The overall goal of this project is to develop innovative concepts and practices to enhance the efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of grassland-based beef production systems in the Appalachian region of the United States. Major components of this project include cow-calf production, post-weaning studies, pasture-finishing systems, product quality, and marketing. West Virginia University, Clemson University, and USDA-ARS are partners with Virginia Tech in this project.
The different phases of the Appalachia Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems Regional Project are:
In addition to the Appalachia Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems Regional Project, research is also conducted in the areas of post-weaning stress and immunology of weaned calves, forage-based heifer development, and sire and dam frame size and its impact on production and carcass quality, including projects to:
- Evaluate the use of variation in frame scores of sire and dams and different creep grazing systems to expand the harvest window of grass-fed beef. (Swecker, Tracy, Wahlberg, Lewis).
- Identify life cycle risk factors relevant to meat quality. (Swecker, Wahlberg, Lewis).
- Evaluate ability of high quality forage to minimize weight loss after weaning. (Tracy, Swecker, Wahlberg, Lewis).
- Evaluate the effect of alternative weaning techniques on cattle behavior and stress markers. (Swecker, Lewis, Wahlberg).
- Characterize the relationship between cattle behavior and carcass quality (Wahlberg, Swecker).
- Establish the impact of continuous-use pasture on disease incidence and weight gain of young stock. (Zajac, Swecker).
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