Rapid Agricultural Response Fund Grants


The Minnesota State Legislature has a strong history of responsiveness to the concerns of citizens involved with our state's natural resources. A recent example is the devastating impact "scab" has had on small grain crops such as wheat and barley. Growers who depend on those crops appealed to the legislature for special funding of control and eradication research, and breeding efforts to develop resistant varieties. In a few short years, promising advances have taken shape as a result of that initiative.

Often, however, attention to such problems has been piecemeal; they are insufficiently coordinated with activities already underway within Minnesota's research institutions. Every group with a need for assistance has had to press its case individually, tying up legislative time and attention.

The University of Minnesota, particularly the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, has long been a focus for research related to our natural resources. Recognizing this, the legislature looked to the University and MAES for direction and coordination of research initiatives needing special emphasis or rapid response.

The Legislative Response

To improve speed of response and organize the decision making process, in 1998 the Minnesota State Legislature authorized a program and created a fund to enable rapid responses to urgent issues and challenges that have arisen and face Minnesota's agriculture and natural resource based industries. An initial allocation of $1.5 million was provided for designated projects in 1998, and a recurring allocation of $1 million was created in 1999.

Under the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the Rapid Agricultural Response Fund has enlisted the support of faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Education and Human Development, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the support of the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

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2022-2023 RARF Projects


Erin Cortus

Greenhouse gas sampling approaches for Minnesota livestock farms
Brian Crooker Reducing mastisis in the dairy cow by increasing the prevalence of beneficial polymorphisms in genes associated with mastisis resistance - RENEWAL

Fabian Fernandez

Controlled-release nitrogen and split applications to enhance corn production and environmental protection

Kahina Ghanem

Prolonging fertility in turkey breeders as a sustainable model for poultry production: The role of the Immune System

Timothy Griffis

Improved prediction of the atmospheric transport and fate of Dicamba - RENEWAL
Anup Kollanor Johny Autochthonous bacteriophages for preharvest safety of turkeys: Integrating Salmonella’s phage immune determinants (SaPhIDs) to phage therapy design
Robert Koch Evaluating biological control for soybean gall midge, a new pest of soybean in Minnesota
Peter Larsen and Davis Seelig Developing best practices for the detection and decontamination of Chronic Wasting Disease prions associated with venison processing
Debalin Sarangi Managing herbicide-resistant weeds using cover crops

Brian Steffenson

Genetics and breeding of bacterial leaf streak resistance in barley - RENEWAL

2020-2021 RARF Projects


Matthew Clark

Determining Distribution, Impact, and Management Options for Grapevine Trunk Disease in Minnesota Vineyards
Brian Crooker Reducing Mastitis in the Dairy Cow by Increasing the Prevalence of Beneficial Polymorphisms in Genes Associated with Mastitis Resistance
Sagar Goyal Development of Diagnostic Strategies for Porcine Circovirus Type 3 Infections
George Heimpel How Parasitoid Mortality Limits Biological Control of Soybean Aphid
William Hutchison Rapid Response to Japanese Beetle as a New Pest of Wine Grapes & Raspberry
Anup Kollanor Johny Not All Salmonella Are Created Equal: A Comprehensive Study to Determine the Efficacy of Alternative Interventions to Control Emerging Salmonella Serovars of Food Safety Importance in Turkey Production and Processing
Jennifer Kimball Innovations in Controlling Riceworm in Cultivated Wild Rice
Robert Koch Insecticide Resistance Management for Soybean Aphid:  Understanding Biological Mechanisms and Grower Practices
Peter Larsen Rapid Next-Generation Diagnostics for Chronic Wasting Disease

Hihn Ly

Development of a Novel Vaccine to Protect Turkeys from Hemorrhagic Enteritis Virus Infection 
Krishona Martinson Equine Carcass Composting: Demonstration Leads to Industry Adoption

Sunil Mor and Robert Porter 

Re-Emerging Turkey Arthritis Reovirus in Minnesota Turkeys: Comparative Pathogenesis and Development of Control Strategies - Renewal
Abby Neu NPIP Biosecurity Audits: Comprehensive Success in Minnesota by 2020 and Beyond
Lindsay Pease Providing Critical Support to Minnesota Farmers for Phosphorus Risk Assessment
Maria Pieters A Comprehensive Approach to Elucidate the Detection of Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae in Processing Fluids and its Potential for Disease Monitoring and Surveillance
Maria Pieters Increasing Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae Eradication Success by Investigating Antimicrobial Susceptibility
Brian Steffenson Genetics and Breeding of Bacterial Leaf Streak Resistance in Barley
Fabio Vannucci Evaluation of biosecurity procedures to prevent indirect transmission of Senecavirus A
Sinisa Vidovic Characterization of Novel Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins as Vaccine Targets to Reduce or Eliminate Salmonella Colonization in Turkeys

