Skip to main content

Caine Dairy Teaching and Research Center

Animal Science Farm Field and Barns


The Caine Dairy Teaching and Research Center is among the nation's leading dairy production research centers. Work includes studies of animal nutrition and reproduction, waste-handling, animal health, and irrigated pasture for intensive rotational grazing. The center is also home to classrooms and a teaching herd used in the university's dairy herdsman certification program.




Research Projects

Impact of metabolic status and stage of lactation on oocyte and embryo quality in dairy cows

Project Lead: S. Clay Isom

This project is designed to investigate the root cause of sub-fertility in high producing dairy cows. Many theories exist about why first-service conception rates are so low in lactating dairy cows in the US. We propose that even systemic/metabolic deficiencies (altered nutrient partitioning, or accelerated hormone metabolism, e.g.) will ultimately result in defective performance of the oocyte, the preimplantation-stage embryo, and/or the uterine endometrium. We propose to evaluate molecular markers of the function of these cell types in high producing dairy cows at different stages of their lactation cycles. Specifically, the animals currently being requested will be used as a source of follicular fluid (collected from preovulatory follicles) for metabolomic analysis. These experiments will help create a link between whole animal physiological and production data and molecular (gene expression) data collected fromoocytes at similar timepoints in previous aspects of this project.

Impacts of a novel alfalfa product on milk production and dairy cow performance

Project Lead: Kara Thornton-Kurth

In this project we will test how three different rations using novel alfalfa products impact dairy cow performance. In this trial, we will provide the treatment ration for a period of three weeks with a control ration being provided for three weeks in between each of our treatment rations.

Inclusion of a novel alfalfa product in the ration of dairy heifers

Project Lead: Kara Thornton-Kurth

We are going to see how a novel alfalfa product impacts growth and reproductive capacity of holstein dairy heifers when included in the ration as compared to a control ration that does not have any of the novel alfalfa feed