BS in Dairy Science
Dairy Science Department
Global warming (GW) is of real concern for the current U.S. agricultural industry. The agricultural industry has had a hand in emitting into the atmosphere. Severe heat spells seen nationwide and volatile climate shifts have pushed states such as California to implement governmental support to high impact areas due to dwindling water sources. Motivated dairy industry members have created plans to reduce dairy GHE contribution. Some research has suggested a benefit in GHG emissions from fewer cow-higher production approaches to dairy farmers. Most U.S. dairy cattle are specialized due to high inbreeding values created by selecting for few production traits of high genetic merit. Their reduced genetic diversity, which by definition aids in the survivability and adaptability of a species, is found to be a disadvantage when environmental conditions are not ideal. Utilizing crossbreeding to amplify genetic diversity at the genome increases the overall economic merit of the progeny. There may be potential in incorporating dairy operations which are both crossbred and pure bred. By shifting breeding program standards from genetic merit to economic merit dairy producers can better conceptualize the potential gains by implementing regionalized crossbred herds in the United States.