Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2021
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2026
Grant Year
Project Director
Price, N. N.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Environmental Studies
Non Technical Summary
As the Earth warms and its population grows, pressure is mounting to optimize our food production and decrease its impact on the planet. This newly funded project aims to sustainably intensify U.S. dairy production by developing algae-based feed supplements for cattle. These additives are intended to improve feed efficiencies and milk yields, and can also reduce environmental impacts of dairy production by recapturing nutrients and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recent research has shown that certain seaweed feed additives reduce a cow's methane 'burps' during digestion, and seaweed production has a lower carbon footprint than that of certain land crops. Microscopic algae can offer similar benefits, and would provide a uniquely scalable solution for states far from the coast. With either approach, algae production for livestock feed additives presents a unique opportunity to facilitate rural prosperity for dairy and algae farmers, and spur economic development from coast to coast.The multi-disciplinary team's laboratory experiments and field trials to test candidate scalable algae species will be paired with supply chain, economic impact, and life cycle assessments. Our goal is to balance safe, nutritious, value-added milk production with environmental, economic, and social sustainability. This holistic approach will allow the researchers to optimize algal feed additives and assess their impact on animals, farms, communities, and the planet. An integrated outreach and education program will engage dairy producers, aquaculture farmers, feed suppliers, industry stakeholders, students at every academic level, policymakers, and the general public to amplify the research program's impact.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
The long-term goals of our program are to increase profitability of dairy and algae production and stimulate rural economic development by improving efficiencies in milk production and quality, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia emissions, recycling nutrients through algae production, and minimizing risks to food safety. The objectives of our program are to:Demonstrate empirically the nutritional and environmental (dis)advantages of incorporating optimized algal blends in diets of dairy cattle and impacts on milk production and quality.Investigate the potential socioeconomic consequences of more closely linked algae and dairy production industries through life cycle assessment (LCA) and economic impact evaluation.Engage industry (dairy farmers, feed companies, and aquaculturists) and educate students (undergraduate and K-12) to remove roadblocks for incorporating algal products into dairy production systems at multiple scales.
Project Methods
General Scientific MethodsOur approach is to integrate a mixed model of empirical benchtop assays and animal trials with biogeochemical modeling of nutrient cycling, milk production rates and quality, socioeconomic impact analyses, stakeholder engagement, and education opportunities. A life cycle assessment (LCA) serves as a guiding framework for project output.Activity 1.1: Quantifying production potential of US algae species through supply chain and network transportation analyses.Activity 1.2: Evaluating candidate algae using lab-based analytics and assays to determine their elemental composition, nutritional value, and enteric methane suppression potential under various growth and processing conditions. In vitro assays for volatile fatty acid and methane generation will be paired with 16S rRNA gene presence for relative abundance and a quantitative PCR for absolute abundance of methanogens in simulated batch and continually fed rumen systems.Activity 1.3: Six total in vivo feeding trials across three partner institutions (UNH, UVM, and Miner Institute) evaluate changes to milk production and quality induced by algae-based feed supplements in comparison to positive (e.g., 3NOP) and negative (e.g., no supplement) controls. Experiments vary in basal diet and whether macro- or micro-algae feed supplements are applied. In all in vivo trials, response variables include various standard animal health and performance metrics necessary to achieve GRAS certification; methane emissions are measured using the C-Lock GreenFEED systems.Activity 1.4: Assessment of algae-supplemented diet on manure quality and subsequent impacts to natural resources, including for biomethane production potential in anaerobic digestion (AD) systems and on dairy