2018-2019 RARF Projects

Julio Alvarez and Andres Perez Characterization of emergent antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella strains residing at the animal-human interface to guide evidence-based antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary medicine

Rafael Bisinotto and Gerald Cramer

The relationship between early lactation hoof lesions and behavior, inflammatory mediators, and reproductive performance in dairy cows
Robert Craven Financial counseling to help financially stressed producers explore options to survive
William Hutchison Spotted Wing Drosophila risk and management solutions for the wine grape industry
Timothy Johnson MnPoPPA: Informing strategies for autogenous vaccine development in poultry
Lee Johnson Development of low-carbon footprint energy systems for swine production facilities
Anup Johny Investigating the efficacy of multiple antimicrobial interventions against Salmonella Heidelberg colonization in turkeys - Renewal
Hinh Ly Development of a novel vaccine to protect turkeys from Hemorrhagic enteritis virus infection 
Sunil Kumar Mor

Re-emerging turkey arthritis reovirus in Minnesota turkeys: development of novel diagnostic assays and control strategies

Christopher Philips and Robert Koch Evaluating infestation and potential natural enemies of brown marmorated stink bug in Minnesota apple orchards
Roger Ruan Atmospheric pressure Non-thermal plasma for sanitizing animal production facility air
Matthew Russell Minnesota's rural forests and the expanding emerald ash borer: Landscape risks and forest management response
Kevin Smith

Stems of Steel: a structural engineering approach to improve lodging resistance in cereals

Montserrat Torremorell A comprehensive surveillance system to control influenza virus in pigs

2016-2017 RARF Projects

Sandra Godden Evaluation of a longer duration protocol to heat-treat Bovine Colostrum on colostrum characteristics, and on passive transfer, health and Johne's Disease Control in Minnesota dairy calves
Bo Hu Reducing sulfide generation by electrochemical treatment of liquid manure in deep-pit manure storage systems
Johny Anup Investigating the efficacy of multiple antimicrobial interventions against Salmonella Heidelberg colonization in turkeys
Angela Orshinsky Development of a risk assessment model for tomato leaf mold infection in Minnesota
Christopher Philips Creating a risk-based decision support tool and early-warning system for Spotted-wing Drosophila
Patrick Redig Surveillance for high-consequence poultry diseases in wild bird reservoirs: Influenza and Newcastle Disease
Montserrat Torremorell A comprehensive surveillance system to control influenza virus in pigs
Gerard Cramer Evaluating the Relationship Between Hyperketonemia and Lameness in MN Dairy Herds
George Heimpel The role of Insecticidal Seed Treatments in Limiting Biological Control of Soybean Aphid
Bo Hu Mechanism Study of Manure Foaming in the Swine Pit Storage
William Hutchison Canopy Management and High Tunnel use for Maximizing Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Raspberry
Yuzhi Li Using a Novel Approach, Social Network Analysis, to Remedy Animal Welfare Concerns Raised by Consumers
Ian MacRae  Remote Sensing in Agricultural Production
Douglas Marthaler Transdisciplinary Approach to Characterize the Diversity of Streptococcus Suis, Leading to Rapid Genotyping by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)
Srinand Sreevatsan  A Universal Nanoparticle Based Mucosal Delivery Subunit Vaccine for Animal Disease
Fabio Vannucci  Transmission of Senecavirus A by Artificial Insemination and the Impact on the Production of Piglets

