Both beef and dairy producers are faced with a variety of health challenges as they strive to deliver safe and healthy consumable products to both local and global markets via efficient and sustainable production methods. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is one of the major disease complexes that affects both beef and dairy calves and has a significant impact on the health and welfare of the animals as well as the economics of production. Bovine respiratory disease is a complex disease process that involves multiple viral and bacterial pathogens as well as environmental factors and host factors. Even though BRD has been studied for years, there are still many important unanswered questions due to the complexity of the disease and the varying risk factors between different production systems.
The Ruminant Animal Health Research Program works to understand the relationships between the various risk factors and pathogens that are involved in BRD, to improve the industry’s ability to accurately diagnose BRD, and to identify appropriate interventions to mitigate BRD risk through applied research. In addition to working on BRD, the Ruminant Animal Health Research Program also partners with other scientists, veterinarians, and local stakeholders in research involving other areas of importance to the beef and dairy industries.