An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nutritional Approaches to Optimize Efficient Resource Utilization in The Production of Animal Products


The overall goal of this project is to improve animal production, health and wellbeing through nutrition and metabolism approaches. The animal feed industry is a constantly changing landscape. This is evident with the continuous development of new pre- and probiotics, expansion change of the biofuels industry and their by-products, and the search for antibiotic replacement products and application and use for by-products of the meat industry. Furthermore, for these products to be effective in improving animal production and health, they need to be evaluated in different species and in the presence of different forage, grain, protein and fibrous feedstuffs. These feedstuffs may have low digestibility and crude protein concentrations that result in limited utilization by animals. Alternatively, these feed additives and feedstuffs may enhance digestibility and nutrient utilization to support animal wellbeing, milk, meat, and fiber production. Animal management and production is also
under constantly challenges by environmental factors such as pathogens, erratic climates (e.g., heat stress, cold stress) and suboptimal nutrient utilization and nutritional management that negatively influence reproduction, growth, milk and egg production, and profitability. Animals raised in ambient weather conditions that are outside of their thermal neutral zone or are health challenged by bacteria or viral pathogens have inefficient nutrient utilization and reduced production. This reduced production is very costly and threatens profitable, sustainable, and competitive animal agricultural production. Additionally, the interactions of animals and animal production systems with their environment (e.g., carbon, phosphorus, and nitrogen emissions/footprints) are of increasing importance. At the animal system level, monitoring nutrient cycling, greenhouse emissions, energy flows, and, in general, the response of the environment to animal production and management systems is the
foundation to minimize environmental impacts and optimize efficiencies. We also aim to increase our understanding of how we can use nutrition to optimize the biological mechanisms that underlie animal growth, lean accretion, lactation, nutrient digestion, and metabolism. Animal-derived foods such as meat, milk, and eggs provide major amounts of calories, protein, lipids, and other nutrients in the human diet. Additionally, feeding food producing animals certain diets can fortify or enhance the profile of bioactive nutrients in these human foods. Human health is "tied" to the human diet. Thus, there is an opportunity to improve the composition of animal products to meet demands by an ever increasing health-conscious consumer. Further, using animals as a model to nutrient-by-health interactions can be used to increase our understanding on nutrient bioactivity and function to mitigate disease such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. To achieve our overall goal, this project
will address the following three objectives:Feedstuff evaluation for the improvement of animal wellbeing and production to reduce feed costs.Optimizing animal nutrition to improve animal health and wellbeing, production and management efficiencies and the environment.Effects of nutrients on animal product quality and the use of nutrition and animal models to improve human health and wellbeing.

Rasmussen, Mark; Gabler, N.; Russell, JA; Patience, JO; Morris, CH; Morrical, DA; Loy, DA; Honeyman, MA; Hansen, ST; Cruz-Rossoni-Serao, MA; Bobeck, EL; Beitz, DO; Baumgard, LA
Iowa State University
Start date
End date
Project number
Accession number