Program Structure

The mission of the Integrated Livestock Management (ILM) Program is to provide creative solutions for the challenges that face the livestock industries through research, dissemination of valuable information, and training highly skilled personnel.

ILM activities link a graduate studies program with research and outreach activities. Because ILM research activities focus on livestock producer problems, students explore real, relevant issues in the field and provide a valuable service to producers. Animal production areas include dairy, cow-calf, feedlot, sheep and wildlife.

Students receive a Masters or PhD degree from one of the participating departments. They develop expertise in a specific discipline within the context of a broad array of related fields important in animal agriculture.

calves at feed bunk

ILM Activities

Longhorn in chute

Students - Participating students (pre and post graduate) work on projects designed to incorporate field work and producer communication so that the production setting is a significant component of the educational program.

Producers - We are committed to communication with producers to prioritize activities, target training opportunities, focus on problems of real importance, and direct our outreach activities.
We publish newsletters, trade-journal and refereed scientific articles, and conduct field-based seminars for producer education.

Solving problems - Collaboration of a multidisciplinary faculty group, animal health and production specialists, State Diagnostic Laboratory personnel, and Cooperative Extension resources, generates a well-rounded approach to animal agriculture problem solving. Historically, CSU's outreach activities have included advice / information / service for individual problems, plus farm / ranch visits in collaboration with local specialists for more complex problems. The ILM complements and adds to these efforts by developing funded research protocols for problems that are frequently or regionally encountered.

ILM Funding

Fulfilling the ILM mission to work with animal agriculture as it serves the needs of a healthy society requires communication among interested parties. Financing this mission oriented approach requires creativity.

First, we identify problems of real significance and then adapt our activities to fit the need. We balance our research, teaching and producer service activities to develop an integrated approach to problem solving, in preference to pursuing research and teaching as ends in themselves. Although there are numerous sources for financial support of our program, our most important is private donations from those who see high value in our efforts.

Research funding
Tax based support
Service fees Industry support

Research project funding
This is the traditional way to get project support, and a logical source of funding because all of our projects pose significant research questions. We have been successful in obtaining this type of support for each of our project areas.

Research funding is extremely important for specific projects, but is not ideal for supporting our program. First, such funding typically continues only for a specified period, commonly a single year. Most of the problems we pursue need several years or ongoing funding in order to benefit the animal industries and to fund the trainee program.

Second and most relevant, research funding areas are dictated by the provider. Such sources often have little interest in the problems that livestock producers see as important. A research project focused on biotechnology developments may find sponsorship from numerous sources, but there are few sources to fund
practical approaches to producer problems such as mastitis, acute death loss, disease investigation, etc. If they are to get funded, they go where the funding is, and those areas may not make much sense to an outside observer.

Tax based support
A public institution relies heavily on tax based support especially for faculty salaries and the university superstructure. However, graduate student stipends and additional personnel support for ILM activities receive low priority from these sources.

Service fees
ILM along with Cooperative Extention offer may services to producers. Since many of our activities focus on working with real problems, producers pay for some of the costs of our investigations through their purchase of our services.

Industry support
Because our activities are of interest to the livestock industries, and to the service industries that work with animal agriculture, we have received donations supporting our efforts from these entities. We anticipate that this support will continue to grow as our accomplishments become more widely known and these organizations see their value.

Donations from interested parties
The single most important means of supporting the ongoing efforts of the ILM is individual private donations, large or small. We need people who believe in the value of these efforts to help us with support. We need people who understand that training the specialist problem solvers of tomorrow, as we focus on problems that affect the industries today, is an important effort that will not be adequately addressed without support of our program.