barn floors, and nutrient recycling through reuse in microalgae photobioreactors or as manure-based fertilizer in crop production. Methods include pilot scale AD systems coupled to photobioreactors for the former, and soil incubation tests to inform Manure DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) modeling for the latter.Activity 2.1: Evaluate farmer knowledge, understanding and input using interviews, surveys, and focus groups for both the dairy and algae-based sectors, working with the third-party evaluation program (see below) to quantify knowledge transfer.Activity 2.2: Supply chain analysis of transaction costs, value chain frameworks, and willingness to form partnerships to determine scenarios of profitability for feed suppliers, dairy, and algae producers.Activity 2.3: Economic impact analysis including censusing of the rapidly evolving seaweed and microalgae sectors using Impact Analysis for Planning modeling and a transportation network analysis to understand connectivity among communities and sectors.Activity 2.4: Life cycle assessment (LCA). The goal of the LCA is to compare the full range of environmental impacts assignable to products and services by quantifying all inputs and outputs of material flows and assessing how each affects the environment. An LCA is completed in four steps: scoping, inventory, impact assessment, and interpretation. A preliminary LCA focuses on the Northeast US and four production scenarios and our functional unit is one gallon of milk corrected for fat content. Both the Manure DNDC and Integrated Farm System Model will be used. Initial models will be based on literature for sensitivity analyses, and this version will be updated with data-driven mechanistic models developed in Activities 1.1-2.3.EffortsWe deliver science-based knowledge to people through both formal and informal educational programs including the following:Stakeholder workshops and professional meetings at Bigelow Laboratory, Miner Institute, and Cornell Cooperative ExtensionFarmer training programs at Miner Institute and Wolfe's Neck CenterDemonstration of vertical integration of microalgae production in photobioreactors in closed-loop system using nutrient supplementation from anaerobic digestorsOpen source data platforms like Open TEAM (Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management)Four undergraduate courses with curricula designed around the content of this research program: Environmental & Natural Resource Economics; Science & Future of Food Security; Problems in Environmental Science; Marketing in AgricultureUndergraduate and high school experiential learning opportunitiesOnline teaching resourcesProfessional short courses developed through the Algae AcademyEvaluationProgress and outcomes will be evaluated in collaboration with Kansas State University's Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation (OEIE). Evaluation is based on the project logic model detailing activities, outputs, and outcomes. OEIE has provided external evaluation for over 40 USDA-funded projects and adheres to the American Evaluation Associations Guiding Principles for Evaluators and Program Evaluation Standards of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. Progress toward objectives will be assessed using a timeline checklist of milestones, document review, and analysis of completion/outputs for each objective. OEIE will assist the project team with developing protocols to assess outcomes (see Activity 2.1 and 3.2) and will administer a survey to collect perceptions and perspectives of project stakeholders including advisory board members and target audiences. Formative evaluation will enable midcourse alterations to strengthen management over the project's lifespan and improve success. Summative evaluation will assess and document overall project impact and outcomes. Evaluation activity summaries and final report will be submitted to the project team.This project will collect both qualitative and quantitative primary survey and review data describing the project objectives, project directors and collaborators and their affiliated institutions, outcomes, publications, and investments in a digital format.Key Milestones"Kick-off" and subsequent all-hands meetings, activity teams' meetings, leadership meetings, and advisory board engagement to effectively manage the research program and communicate about progress on objectives and development of outputs.Early and final versions of the LCAComprehensive series of in vitro assays and constituent analyses of algae to identify best candidates for animal trialsSource sufficient micro- and macro-algae biomass and process effectively to conduct feeding trialsExecution of 6 in vivo feeding trialsConducting at least 8 sets of interviews, workshops, and focus groups with dairy farmers, aspiring and current algae producers and processors, and feed suppliersDevelopment and installation of the prototype microalgae photobioreactor (built at Bigelow Laboratory) to be integrated into the demonstration anaerobic digestor system at Cornell Cooperative Extension

