Invited Review: Issues affecting research and extension programs on cow-calf and stocker cattle production in the Southeast region of the United States11This review article is based on a presentation by the authors in the symposium Cow-Calf Production in the Southeastern United States: Potential for Impact and Economic Sustainability at the meeting of the American Society of Animal Science Southern Section, February 7, 2016, San Antonio, Texas.
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2017 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists Approximately 44% of the beef cow herd in the United States resides in the 13 southeastern states. The objectives of our study were to identify and quantify the issues that affect research and extension educational programs concerned primarily with cow-calf production and secondarily with stocker cattle. A 29-question survey was sent to research and extension faculty associated with pasture-based beef production programs with land-grant universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Our objectives were to access information about faculty appointments, location of facilities, objectives and area of programs, resources allocated to programs, funding availability, and sources of funding. The majority of research scientists that responded were located off campus, which was also the primary location of pastures, beef infrastructure, and research facilities. Cow-calf and pasture projects were the predominant (60 to 80%) beef cattle programs for all scientists. Primary objectives of cow-calf or stocker calf research and extension scientists programs pertained to forage evaluation and grazing management, and nutrition. Reproduction in cow-calf and animal health in stocker programs ranked third in importance of scientists programs. Internal and extramural funding sources and availability were the primary constraints for development of research and extension programs in cow-calf production. Research and extension programs identified as needed for stakeholders included components of forage management and nutrition. Faculty indicated that the most likely, fundable programs should include environment, ecosystem services, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and molecular genetics for research, and economics and reproduction for extension scientists. A balance between the needs of the stakeholder and the perceptive needs by funding agency programs will be required to maintain the plantanimal discipline in the southeastern United States.