A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota has secured $500,000 to study how new influenza virus strains emerge, persist, and spread in pig populations—and what age, well-being, farm-production type, and epidemiological factors might help predict whether a new virus strain emerges.
Two projects: one lead by Andres Perez, DVM, PhD and Jerry Torrison, DVM, PhD, DACVPM focuses on surveillance and detection of foreign animal disease, one lead by Sunil Mor, BVSc & AH, MVSc, PhD, aims to develop rapid field test for foot-and-mouth disease.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a highly contagious, widespread infectious disease whose transmission routes, due to a dearth of available data, have been largely unpredictable since its emergence in the U.S. in 2013.
A team of University of Minnesota scientists wants to change that. Thanks to recent new funding from the Swine Health Information Center, College of Veterinary Medicine researchers aim to give swine farmers the tools they need to predict the likelihood of an outbreak before it occurs—by using existing and new data to increase the understanding of how the virus spreads through time and space.
In 2015, the Minnesota State Legislature created the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer program (AGREETT). Funding was established by the Department of Agriculture to support scientists and educators, increase the next generation of agricultural innovation and enhance Minnesota’s agricultural economy.
In 2017, several AGREETT experts were hired:
Matthew Aliota, Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences – Aliota is expected to arrive in February 2018 and will collaborate on interdisciplinary research connecting insect-borne disease to animal health.
Erin Cortus, Assistant Professor and Extension Engineer, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering – Cortus’s research interests are the measurement and estimation of farm-level gas emissions and the related impacts on animals, workers and surrounding community.
Diane DeWitte, Extension Educator – Swine. DeWitte provides quality assurance certifications and biosecurity education to swine producers and youth exhibitors, collaborates on swine barn environmental research, and assists with research conducted at the University’s swine farms at Waseca and Morris.
Andres Gomez, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science – Gomez is engaged in studying the factors that shape the composition and function of the microbiome associated to animals and humans.
Jared Goplen, Extension Educator – Crops. Goplen focuses primarily in the areas of forage and small grain production and is based at the Morris Regional Extension Office.
Joleen Hadrich, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Applied Economics – Hadrich’s research focuses on agricultural finance and production economics with an emphasis on farm-level profitability.
Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, Food Safety – Hultberg’s focus is on-farm food safety education, outreach and research related to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), with fruit and vegetable producers.
Yuxin Miao, Associate Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Climate – Miao’s research focuses on precision nitrogen management, especially using proximal, UAV-and satellite-based remote sensing technologies to improve crop nitrogen management in different scales of farming systems, and developing integrated precision crop management systems for high crop yield and resource use efficiencies and protection of the environment.
Noelle Noyes, Assistant Professor and Extension Educator, Department of Veterinary, Population Medicine – Noyes arrives in May 2018 and will develop practical and effective models for improving preharvest food safety from production through processing by strengthening partnerships between industry, government and the University.
Kim VanderWaal, Assistant Professor and Extension Educator, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine – VanderWaal uses large data sets to better understand antibiotic resistance, food safety and pathogen movements within large agricultural production systems.
Megan Webb, Assistant Professor and Extension Educator, Department of Animal Science – Webb will develop collaborative research and Extension programs focused on sustaining productivity growth in the beef industry and engaging with producers and industry to grow this vital part of Minnesota’s economy.
Melissa Wilson, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate – Wilson’s research and Extension programs are in manure management and water quality.
In addition to the personnel described above, AGREETT invested $4.2 million in upgrades and improvements in infrastructure to support our research.
University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab
Image Technology for Rapid Detection of Crop Pests and Diseases