Reducing the amounts of antimicrobials used in food animals is of particular concern in order to produce the healthiest meats possible, and that effort will now have additional help from Texas Tech University.
Kristin Hales, a researcher in the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, has been awarded a nearly $1 million grant as part of a larger initiative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across the food chain, Texas Tech said in an announcement.
Hales, the Thornton distinguished chair and associate professor in the college’s department of animal and food sciences, received an award for $999,998 from USDA’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture for her project, “Investigating the Emergence & Ecology of Antimicrobial Resistance in High-Risk Beef Cattle.”
The project — in collaboration with the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, Texas, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska — will seek to identify how AMR develops and is spread in beef cattle and develop mitigation strategies to reduce AMR incidents throughout the beef industry, Texas Tech said.
“To achieve our goals, we have assembled a highly qualified, interdisciplinary team with expertise in food safety, gastrointestinal microbial ecology, microbiome, ruminant nutrition, animal health, disease, epidemiology and outreach,” Hales said.
Hales’ five-year research project has several objectives in order to attain its goal:
- Understand the emergence and transmission of AMR in high-risk cattle in the beef production system.
- Implement new science-based strategies