livestock. First responders often don’t have the training or equipment to handle livestock trailer accidents. This training helps first responders know what equipment is needed and how to use it to safely and humanely move livestock. County participation in the initiative has extended to helping fund response trailers that can be used in the event of an accident. Three trailers have been funded so far in Branch, Jackson and Otsego counties, and each has agreements with MSU and adjacent counties for use in training or response. The trailers contain equipment needed in emergency situations, such as panels for livestock to walk on, saws to cut away debris, tarps, zip ties and oil dry.
Managing diseases such as bovine leukemia
A survey of 113 Michigan dairy herds found an 88 percent herd-level prevalence of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) — a retrovirus that causes infection in dairy and beef cattle that can lead to more devastating diseases. Since BLV prevalence is not easily predicted, producers need systematic monitoring such as the BLV Herd Profile Test to stay ahead of this disease. Increasing efficiency of fertility programs Infertility of lactating cows is an issue that limits both profitability and sustainability of dairy farms. In response, researchers developed fertility programs to control ovarian development.
Several more ongoing projects cover topics such as combating antibiotic resistance, managing infectious diseases and improving animal welfare. These projects take place in partnership with approximately 80 farms located across the state and in more than 50 legislative districts.
Status of M-AAA
The governor’s FY22 executive budget reduced funding for the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture by $1.3 million. Recurring funding at the $3 million level is needed to fully support research and extension projects that enhance Michigan animal agriculture through the M-AAA.