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A career in dairy nutrition research – FeedNavigator.com

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The groups awarded him the 2019 AFIA-ASDA Nutrition Research Award for the contribution his work on fatty acid digestion and dairy nutrition has made to the industry. 

FeedNavigator: What is your background?

Adam Lock​: I am from a dairy farm myself in Devon, in the southwest of England. I thought all along I would go home and work on the farm and my mum and dad kept pushing and encouraging me to carry on with my education.

FEN: How did you get into the field of dairy nutrition research?

AL​: I did undergrad at the [University of] Nottingham [in] animal science [and] in, January 2003, I moved to Cornell [University] for a post-doctoral position. I was offered a faculty position at the University of Vermont, which was a good stepping stone, and then I [took on] the position at Michigan State … in September I will have been here 10 years.

FEN: Can you tell us about the dairy nutrition research work you have done to date?

AL​: My research from my PhD on has always been lipids and fatty acids based, that is my broad umbrella, so fat digestion or metabolism in dairy cows. I did a lot on milk fat depression and [looking at why] the bulk tank on a dairy farm suddenly drops from 3.8 or 3.9% down to a 3.5% milk fat. I still do a lot of work in that area, diagnosing issues there.

We have much a better understanding of the interrelationship between the diet – what we feed the cow – and management – how we [handle] the cow, and how that influences the rumen, how what happens in the rumen with fatty acids impacts milk production, particularly milk fat production, and potentially body weight gain as well.

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