Rick Welsh (NFS – FST) PI, Feeding Seaweed to Advance the Sustainability of Organic Dairy and Aquaculture Systems, University of Vermont / USDA (OREI Program). 9/1/21-8/31/25
Organic dairy is faced with oversupply and fluctuating prices that threaten long-term financial viability. Identifying and adopting management strategies that improve production efficiency are critical to the industry.
The commercial on-farm use of organic-certified “kelp meal” is widespread. But other seaweed species and processing methods could have greater positive impacts on organic dairy cow health and nutrient cycling. The goal of this project is to enhance organic dairy profitability by boosting milk productivity and animal health while improving land stewardship and nutrient cycling. The specific objectives are to:
- Engage organic dairy and seaweed industry stakeholders to identify benefits of seaweed feed supplements.
- Understand these benefits at animal, farm, and ecosystem scales.
- Demonstrate the use of seaweed in partner organic dairy farms.
- Assess the impacts of seaweed feeding on the organic supply chain.
- Create broad and inclusive outreach and education programs.