For 84 years, the Cornell Nutrition Conference has provided industry leading research and information across the spectrum of animal nutrition to feed industry professionals and nutritional consultants.

October 18 - 20, 2022

Registration and sponsorship information will be available in July 2022.

The 2022 Annual Meeting of the Northeast Section of ASAS and Branch of ADSA will be held on October 20 - 21, 2022 in Syracuse, New York, immediately following the annual Cornell Nutrition Conference.
The Northeast Section of ASAS and Branch of ADSA board is currently seeking feedback regarding program topics for this regional meeting.

2021 Agenda

The 2021 Cornell Nutrition Conference is approved for 14 ARPAS CEU’s.

Pre-Conference Symposium sponsored by Balchem

Exploring In Utero Influences on Transgenerational Performance

1:00 PM


1:05 PM

Epigenetic Considerations from a Dairy Breeding and Management Perspective
Dr. Chad Dechow, Penn State University

This presentation will explore the effect of epigenetic regulation on dairy cow performance. We will explore how management and environmental factors may contribute to performance variation through epigenetic programming and how we might manage cows to take advantage of epigenetic potential. We will explore what future management and breeding plans to alter epigenetic states could look like.

1:45 PM

Dietary Modifiers of Epigenetic State: A Methyl Donor Perspective
Dr. Kevin Klatt, Baylor College of Medicine

An increasing number of dietary factors have been described that interact with epigenetic machinery and influence epigenetic state. In this presentation, Dr. Klatt will describe the available literature on such factors, with a particular emphasis on dietary methyl donors, such as choline, and its impact on DNA methylation and histone modifications across the lifespan.

2:20 PM

Epigenetics and Implications for Poultry Production
Dr. Chris Ashwell, West Virginia University

3:00 PM


3:30 PM

Phenotypic and Molecular Signatures of Fetal Hyperthermia
Dr. Jimena LaPorta, University of Wisconsin

In this presentation, Dr. Laporta will describe the phenotypic outcomes of maternal exposure to late-gestation heat stress on the progeny. Potential mechanisms of fetal programming will be discussed, emphasizing the molecular signature that in utero hyperthermia exerts on the methylation pattern of key organs that might drive future productivity outcomes.

4:15 PM

Prenatal Choline Supplementation’s Role in Calf Performance
Dr. Clay Zimmerman, Balchem Corporation

4:45 PM

Speaker Panel Discussion

5:30 PM

Real Science Exchange – Cocktail Reception

6:30 AM

Breakfast, sponsored by Milk Specialties

7:00 AM

Understanding Variation in Milk Protein
Dr. Kevin Harvatine, Penn State University

Milk protein is a large contributor to the value of milk and varies between farms and between cows within each farm.  We will first overview the sources of variation driving differences in milk protein and then discuss nutritional and non-nutritional strategies to optimize milk protein yield.

8:15 AM

Conference Welcome

8:20 AM

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Impact on Dairy 
Dr. Jim Aldrich, CSA Animal Nutrition

Since the first edition was published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have provided science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs. In 1990 the National Nutrition and Monitoring Related Research Act required that at least every 5 years the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) would publish a report containing nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public. This paper will provide an overview of the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) with a focus on how dairy products fared in this edition.

9:00 AM

Biogenic Small Molecule Screening to Combat Mitochondrial Disease
Dr. Joeva Barrow, Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences

This presentation will discuss the importance of the mitochondria and its impact on a multitude of disease states when it becomes dysfunctional. Dr. Barrow will detail the critical nature of these types of diseases and current research to leveraging biogenic small molecules in search of a treatment option for these groups of disorders.

