May 19 2022 03:55 PM

Can the use of kefir as a probiotic help enhance the health of dairy calves?

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has a project underway to seek an answer to this question as one of 14 farm-based research projects underway in 2022. Funding for this research is supported by the New York State Legislature through the New York State Assembly and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

New York State Assemblyman Billy D. Jones, 115th Assembly District, in eastern northern New York, ran his family's dairy farm after high school graduation. As an Assemblyman, he now serves on the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Assemblyman Jones said, "As a former dairy farmer, I appreciate the NNYADP for not only producing innovative research, but also for including farmers in the entire process and listening to their input. This program is crucial for North Country farmers and continues to make a difference in agriculture statewide and that is why I have secured funding in the state budget for the past several years to support this program. From on-farm tile drainage to dairy production and tree syrups research, the NNYADP is on the cutting edge of agriculture and I look forward to hearing more about the upcoming projects."

New York State Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo, 123rd Assembly District, Chair, Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, "Created in 1961 by the State Legislature, the NNYADP consistently delivers quality research with statewide and national significance. Today's announcement underscores the valuable work being done on behalf of New York's farmers who have direct input into the process. I'd like to thank my colleague Assemblyman Jones, a member of the Agriculture Committee, for continuing to prioritize NNYADP's funding request."

New York State Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, 117th Assembly District, Assembly Agriculture Committee member, said, "The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program continues to do important work on behalf of our farmers and the entire agriculture community. Over the past few years, farmers have been shouldered with historic burdens. I am happy to support this funding that will allow the NNYADP to conduct 14 new farm-based research projects and hopefully improve the business atmosphere for our small family farms."

The State funding supports the NNYADP's tile drainage and water quality-focused agricultural environmental stewardship research that is producing progressive real-world, data-based results sought out by entities statewide and nationally.

Other NNYADP projects that have received funding include the application of whole farm sustainability assessments helping regional farms be agriculturally efficient and environmentally-sustainable.

As assessment of the feasibility of American Beech tree syrup production is complementary to earlier NNYADP research regarding the opportunity for northern New York maple producers to add birch syrup to their product lines. One farm participating in trials in 2015-2016 made a small quantity of birch syrup valued at $80 for a half gallon.

NNYADP horticultural research priorities in 2022 include "super fruit" production trials of elderberry, juneberry, honeyberry, and aronia as well as winter greens research and an in-orchard precision apple management project.

NNYADP project results are publicly accessible at