2014-2015 RARF Projects

Robert Blanchette Rapid Diagnostic Methods to Combat a New Disease of Conifer Trees in Minnesota: Heterobasidion Root Rot causing Circles of Death
Jim Collins Development of a Rapid, High Throughput Real-time RT-PCR Diagnostic Tool and Complete Genome Characterization of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus
Jim Collins Identifying the genetic diversity of swine group B and C rotaviruses: Steps Toward Developing a Universal Rotavirus B / C Subunit Vaccine
Ruth Dill-Macky Bacterial Leaf Streak of Wheat and Barley
Connie Gebhart Analysis of Virulence-Associated Genes in Known and Novel Brachyspira Species to Develop Pathogen-Specific Diagnostic Assays
Jeffrey Gunsolus Crop Rotation Strategies for Management of Glyphosate-Resistance Weeds
George Heimpel Experimental releases of a Newly-Approved Asian Biological Control Agent of the Soybean Aphid
Bradley Heins Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies to 'Green' Energy Consumed in Dairy and Swine Production Systems
Bill Hutchison Population Dynamics of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in Minnesota: Predicting and Examining the Geographic Spread of an Invasive Fruit Pest
Timothy Johnson Role of the Bacterial Microbiome in Optimal Commercial Turkey Production
Robert Koch Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) in Minnesota Soybean
Dean Malvick Advancing Knowledge to Manage Goss's Wilt of Corn, a New Disease in Minnesota
Marla Spivak Responding to an S.O.S. from the Commercial Beekeeping Industry
Zheng Xing Identification, Culture and Virulence Studies of Heartland Virus-like Bunyaviruses in Minnesota Food Animals

2012-2013 RARF Projects

Project Leader Project Title
Ricardo Chebel Effects of Stocking Density and Grouping Strategies of Prepartum Dairy Cows on Wellbeing, Behavior, Innate and Humoral Immunity, and Productive and Economic Performance
Ruth Dill-Macky Bacterial Leaf Streak of Wheat and Barley
George Heimpel Successful Biological Control of Soybean Aphid: The Link to Buckthorn
Bo Hu Microbial Analysis of Foaming Swine Manure to Improve Deep-Pitted Swine Barn Safety
Pam Ismail Patulin Control and Detection in Apple Juice and Cider
Michael Murtaugh Threat Assessment of PRRSV Isolates in High Season PRRS
Kakambi Nagaraja Cellulitis in Turkeys: Pathogenesis and Control
Ken Ostlie Corn Rootworms: Exploring Potential Resistance to Transgenic Corn
Raymie Porter Wildrice Breeding Resources Advancement, Preservation, and Genetic Distinctiveness
Robert Porter and Sagar Goyal Novel Turkey Reovirus in Minnesota: Virus Characterization and Determination of its Role in Turkey Lameness
Albert Rovira Investigation of a Possibly Emerging Disease Referred to as Peri-Weaning Failure to Thrive Syndrome in Minnesota Swine Herds
Stephanie Valberg Seasonal Pasture Myopathy: An Emerging Disease in Minnesota

2010-2011 RARF Projects

James Anderson

Breeding Wheat Varieties Resistant to the Ug99 Race of Stem Rust

Kevin Janni

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and disease transmission from animal facilities with gas-phase biofilters

Lee Johnston

Moving pork producers to socially acceptable sow housing: Transition from gestation stalls to group-housing

Srinand Sreevatsan

Population genetic frameworks of Mycobacterium bovis and their correlation with virulence and environmental survival

Senyu Chen

Developing critical technology for managing the emerging virulent populations of the soybean cyst nematode

Marcia Endres

Evaluating utilization of recycled manure solids as bedding material for freestall dairy barns in the upper Midwest

Kevin Janni

Air Emissions Mitigation Techniques for Sand Bedded Dairies

Srinand Sreevatsan

Development and Evaluation of a Universal swine/avian Influenza Vaccine 

Jim Collins

Preparing Minnesota for the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus in fish

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez

Effect of feeding distiller's grains on Escherichia coli 0157:H7 prevalence in feedlot cattle

William Hutchison

Univoltine European Corn Borer in Southern Minnesota Sweet Corn: Impact, Research and Response to an Expanding Ecotype

Sally Noll

Do feed ingredients affect microbial pathogens and thus indirectly impact poultry health and meat safety?