9:40 AM

Presentation of Maynard Graduate Award and Danny Fox Graduate Fellowship
Dr. Tom Overton, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

9:50 AM


Dairy Production and Climate Change Symposium

10:10 AM

Farming of the Future: Agriculture as a Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change
Dean Ben Houlton, Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The green revolution has resulted in a global food system that is more efficient, uses less land area, and which promotes US economic and national security interests. The challenge of climate change is threatening continued progress, however, including evidence for reduced crop yields in response to growing weather extremes. As local, state, national, and global policies focus on climate mitigation, agricultural is poised to generate negative carbon emissions – the point wherein more GHGs are taken out of the atmosphere than emitted. Investments in research and development and policies that pay farmers for carbon-smart practices are critical for unleashing agriculture as a weapon in the fight against climate change. 

10:30 AM

Overview of the US Dairy Net Zero Initiative
Curt Gooch, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

This presentation will provide an overview of the US dairy industry net zero initiative, explain how dairy greenhouse gas emissions are quantified on-farm, and summarize some recent work that quantified the greenhouse gas footprint of a Wisconsin dairy farm.

11:10 AM

Enteric Methane Mitigation
Dr. Ermias Kebreab, University of California, Davis

Enteric methane production contributes to most of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock; therefore, it is key to mitigating such emissions. A number of strategies have been developed to reduce enteric methane emissions. These vary from those that directly target methanogensis to indirectly reducing emissions by improving feed efficiency. Recent advances in understanding of the rumen and methanogenesis has led to development of feed additives that have the potential to reduce enteric methane emissions substantially. Due to continued interest in this area, research is expected to accelerate in developing feed additives that can provide options in mitigating enteric methane emissions. Increased animal production efficiency or improved reproduction would also indirectly reduce methane emissions as it reduces methane intensity (methane produced per unit of product). Improved efficiency could be achieved through better forages (such as high sugar/starch or low fiber) or better management particularly in grazing systems. Breeding for low methane emissions has also shown a promise in selecting breeds for reduced enteric methane emissions.

11:50 AM


Cornell Sustainable Agriculture Project Updates

1:00 PM

Managing Dairy Footprints: Whole Farm Nutrient and Carbon Balances in Action
Dr. Quirine Ketterings and Dr. Olivia Godber, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

The whole-farm nutrient mass balance (NMB) assessment measures the nutrient footprint of a dairy farm. This can be used to identify opportunities to improve operational nutrient use efficiency, increase profitability and track progress. We work closely with New York dairy farms and their advisors to evaluate tools that may help understand and manage the complexity of a dairy farm’s environmental footprint while maintaining and growing farm profitability over time. Farms conduct whole-farm environmental assessments (NMB and carbon footprint) to quantify current performance, document progress, and identify key performance indicators and feasible management strategies that have potential for a positive impact on both the NMB and carbon footprint. The goal is to support continued improvement of the environmental footprint and sustainability credentials of New York dairy farms without negatively impacting milk production or farm profitability.

1:45 PM

Highlights of Progress and Findings in the Second Year of the USDA Broiler Project
Dr. Xingen Lei, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science and Dr. Walter Bottje, University of Arkansas

The large USDA/NIFA-SAS project (2019-69012-29905) entitled, “Empowering US Broiler Production for Transformation and Sustainability”, is approaching the end of the second year. This presentation will review the progress and major findings made during the past cycle by Cornell University, University of Arkansas, and other participating institutes in research, education, and outreach related to the proposal objectives.  

2:30 PM

Ruminant Farm Systems Model: Development Progress and Applications
Dr. Kristan Reed, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

The Ruminant Farm Systems (RuFaS) model is a whole farm simulation model that tracks nutrient flows, transformations, losses, and exports from the herd, manure, fields, and feeds. In this update, I will review progress and share plans for application.

2:45 PM

Environmental Impacts of Dairy Production: New Developments at Cornell Including Climate X
Dr. Joe McFadden, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

3:05 PM


3:40 PM

Should We Be Considering Lysophosphatidylcholine as a Potential Immunotherapy in Dairy Calves?
Brianna Tate, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

The lysolipid lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) has been demonstrated to enhance immune cell function and bactericidal mechanisms in murine and human models. LPC serves as a promising immunotherapy to prevent disease and improve early-life health and growth in preweaned dairy calves by enhancing their inherently deficient immune systems. We demonstrate that ex vivo administration of three different LPC species enhances key bactericidal functions in neutrophils isolated from pre-weaned dairy calves.