Progress 09/01/21 to 08/31/22

Target Audience:This list has been expanded from project initiation, boldedwere addressed directly in Year 1: Dairy production, distribution, and processing industry Dairy consumers (e.g., retailers, food service industry, other major end-users) Algae producers, harvesters, processors, distributors Animal feed, supplement producers and distributors Aquaculture regulatory bodies (from municipal to federal) General public Policy makers (e.g., USDA-NOAA Working Group on Research for Farming of Kelp and Seagrass, Maine Climate Council) Carbon market/offset certifiers and consultants Lab testing facilities for feed and food quality Aquaculture investors Veterinarians and Dairy Nutritionists Academics Feed and dairy regulatory bodies (e.g., FDA, NOSB, MOFGA) State-wide and federal carbon budgeting efforts Wild-capture fisheries industries seeking diversification (e.g., the Maine lobster industry) Algae growing, processing, biorefinery, and packaging equipment manufacturers Dairy and feed cooperatives, grain firms, supplement firms Milk Stabilization Price Program administrators Changes/Problems:TURNOVER As is the case with any project involving a large team of scientists in various career development stages, turnover is to be expected. We have had two key postdocs successfully move on to the next stage in their career: one was involved with the life cycle assessment efforts, the other was leading some of the nutrient recycling work. Replacing these positions has been particularly challenging during this national postdoc shortage (Langin, K., 2022. US labs face severe postdoc shortage. Science, 376(6600), pp.1369-1370). We are considering recruiting graduate students and contracting some work to prevent any significant deviations from the research schedule or project goals. We have also recruited internationally for postdocs and have hired two successfully, but VISA applications have slowed their start dates. We are navigating through replacing postdocs fairly comprehensively thus far, but have also just been notified that a co-project director will be leaving the current position at an American academic institution and moving abroad, making continued collaboration with this project less effective. Processes are underway to ensure that the graduate students remaining in the US and who are affiliated with Coast-Cow-Consumer project remain financially and academically supported. We are considering several scenarios for engaging another investigator that may result in reallocation of funds during year 2. UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES Also as is the case with large research efforts, unexpected outcomes can shift focus on particular objectives. We have long since shied away from the concept of finding a single, "silver bullet" alga that can greatly suppress enteric methane emissions AND be cost-effective and produced at scale; however, we originally were hoping to find several candidates. Our latest research has indicated that the processing and preparation of the algae may actually be the most critical piece - and irrespective of particular species or strains - to 'boost' generation of bioactive compounds, 'rinse' algae of those elements that are naturally accumulated in concentrations approaching toxicity for cows, and shrink the carbon footprint of the algae-base additive production; the proposed processing techniques may also be able to be organic certified. We have refocused efforts on rinsing/blanching and then ensiling/fermenting/pickling the algae with select inoculants to generate a product that meets several needs, and is shelf stable. While we are very excited about this prospect, it has meant that we have had to develop new protocols and invest in new large-scale equipment to start our animal trials a few months later than we'd hoped. TRIPLE PANDEMIC COVID and now the flu, hand-foot-and-mouth, and RSV epidemics in the Northeastern US continue to disrupt the workforce - and particularly those with young children in daycare and school settings; many facilities have intermittently closed due to lack of care providers, teachers, or overall student body. Frankly, I think every team member has been directly impacted at some point during our first year and has undergone extensive absences from work as a result of personal health or family care needs. We continuously try to evaluate overall resource needs and accommodate remote working options as is feasible. Most team members are comfortable with travel and in-person interactions, but we take every precaution (masking, outside meetings when feasible) when engaging in person as is possible and acceptable to the membership. