National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics in Beef Cattle

The University of Missouri Division of Animal Sciences (part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources) and the College of Veterinary Medicine are partnering to launch the National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) in Beef Cattle.

A goal of NCARG will be to evaluate and promote the economic impact of the technologies Mizzou animal sciences faculty have developed and are using every day. The focus is on giving farmers and ranchers the answer to the question – “What is the return if I invest in reproductive or genomic technologies?”

NCARG will be both a physical facility for hands-on education, and also an intellectual center for online courses and basic and applied research.

Focus

NCARG will offer veterinarians a center of continuing education to pursue training in such specialized areas as ultrasound (fetal ageing and sexing), pelvic measurement, reproductive tract scoring, bull breeding soundness exams, and estrus synchronization, with future potential of embryo transfer, oocyte pick up, and in-vitro fertilization. Gaining this expertise will be a direct benefit to veterinarians who, as an integral part of a production management team, can help increase the profitability of a cattle operation.

A well-established collaboration between the Division of Animal Sciences and CVM allows select DVM students to complete a research-based master’s degree in reproductive biology while pursuing veterinary studies. Similarly, clinical residents in theriogenology can receive research training in collaboration with Animal Sciences faculty. The proximity, both physically and scientifically, between reproductive experts in CAFNR, the CVM and the School of Medicine, as well as a strong Extension Service at MU, provides excellent opportunities for the identification of current reproductive challenges in the livestock and medical industries, the development of appropriate research models and an excellent avenue for the translation of research discoveries into clinical and husbandry practices for people and livestock.

NCARG will also allow MU to expand model programs, such as the dual degree program.

Partnership

The center stems from the successful MU Animal Reproductive Biology Group (ARBG) led by faculty in the Division of Animal Sciences. The ARBG has been at the forefront of technological breakthroughs that have led to major advancements in both human and animal health. These achievements have resulted in the ARBG being recognized as the world leader in the field.

The expertise found in the Division of Animal Sciences, with more than 20 faculty members focused on reproduction or genetics, combined with the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), which boasts three veterinarians board-certified in theriogenology, positions MU as the world leader in animal reproduction research and education. Theriogenologists in the CVM provide clinical support to, and collaborate with, research teams within the college as well as in CAFNR and the MU School of Medicine.