4:10 PM

Transition Cow Nutrition and Management Strategies of Large Dairy Herds in the Northeastern US
Allison Kerwin, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

Given an increase in nutrient requirements for milk production, decrease in DMI, parturition, management factors such as frequent pen moves, and diet changes, the transition period is arguably the most demanding time in a dairy cow’s life. The objectives of the first part of this study were 1) to establish thresholds for NEFA, BHB, and haptoglobin concentrations that are associated with disease, 2) evaluate the association between the biomarkers with milk production and reproductive performance, and 3) identify herd-alarm levels for the biomarkers that are associated with herd-level changes in disease, milk, and reproductive performance. In addition, limited field data exist that evaluate different management and nutritional strategies that contribute to cow success in commercial farm settings. Therefore, recommendations are often driven by field experience from concepts established through controlled research with comparatively small numbers of cows. The objective of the second part of this study wasto evaluate management and nutritional factors with outcomes on commercial farms, such as disease, prevalence of elevated biomarkers, milk production, and reproductive performance to provide an understanding of how these factors contribute to transition cow success across a range of farm practices.

4:45 PM

Peter J. Van Soest – His Revolutionary Impact on the Science and Education of Fiber Nutrition
Dr. Dave Mertens, Mertens Innovations & Research and Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

David Mertens and Mike Van Amburgh will reflect on the life, career and contributions of Dr. Peter J. Van Soest in the last session on Wednesday afternoon. Dave will discuss Peter's significant contributions to fiber chemistry and nutrition, and Mike will spend some time reflecting on Peter and his interactions with the larger community and those around him at Cornell.

5:30 PM

Evening Dinner Reception and Tributes to Dr. Peter Van Soest


6:30 AM

Breakfast, sponsored by Alltech

7:00 AM

Techniques and Technologies for Maximizing Immunity in Dairy Cows
Dr. Luke Miller, Alltech

Dairy cattle are exposed to daily challenges, from feed contamination to housing environments, pathogens can cause trouble around every turn. The cow’s immune system is her first line of defense, as her immunity increases the chances for economic loss due to illness reduces. Join Dr. Luke Miller in discussing benchmarking techniques and technologies for improving immunity on the dairy farm.

8:15 AM


8:20 AM

Graduate Student Research Spotlights

Meadow Fescue Grass Varieties for Optimal Forage Quality in Dairy Production Systems
Ms. Rink Tacoma-Fogel, Cornell University

Achieving optimal forage quality on dairy farms is key towards supporting high milk production. In New York State, over 85% of alfalfa sown is done in combination with a perennial grass, a unique practice in dairy production systems. Inter-seeding a grass species into the alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) stand can increase the neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD), an important forage quality to support high milk production yields. Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) (MF), a grass species originally from northern Europe and well established as a high-quality forage for lactating dairy cows, has recently been reintroduced into the United States. The objective of this study was to achieve the highest possible quality at harvest for the grass at the optimum harvest date for alfalfa, and to compare over the two growing seasons of 2020 and 2021. Pure stands of nineteen meadow fescue varieties were evaluated for forage quality and the rate of change in quality during spring growth.

Optimizing Sampling Practices at NYS Dairy Farms
Mr. Jorge Barrientos Blanco, Cornell University

Implementing the current standard forage sampling practices may not yield samples that accurately represent the quality of the delivered forages in dairy diets. Sampling frequency, number of samples, and allowed deviation in the change of forage quality can be optimized according to the farm characteristics to improve diet accuracy and interpretation of forage samples.  For a period of 16 weeks in the winter of 2020 and spring of 2021, we collected corn silage and haylage samples in duplicate 3 days per week at feedout from 8 NYS dairy farms and 3 silage storage methods (bunker, bag, and drive-over-pile). We are using these data as inputs in a renewal reward model and apply a genetic algorithm optimization method to estimate the optimum sampling practice of each farm. The objective of this study is to increase sampling efficiency and diet accuracy by optimizing sampling practices at eight different NYS dairy farms.