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?1. First Friday Research Forum: What: An hour time-slot in which project members convene to discuss related research topics from any branch of the transdisciplinary program. Typical format could be a 40-minute seminar style presentation, followed by moderated Q&A, or a series of shorter 15-minute presentations, or a recent journal article discussion. Why: To learn more about our collective research capacity, particularly in the early phases of the research program. To help us each peek outside of our silos. Later content may shift to suit our project needs, and include invited guest speakers as we move along. Who: The entire C3 project membership is invited to attend. Presenters will be identified by the First Friday Forum Coordinator who will also introduce speakers and mediate Q&A, unless a guest speaker has been invited by an alternative host; Zoom recordings posted to our YouTuber channel by project coordinator. Where: Recorded and live Zoom (link is provided in calendar invite) When: First Friday afternoon of every month, 1pm EST, recording made available the following week. List of topics thus far (*guest speakers): 03/04/2022 Jingjing Wu - Life Cycle Assessment contributions 04/01/2022 Mike Lomas - Considerations in the production of microalgae in bioreactors 05/06/2022 Steve Archer, Carmen Cartisano, Gabrielle Iacono, Kevin Posman, Dave Emerson, Nichole Price - Algal bioactives: some case studies, how we analyse their composition and content and test for anti-methane properties 06/03/2022 Joe McFadden*, Sarah Morrison - measuring methane and other gases commercially 07/01/2022 Nick Record - Reproducible Research and Data Management 08/5/2022 Susan Powers, Steve Archer - How to estimate the global warming potential of methane 2. Field Trips for team members Tours of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (PD Price, East Boothbay, ME), The Wolfe's Neck Center Dairy production facility (Executive Director, David Herring, Brunswick, ME), SOURCE, Inc. seaweed processing facility (Bonnie Tobey - operations manager and President, Maine Seaweed Council, Brunswick, ME) Feed mill Goldstar Feeds (Michele Bennett, Dairy Specialist and Andy Dugan, Vice President) Augusta, ME Jason and Joy Ray of Ray Family Farms, West Gardiner, ME Misty Meadows Farm Clinton, ME, tour by Rick Kersbergen, owned and operated by John and Belinda Stoughton and Thomas and Kimberly Wright. ?3. ?Expert-led discussions Breakout session discussions during first annual in-person retreat (July, 2022) on: microalgae cultivation on a farm; stakeholder engagement; scaling up - from microscale benchtop to local, regional, and global levels; algae supplements - snake oil or verified feeding strategy access to Dairy and Seaweed extension officers 4. Topical Poster session consisting of 16 presentations from undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D students 5. Training in macroalgae cultivation Postdoc Jingjing stay at Bigelow - lab training and macroalgae cultivation - relevance to LCA scoping Student developed seaweed primer developed for dairy farmers 6. Graduate Student trainings Leadership (Diana Carolina Reyes Gomez) Use of GreenFeed System - grad students at UNH, UVM, and Miner all received professional training from C-Lock Systems Use of continuous fermenters - several master's students and PhDs trained at UVM Postdoc, graduates, and undergraduate students trained on LCA software systems How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?WORKSHOPS, PUBLIC SPEAKING, FARMER DAYS, STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT USDA Agricultural Research Services Interagency Working Group for Farming Seaweeds and Seagrasses stakeholder engagement listening sessions (four, scheduled throughout March 2022) received input from over 178 attendees to collect input on topics to be included in a report to US Congress on the state of seaweed research. Lactalis and Stonyfield - 05/24/2022, presentation from Nichole Price, PhD, on Ensiling Seaweed for Organic Dairy at the Wolfe's Neck Center Orleans Conservation Trust - 08/30/2022 presentation from Charlotte Quigley, PhD, titled "From Coast to Cow: A New Way to Reduce Methane" Northeast Dairy Producers Alliance, 21st Annual Field Day - 10/01/2021 presentations from Andre Brito, PhD., Charlotte Quigley, PhD ( A. Brito presented animal trial results in the Feeds and Forage with a powerpoint presentation (attached). C. Quigley presented our project as part of the Research Product Spotlights which was an oral presentation, stakeholder Q&A engagement session, and pasture tour. Note: Governor Janet Mills attended briefly MEDIA Colby Magazine Volume 109, Issue 1 released Spring 2022 titled "COLBY, COWS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE" featuring Bigelow Research Technician Gabby Iacono. Colby News article released March 31, 2022 titled "Colby Scientists Seek Solutions to Climate Change in the Belly of a Cow" featuring Bigelow Senior Research Scientist and Colby ES Professor Dr. Nichole Price. Mainebiz story released on 10/08/2021 titled "Maine lab gets $10M to find ways to decrease, um, gas output from cows" CNBC story released on 10/12/2021 titled "Methane from cow is a big contributor to climate change - feeding them seaweed may help" WAGM story released on 10/25/2022 titled "Maine sustainable dairy product one of 15 awarded funds by USDA" Civil Eats story released on 03/16/2022 titled "Can Small Seaweed Farms Help Kelp Scale Up?" Culture story released on 03/16/2022 titled "Cows and Carbon: How a Pinch of Seaweed a Day could Keep the Methane Away" Boston NPR WBUR story released on 04/22/2022 titled "Cow burps drive global warming. Scientists think feeding them seaweed could help" EPA article released on 05/02/2022 titled "AFBF: America's farmers are reducing greenhouse gas emissions" USA Today article released on 08/22/2022 titled "Nugget the cow: Seaweed-munching bovine chews on solution to methane problem" Northeast Aquaculture Conference & Exposition (NACE) on April 27-29, 2022: Center for Seafood Solutions' Nichole Price hosted a field trip of ~20 members of aquaculture industry and the general public to highlight aquaculture research projects and analytical services available at Bigelow Prototype guide posts/kiosks for carbon footpath installed and 'tested' at Wolfe Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment "Using the Ocean and Land to Fight Climate Change": an overview of the Coast Cow Consumer (C3) Project at Wolfe's Neck Center, farm-raised cows on the coast of Maine on the Front lines fighting Climate Change "From the Lab to the Pasture": the step-by-step research that tests seaweed supplements for dairy cows "What's on the Menu?": a review of cow diet make-up and the components of the cow digestive tract, including the methane-producing rumen. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?First, and foremost, we are working our way towards animal trials in year 2. Results from our first year have clearly indicated that drying seaweeds is not a sustainable way forward, and may strip the algae of valuable nutritional components and bioactive compounds. We are having to create - from scratch - fermentation/ensiling techniques and protocols for brown and red seaweeds at production scale to initiate animal trials. This is only feasible through important partnerships established at the time of proposal submission with companies like Atlantic Sea Farms, Ocean's Rainforest, and developing relationships with the Culture Abalone, Vitamin Sea, and the Crop Project. Another unforeseen opportunity is managing the level of stakeholder interest in this research - and discovering how many new companies have emerged purporting to sell algae feed additives. Managing the volume of communications and information gleaned within one-on-one meetings necessitated the development of customized contact reference management software, but we also see it as an opportunity to address our LOGIC MODEL, and evaluate the impact our research has on a developing sector. This team is also capitalizing on newly invigorated discussions of the feed additive claims process and convening of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Currently, changes to the rumen microbiome that result in a reduction of enteric methane emissions is viewed as a 'drug' by the FDA, despite the fact that algae feed additives do not treat a disease; categorization as a nutritive feed supplement is possible, as long as no claims are made about reducing enteric methane, which is counterproductive to dairy sustainability goals. Further, the current policies disfavor US markets on a global scale: Canada, the EU, and several South American countries offer a third, zootechnical claims option for which products like Bovaer (3NOP) have been certified. In year 2, this project team will engage with this policy review process. In addition to FDA policy-makers, other targeted stakeholders for engagement in year 2: Dairy production, distribution, and processing industry Dairy consumers (e.g., retailers, food service industry, other major end-users) Algae producers, harvesters, processors, distributors Animal feed