Dairy industry launches collaborative research initiative

by Keith Nunes
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ROSEMONT, ILL. — Four groups, Dairy Management, Inc., the National Dairy Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Program have established a collaborative research initiative called the National Dairy Research Program. The effort is designed to leverage research to impact the future of dairy products and ingredients.

Through a coordinated effort that leverages the capabilities of industry, government and academia, the program’s objectives are to provide improved communications among all parties, decrease the duplication of research efforts, increase collaboration on research projects and meet the needs of the consumer domestically and globally. The program’s industry partners expect the program will ultimately enhance domestic and global markets for U.S. dairy producers and manufacturers.

By combining the research capabilities of groups within the nutrition and product research community, the U.S. dairy industry will be in a better position to compete with countries whose governments provide funding for dairy research, according to the group.

In 2009, the N.D.R.P. will explore areas of research collaboration, potential funding resources, and program expansion to include more industry involvement. Product research and nutrition research priorities have been defined. The next steps are to define short- and long-term projects and seek feedback from industry associations, dairy processors and manufacturers, government organizations and universities.

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