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Beef Producers Could Have More Precise Way to Manage and Select Herds in the Future, Thanks to Collaboration Between Engineering, CAFNR

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by   Janese Heavin Beef producers in the future could have a more precise way to determine the productivity of their cattle, thanks to a collaboration between Mizzou Engineering and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). “The goal is to maximize intake versus the output such as meat production,” said  Guilherme DeSouza . “From an engineering point of view, we want to optimize the process.” DeSouza is an associate professor of  electrical engineering and computer science  (EECS). He is working with  Jared Decker , an associate professor for CAFNR. Decker recently received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for the work. The project aims to provide a better understanding of how a herd’s environment and management impact productivity, Decker said. Researchers will predict factors such as a cow’s size—surface area to volume ratio—skeletal structure, fat resources and hair coat using 3-D image data.