producers and distributors Animal supplement producers and distributors Aquaculture regulatory bodies (from municipal to federal) General public Policy makers (e.g., USDA-NOAA Working Group on Research for Farming of Kelp and Seagrass, Maine Climate Council, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine) Voluntary Carbon Market brokers Lab testing facilities for feed and food quality Aquaculture investors Veterinarians and Dairy Nutritionists Academics Feed and dairy regulatory bodies (e.g., FDA, NOSB, MOFGA) State-wide and federal carbon budgeting efforts Wild-capture fisheries industries seeking diversification (e.g., the Maine lobster industry) Algae growing, processing, biorefinery, and packaging equipment manufacturers Dairy and feed cooperatives, grain firms, supplement firms Milk Stabilization Price Program administrators Specific actions: With additional funds supplied to us by Organic Valley and Stonyfield, we plan to purchase chopping, rinsing, and blanching equipment and use their new temperature controlled ensiling room at the ASF 27,000 sqft new processing facility in Biddeford, ME to generate treatments for in vivo feeding trials starting spring 2023 ~20 55G drums for each of 4 feeding trials (2 pilots [6 head each], two full scale [40 head each]) with S. latissima and G. tikvahiae Target pH 4, ~7 days, thus far shelf stable for ~6 months Manure collected from each feeding trial described above to continue optimized biogas generation experiments and soil metals inputs estimates Online surveys [target ~200 participants] of working waterfront in Maine for economic impact assessments Dairy supply chain - Surveying dairy nutritionists and feed suppliers at a workshop designed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund Sustainable Feed Innovations team to be held just before the next annual Cornell Dairy Nutrition Conference Emergent algae-based feed sector analyses using our new customer relationship management software New focus on microalgae (new hires, new goals) to inform prototype bioreactor development, including culture optimization and in vitro batch trials for methane suppression in simulated rumen systems. Our goal is to have the prototype photobioreactor connected to the demonstration anaerobic digestion system at Cornell Cooperative Extension by the time the team meets for its second annual in-person retreat in New York, summer 2023 May need to do 'settling' experiments for anaerobic lagoons to understand how much arsenic settles out of manure & liquid phase before the supernatant is applied as fertilizer Denise Bruesewitz at Colby College is designing an additional Environmental Studies capstone course focusing on Coast-Cow-Consumer topics, and leaning on the First Fridays seminar series.

What was accomplished under these goals? Obj 1 (Algae characteristics, Milk Quality/Yield) Major activities completed / experiments conducted; 31 interviews with established and new seaweed producers and processors to determine production capacity ~15 U.S. seaweed species and their residues analyzed for bioactives (halogenated compounds, phlorotannins, other), nutritional profile, and mineral content Participated in NIST Quality Assurance program for sugar kelp for nutritional and toxic elements; total phenolic content; and proximates, fiber, and starch. The Coast-Cow-Consumer also supported two New England forage laboratories to participate Coordination with animal health experts to generate a matrix of bovine dietary needs crossed by nutritional constituent availability in seaweeds to identify species that may be hazardous or most promising Simulated rumen batch culture in vitro dosing experiments: 24 with algae for species screening, 36 with various halocarbons to discern mechanism and residence period, 2 with residuals from seaweed processing Simulated rumen continuous culture fermenter in vitro experiments: ~4 independent Latin square trials comparing S. latissima (rinsed, blanched, fresh), C. crispus (dose response), A. nodosum (fresh and extract), and various halocarbons In vivo feeding trials: mid-lactation (C. crispus, dose response, Latin square) and transition period (A. nodosum vs other iodine sources, continuous) at UNH and mid-lactation (C. crispus, continuous) WNC Data collected; gas concentration (CH4, H2, CO2) over at various time points, volatile fatty acids, rumen microbial consortium, bioactive compound concentration in algal supplement, various additional algal analytes, milk yield and quality, urine and feces production, hormone concentrations in blood, body indices, dry matter intake rates, orts Summary statistics and discussion of results; S. latissima > C. crispus > A. nodosum at reducing enteric methane emissions in in vitro rumen