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Blueprint for USDA Efforts in Agricultural Animal Genomics Released

Contact:
Jennifer Martin, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-8188

August 31, 2007

The USDA Animal Genomics Strategic Planning Task Force has released the Blueprint for USDA Efforts in Agricultural Animal Genomics, a 10-year plan for research, education and extension in animal genomics to improve animal production systems.

USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) led the task force, which was composed of USDA employees and university scientists and administrators. The planning effort involved a synthesis of needs and recommendations arising from several stakeholder conferences, symposia, workshops and working groups.

The task force developed recommendations in order to apply basic science to improve animal production practices. The combined use of genomic information with existing animal breeding and animal management programs will accelerate rates of genetic improvement of breeding stock, lead to animals that are more adaptable and better suited to various production environments, and develop new genome-based technologies to enable parentage and identity verification.

Animal improvement programs have greatly increased the ability of producers to provide high quality, low cost and safe animal products to the American consumer. However, there is a continued need to improve the efficiency of meat, milk and egg production. For example, if Americans are to fully meet the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for America, U.S. dairy producers will need to increase annual production of milk and milk products by an estimated 65 percent.

The blueprint will help meet these needs by providing specific priorities and recommendations for “genomics infrastructure, discovery science and science to practice.”

CSREES intends this document to guide and facilitate future budget development, resource allocation, implementation and coordination of research, teaching and extension programs by federal and university scientists and educators.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.

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