9:10 AM

Charlie Sniffen Graduate Research Presentation, sponsored by Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health

Effect of Prepartum DCAD Strategy & Level of Dietary Calcium on Postpartum Ca Status and Performance
Ms. Geneva Graef, Cornell University

Periparturient hypocalcemia can be mitigated by reducing prepartum dietary DCAD; however, neither the extent of DCAD adjustment nor the level of dietary Ca fed with negative DCAD have been evaluated fully. This project aimed to compare the effects of two levels of prepartum dietary anion supplementation (urinary pH), two levels of dietary calcium, and the interactions, on parameters of calcium metabolism, health, and milk performance of transition dairy cows.

9:50 AM


10:10 AM

NASEM (New NRC) Overview
Dr. Bill Weiss, The Ohio State University

After more than 20 years a new NRC for dairy cattle has been published. The National Research Council (NRC) is now referred to as the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) so we need to get used to saying NASEM for dairy. All aspects of dairy nutrition were reviewed and recommendations or requirements were evaluated and updated when necessary for energy, protein and amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. Requirements were produced for young calves, growing heifers, dry cows, and lactating cows. When possible large datasets were collated and used to derive new equations for both nutrient supply and requirements. New equation to estimate dry matter intake for growing animals, dry cows and lactating cows were developed. The energy system used in NRC 2001 was fine-tuned and improved. The protein system used in NRC was mostly replaced and is now based very heavily on amino acids. Recommendations for various carbohydrate fractions (e.g., fiber, starch and sugars) were made based on available scientific literature. Changes from NRC 2001 would be considered evolutionary, not revolutionary. All mineral and vitamin requirements were reevaluated and changed when needed but most changes were incremental compared to NRC 2001. The feed composition library was completely revised using improved statistical filtering techniques which should greatly increase the accuracy of the standard deviation estimates. Requirements for young calves were extensively modified based on new data. Software is included with the publication.

10:50 AM

Redefining the Effect of Rumensin on Milk Production Efficiency and Milk Composition in Dairy Cows
Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University, Department of Animal Science

This talk will discuss a recent study conducted to evaluate a dose titration of Rumensin on high producing lactating cattle.  Four levels of Rumensin were fed and milk yield, milk composition, feed efficiency and overall performance were evaluated and will be discussed.  The treatment diet was formulated using our accumulated knowledge over the last few years about amino acid requirements and feeding for optimal components and the observed milk components reflected this formulation approach and were enhanced by Rumensin.

11:30 AM

Highlighting Dairy’s Progress Towards Environmental Goals
Dr. Larry Chase, Cornell University (Emeritus)

This session will highlight the progress the dairy industry has made in improving efficiency of nutrient use and decreasing nutrient excretion to the environment. Nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonia and methane will be the primary focus of this presentation.  National and New York data will be provided. A section of the presentation will also focus on the use of co-product feeds in dairy diets and the ability of dairy cows to convert human inedible forages and feeds into high quality human edible protein. Future considerations will also be discussed.

12:00 PM


For More Information

Heather Darrow
Conference Coordinator
272 Morrison Hall | Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-4478 | Email: hh96 [at]

Conference Committee

  • Tom Overton - Chair
  • dmconf [at] (subject: Cornell%20Nutrition%20Conference) (Heather Darrow) - Conference Coordinator
  • Ron Butler, Cornell University
  • Larry Chase - Cornell University
  • Heather Dann, Miner Institute
  • Debbie Cherney, Cornell University
  • Rick Grant, Miner Institute
  • Quirine Ketterings, Cornell University
  • Xingen Lei, Cornell University
  • Joseph McFadden, Cornell University
  • Kristan Reed, Cornell University
  • Mike Thonney, Cornell University
  • Nathalie Trottier, Cornell University
  • Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University