batch assays, but none as effective as Asparagopsis species thus far Iodine and selenium concentrations and DCAD imbalance issues need to be carefully managed - iodine concentrations in milk reached, in some cases, 1500 ppm, which exceeds the 500 ppm guideline for human consumption Key outcomes or other accomplishments realized. Bead beating of tissues prior to GCMS and/or very strong base extractions prior to ICPMS required to fully evaluate some nutritional constituents in seaweeds Mechanism of suppression may be specific tannins or complex halogenated compounds not detectable via GCMS, or simply an overall impact to rumen function that also inhibits efficiency. Mode of actions is important to discern likelihood of desired impact Phlorotannin standard curve generated for true concentration estimation - not readily available in literature and may be developed into a methods paper For necessary dosage/inclusion rate to achieve desired minimum methane suppression (~30%), iodine concentration in seaweeds generally exceeds bovine toxicity limits. Seaweeds generally need to be rinsed and blanched to lower iodine content by 50%, or grown in controlled media Residues from seaweed hydrocolloid extraction efforts are devoid of bioactive compounds that inhibit enteric methane emissions, but may still have limited nutritional value Obj 2 (LCA and Supply Chain analyses) Major activities completed / experiments conducted; ~12 possible scenarios identified for LCA Several assays completed to test algae-manure impacts on soil GHG emissions experiments and biogas generation One round of surveys, and several workshops/interviews conducted Data collected; Inventories started for ocean-based and land-based algae cultivation and processing via: drying and milling, freezing, oil immersion, and ensiling Scoping includes: S. latissima & G. tikvahea oceanic farmed seaweed (various scenarios to optimize yield), processed drying, and various end-uses A. taxiformis fed batch culture seaweed, processed lyophilized vs. oil immersion Token fed batch culture marine/brackish microalgae, ensiled Token fed batch culture freshwater microalgae, paste Various waste management: anaerobic digestions vs lagoons Various animal basal diets/animal-to-animal stochasticity as a distribution/sensitivity analyses via Monte Carlo Inventory being built and populated with literature values and directly from research underway Supply chain analyses include cursory willingness to pay assessment among organic dairy farmers Summary statistics and discussion of results; Organic dairy farmers are already feeding seaweed supplements, but their reasons are varied and often not evidence-based, willing to pay ~$0.65 for algal supplements Some conventional farmers are aware of using seaweed to reduce enteric methane emissions, but remain skeptical/uninterested unless other measurable herd health impacts or positive inputs to revenue/bottom line can be identified Conventional farmers also voiced that agriculture not the largest source of GHG emissions that needs to be addressed 4) Key outcomes or other accomplishments realized. While drying and milling can make seaweed shelf stable, it is energetically quite costly. Alternatives are to ensile (ferment) seaweed or develop heat recycling systems for seaweed processing plants. Not only might seaweeds need to be processed to reduce biotoxicity to animals (and humans via milk), but careful consideration of ecotoxicological impacts of bioaccumulation of metals in soils via manure management may need to be monitored A key stakeholder group to engage includes the nutritional consultants, who are the trusted decision makers consulted during diet reformulations Obj 3 (Outreach, Education) Major activities completed / experiments conducted; ~215 undergraduates participated in experiential learning coursework 2 focus groups (NY - 4 conventional dairy farmers, ME - 6 conventional dairy farmers) dozens of seaweed infographic primers distributed to dairy farmers 65 surveys conducted on willingness to pay 6 webinars developed and available on our new YouTube channel 45 surveys of our own team members and interns to determine implementation success 4H programming at Cornell Cooperative Extensive underway Canton Public School Foodwaste Program visited demonstration anaerobic digestion facility Three "Carbon Footpath" kiosks and web interactive (via QR code) in development at Wolfe's Neck Center, with dozens of visitors thus far in testing phase Two additional undergraduate courses in development at Colby College in the Environmental Sciences and Economics departments. Data collected; No. participants, education stage, sector-based interest or experience, baseline knowledge level of algae production and feed products, desire for more information, etc. Summary statistics and discussion of results and Carbon footpath content planning & development and partner expansion via online/multimedia/digital engagement focus Large undergraduate and high school student interest in sustainability and food production General overall satisfaction with research program to date, but desire for more within-team and external communications tools: Coast-Cow-Consumer YouTube Channel, Dashboard, and additional annual in-person retreats in development. 