Some Federal Cash Will Go Toward MRLS Studies

Some of the $5.86 million the University of Kentucky's School of Agriculture will receive from this year's federal budget is earmarked for studies to determine the cause of mare reproductive loss syndrome.

The university has worked in conjunction with Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to secure funding through the federal budget since 2000. A portion of the latest allocation has gone to create a new Forage Animal Production Research Unit in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture. However, some of the money will be available in grants for any member of the UK College of Agriculture, which includes the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center.

"It comes to us in a block, and what we try to do is assess our internal priorities and put it on the best research we can," said Dr. Nancy Cox, MS, PhD, associate dean for research at the UK College of Agriculture. "We are continuing to put some funds into the work of Karen McDowell, PhD, and Bruce Webb, PhD, on trying to figure out the nature of the caterpillar (that causes MRLS), and metabolism of fescue in the horse and trying to figure out more about what we can control in fescue to make overall reproduction better."

The Forage Animal Production Research Unit will focus on both cattle and horses. "We hope to be a leader in grazing animal research for this region," Cox said.

About the Author

Kristin Ingwell Goode

Kristin Ingwell Goode was a staff writer for The Blood-Horse, a weekly Thoroughbred news magazine and a sister publication to The Horse.

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