Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people


Principal Investigator:  Joseph Wakshlag
Co-Principal Investigator:  Daryl Nydam
Co-Principal Investigator:  Thomas Overton

Department of Clinical Sciences; Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Science; Department of Animal Science
Contact Information:  Email: jw37@cornell.edu - Phone: 607-253-4389
Sponsor:  USDA- Federal Formula Funds - Hatch Act
Grant Number:  NYC-480469
Title:  Insulin Resistance in Transition Dairy Cows: Characterization and Control Measures to Increase Health and Production
Annual Direct Cost:  $20,000
Project Period:  10/01/2011-09/30/2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): New York, ranking third in national milk production and number of dairy cows, has dairy cash receipts over 1.8 billion dollars annually. Dairy is thus vital to the economic sustainability of our communities, providing for quality of life to many people. For the Northeast to remain competitive in the global economy (agriculture is one of the few industries with a positive trade balance) and continue to produce affordable, safe and secure food, it is important that our region supports dairy farming. By understanding insulin resistance and negative energy balance in dairy cows, then finding better ways to manage them, dairy herds will be more productive. Our general techniques will examine the loss of muscle mass and fat mass during lactation and how body condition and plane of nutrition affects milk production, feed intake, risk of ketosis as it relates to hormones released from fat and muscle just before and during early lactation. Once the physiology has been defined we will further work on nutritional interventions to ameliorate the pathophysiology of obesity during lactation using supplemental branched chain amino acids which are a great energy source and may help prevent muscle loss during lactation. Primary benefactors will be dairy farm families and the cows they manage. Allied agribusiness and communities will be similarly positively impacted as will the consuming public. Moreover, this has the potential to be a usable model to study insulin resistance as a multi-species phenomenon with benefits to human health as well.