August 25, 2017
Tucumcari Agricultural Science Center
- NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari is benefiting from a public - private partnership to evaluate beef cattle feed efficiency genetics, please see Tucumcari Bull Test. Since 1961, the New Mexico Beef Cattle Performance Association (now the Tucumcari Feed Efficiency Test, LLC) has tested bulls to estimate feedlot performance of their progeny based on pen feed efficiency as the average of up to four animals. In 2015, facilities were upgraded with GrowSafe technology allowing measurement of individual animal feed efficiency with planned expansions to allow for a concurrent testing capacity of 160 head beginning this summer. The concept behind genetic testing for feed efficiency is herd improvement at the farm/ranch level, which should translate into either higher feeder cattle prices or reduced feed costs at the feedlot level. Improved beef cattle feed efficiency also will help increase global food production, particularly protein, without having to increase crop production acreage or yield per acre.
The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety
- Willis Fedio and Ruben Zapata from the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety conducted a training for the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The training was coordinated through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Seven SFDA analysts from throughout Saudi Arabia participated in the course. Topics covered included "Detection and Isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from Foods," "Enumeration of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods," and "Detection and Isolation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from Foods." The training included lectures that provided background for the procedures and hands-on laboratory exercises which included cultural procedures and molecular methods for each of the pathogens. The NMSU Food Safety Laboratory and the SFDA both made valuable connections through this project and are continuing their technology transfer collaborations.