Webinar: The microbiome: what is it, and how might it impact organic dairy production?

This webinar, presented by Dr. Noelle Noyes of the University of Minnesota, took place on March 30,2020.

Presentation slides

Over the past decade, our understanding of microbes has changed dramatically thanks to advanced sequencing technologies. We now know that our world is dominated by an invisible universe of bacteria, viruses and fungi – they exist in and on our bodies, our animals, our soils, and even our houses and farms.  This invisible universe is termed the “microbiome”, and it is essential to the normal functioning of plants, humans and animals -- including livestock animals. For example, recent evidence supports the idea that the microbiome of the cow udder plays a critical role in mastitis. In addition, the microbiome could be an incredibly rich source of therapies and preventives for diseases of livestock animals. These potential tools could be especially important for organic producers, as they may represent an effective alternative to compounds such as antimicrobial drugs. In this webinar, we focus on describing the microbiome and its important characteristics; and we discuss current research that is trying to leverage the microbiome to improve animal health, welfare and productivity.  This webinar is the first in a series on the microbiome and its potential applications to dairy production and mastitis.

Drs. Noelle Noyes and Luciano Caixeta are Assistant Professors at the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Minnesota; Dr. Bradley Heins is Associate Professor of Organic Dairy Production in the Animal Science Department at University of Minnesota; Dr. Vinicius Machado is Assistant Professor in Veterinary Sciences Department at Texas Tech University; and Dr. Pablo Pinedo is Associate Professor of Dairy Management Systems at Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences. Chris Dean is a graduate student at University of Minnesota working on the microbiome.

Published March 6, 2020

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.