4) Key outcomes or other accomplishments realized. Dairy farmers rely heavily on trusted advisors, such as nutritionists, feed consultants, and veterinarians to reformulate diets. It is these groups to which the new data on the promise (or lack thereof) of algae-based feeds in dairy production must be presented to ensure widespread adoption Student enthusiasm for topic area is palpable and the project offers opportunities for training in the life sciences, economics, policy, and sociology OPEN-Team awarded Climate Smart Commodities funds, and we are thrilled to expand this portal to include decision-making tools about algal supplements to reduce carbon 'hoofprint' of dairy production


  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2023 Citation: D.C. Reyes*, J. Meredith, L. Puro, R. Kersbergen, C. Quigley, N. Price, and A.F. Brito (2022) Case Study: Effect of the red seaweed Chondrus crispus on enteric methane emissions and milk yield in dairy cows. Invited and accepted abstract to Research Topic "Natural Phytochemicals to Enhance Animal Productivity and Health Status with Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions" for the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2023 Citation: Michelle K. Tynan*, Marie Claire Bryant, and Rick Welsh. (2022) Preliminary Findings of Northeast Organic and Conventional Dairy Farmers perception of benefits and challenges in feeding algae. In review Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Wu, J.�, Rogers, S.W., Schaummann, R., Higgins, C. and Price, N., (2022). Bioextractive aquaculture as an alternative nutrient management strategy for water resource recovery facilities. Water Research, 212, p.118092.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Brito, A.F. (2022) Effects of Seaweeds on Dairy Production. 2022 Cornell Nutrition Conference Proceedings.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Driemel, A.W., Baker, L.M., Snider, M.A., Posman, K., Quigley, C., Price, N.N. and Greenwood, S.L., (2022). PSVII-8 Effects of processed Saccharina latissima and Ascophyllum nodosum on ruminal fermentation and methane production in continuous culture. Journal of Animal Science, 100(Supplement_3), pp.383-383.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Jin-Ho Yun�, Stephen D. Archer, Nichole Price. (2022) Valorization of waste materials from seaweed industry: An industry survey based biorefinery approach. Accepted, Reviews in Aquaculture
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Ricart, A.M., Krause-Jensen, D., Hancke, K., Price, N.N., Masqu�, P. and Duarte, C.M., (2022). Sinking seaweed in the deep ocean for carbon neutrality is ahead of science and beyond the ethics. Environmental Research Letters, 17(8), p.081003.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Price, N.N. & Brito, A. F. April 14, 2022 Maine Climate and Agriculture Webinar Series The use of seaweed feedstock to reduce methane emissions from cows
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Price, N.N. April 18-21, 2022 USDA Annual SAS-CAP Spring Program Director Meeting Coast-Cow-Consumer Introduction
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Omoruyi, G.* & Sims, W.* June 16, 2022 Maine Seaweed Council Quarterly Meeting Dairy cattle dietary needs and seaweed nutritional profiles
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Driemel, A.*, L. M. Baker, M. A. Snider, K. Posman, C. Quigley, N. N. Price, S. L. Greenwood June 26-30, 2022 American Society of Animal Science  Canadian Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting & Trade Show Effects of processed Saccharina latissima and Ascophyllum nodosum on ruminal fermentation and methane production in continuous culture
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Kayla Johnston July 29, 2022. MastersThesis Defense in Agricultural Sciences, UNH (Brito advisor). Feed iodine source and its effects on cow colostrum production and the growth and metabolism of their calves
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Price, N.N., Archer, S., Rogers, S., Wu J., Honisch, B., Iacono, G., et al. September 7, 2022 Seagriculture USA 2022 Meeting Cost-effective methods for verifying nutrient abatement by farmed seaweeds