Cloning is an excellent way to help endangered species, promote disease resistance, or even increase milk production. As limitless as the possibilities are, our cloning efforts are focused on a few branches of production agriculture such as:
USU's specialized focus in cloning
With millions of animal species to choose from, and countless animals on the earth today, how do we select specific animals to clone? Each species comes with its own unique life cycle, differing in everything from the number of chromosomes and litter size to special sex organs. We specialize in certain facets of the dairy, beef, and equine industries.
Achieving greater yields with dairy
The primary goal for dairy producers is intuitive; to produce a large quantity of quality dairy product. Milk producers are constantly searching for more efficient ways to produce more milk with higher milk-fat and higher protein content. Our lab tries to identify the animals that are superior in their production of quality milk. The breed averages for milk production in the Jersey and Holstein breeds are 18,000 and 25,000 pounds annually, respectively. Some of the Jersey cows we have cloned have produced over 44,000 pounds of milk per year, and the Holsteins have matched that superiority.
Producing better and higher quality meat
Our lab also corroborates with one of the largest feed-lots in the nation. Beef producers are saddled with the task of producing a meat product that will satisfy customers’ palette and pocket book. This has proven to be quite difficult due to the inconsistencies in carcass traits between breeds, rising feed and fuel prices, and a competitive global market. Beef producers find themselves against a wall because, according to the USDA’s recent Beef Quality Audit, only .03% of all carcasses grade Prime and are Yield Grade 1. A carcass that grades Prime and is a Yield Grade 1 is a diamond in the ruff. That quality is what everyone wants, yet ever so rare. On top of that, once a superior carcass has been identified, the animal has either already been harvested or neutered, making it impossible to reproduce the desired traits. With the technology of cloning we have been able to take cells from these rare carcasses and essentially give the animal another life. This allows us to attempt to create seed stock from these exceptional individuals that will pass these outstanding traits on to their offspring.
Our promise for cloning
Each area of our cloning is spent in an effort to be practical. As we continue our efforts, rest assured that we are putting our best foot forward to help the agricultural industry in productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and scientific innovation.