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Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards inaugural scholars

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The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council selected Megan Lauber, a master’s degree student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Alexandre Scanavez, a doctorate student at Kansas State University, as the 2019 DCRC Scholars. As the award recipients, Lauber and Scanavez earned expense-paid trips to attend the 2019 DCRC Annual Meeting on Nov. 13 and 14 and in Pittsburgh. This is the first year of the DCRC Scholars program.

Lauber, who grew up on a dairy farm in southeast Wisconsin, worked in Laura Hernandez’s Lactation Biology Lab while pursuing her bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison. Last summer, Megan interned with ABS Global, where she conducted conventional semen processing and analyzed ejaculate quality, motility and morphology. Previously, she held internships with Animart and Golden Oaks Farm. Currently, Megan is a graduate research assistant with Paul Fricke at UW-Madison. Her research includes optimizing reproductive protocols for lactating dairy cows and heifers for sexed semen inseminations, investigating capacitation rate differences between conventional and sexed spermatozoa, and helping with ultrasound and blood sample collection.

Scanavez earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Universidade Federal de Uberlandia in Brazil nine years ago. He spent time as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Minnesota, where he studied transition cow management, reproductive efficiency of dairy cows, mastitis, and young stock health. For four years, he worked for Dannon Brazil/Agroplan Dairy Consulting. Alexandre provided services in dairy cattle reproduction, nutrition, herd management, and economics. At KSU, he focuses on identifying cows, during the dry period, that are more likely to have impaired health in the subsequent lactation. The research group developed a method that is based on body temperature and is highly applicable in commercial dairy herds.

The DCRC Scholars program recognizes outstanding graduate students studying dairy, animal or veterinary science, microbiology or a related program, with an area of interest that includes dairy cattle reproduction and fertility. Applicants submitted an interest statement that detailed their interest in dairy cattle reproduction, career goals and research project(s), and their academic adviser provided a letter of recommendation.

The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry — producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals — for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level.

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