Devi Patnayak

The role of astrovirus and other enteric viruses in poult enteritis syndrome

Jun Zhu

Co-digesting the wasted milk from dairy operations with cattle slurry to reduce water pollution

Don Wyse

Hazelnuts as a Multifunctional New Crop for Minnesota 

Robert Craven

Developing University of Minnesota Extension's Capacity to Support the Minnesota Farm Assistance Network

Larry Jacobson

Determining Commonality among Swine Barn Pit Explosions

Montserrat Torremorell

Understanding Transmission of Swine Influenza under field Conditions 

Kevin Janni

Assessing and Optimizing the Performance of a Small Dairy Farm Digester 

Mel Baughman

Emerald Ash Borer in Minnesota: Taking the Lead on Preparing Communities  

2008-2009 RARF Projects


Christian Thill

Early Generation Selecting Strategies to Reduce Potato Virus Y (PVY) Incidence Earlier in Breeding

Dean Malvick

Assessment and Management of Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybeans, an Emerging Disease in Minnesota
Simone Oliveira

Surveillance of Highly Virulent Haemophilus parasuis Strains affecting North American Swine Herds using Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST)

Stan Hokanson Diversifying Minnesota’s Biofuel Feedstocks: An Evaluation of Nitrogen-fixing Woody Plant Germplasm
Bill Hutchinson Reducing the Risk of Corn Rootworm Damage to Sweet Corn: Exploiting Planting Date and New Monitoring Tools
Sagar Goyal Etiology and Pathogenesis of the New "Poult Enteritis Syndrome"

Marcia Endres

Evaluating Animal Performance and Welfare in Two New Dairy Housing Options in the Upper Midwest

Scott Dee

Investigating Complex Swine Diseases Using a Model of a Swine Production Region
Eric Watkins Reducing Economic Loss Caused by Stem and Crown Rust in Perennial Ryegrass
Marla Spivak Maintaining the Vitality of Bee Pollinators and the Honey Producing Industry in Minnesota (Renewal)
Sally Noll Utilization of Byproducts from the Biofuels Industry as Feed Ingredients for Commercial Turkey Production
Andrew David Conservation of Minnesota’s Ash Genetic Resources in Response to Emerald Ash Borer
Jeffrey A. Davis Using Marker Assisted Selection to Accelerate Development of Potato Cultivators That Pyramid Novel Sourses of Aphid, Virus and Late Blight Resistence
David Ragsdale Incorporating Natural Enemies into the Economic Thresholds for Soybean Aphid
Ken Ostlie Corn Rootworms: Adaptation, Risk & Transgenic Corn
Kakambi Nagaraja Cellulitis in Turkeys: Pathogenesis and its Control using an Inactivated Vaccine
Larry Jacobson Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Measurements to Existing Dairy and Turkey Barn Gas Monitoring Projects
Scott Wells Reducing Interactions between Cattle and White-tailed Deer in Northern Minnesota
Brian Buhr Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Economic Impact of Bovine Tuberculosis on the Minnesota Cattle Industry

Alfredo DeCostanzo

Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Assessment of the Value of Spayed Heifers for Marketing

Alfredo DiCostanzo Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Managing Feed Intake in Beef Cattle Herds to Reduce TB Transmission Risk
Timothy Goldsmith Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Assessment of Bovine TB Diagnostic Testing Strategies
Ryon Walker Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Education and Extension Activities Related to the Bovine TB Initiative
Scott Wells Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Qualitative Risk Assessment of Bovine TB in Northern Minnesota
Scott Wells Special RARF 2008-2009 Bovine TB Funding: Use of Electrified Fencing to Mitigate Cattle-Deer Interactions on Minnesota Cattle Farms
James A. Anderson Breeding Wheat Varieties Resistant to the Ug99 Race of Stem rust
Kevin A. Janni

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and disease transmission form animal facilities with gas-phase biofilters

Lee J. Johnston Moving Pork Producers to socially acceptable sow housing: Transition from Gestation Stall to Group-Housing
Srinand Sreevatsan Population Genetic Frameworks of Mycobacterium bovis and Their Correlation with Virulence and Environmental Survival

Senyu Chen

Developing Critical Technology for Managing the Emerging Virulent Populations of the Soybean Cyst Nematode
Marcia Endres Evaluating Utilization of Recycled Manure Solids as Bedding Material for Freestall Dairy Barns in the Upper Midwest
Kevin A. Janni Emissions Mitigation Techniques for Sand-Bedded Dairies
Srinand Sreevatsan Development and Evaluation of a Universal Swine/Avian Influenza Vaccine
James Collins Preparing Minnesota for the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus in Fish
Francisco Diez-Gonzalez Effect of Feeding Distiller’s Grain on Escherichia coli 0157:H7 Prevalence in Feedlot Cattle
Bill Hutchinson Univoltine European Corn Borer in Southern Minnesota Sweet Corn: Impact, Research and Response to an Expanding Ecotype
Sally Noll Do Feed Ingredients Affect Gut Microbial Pathogens and Thus Indirectly Impact Poultry Health and Meat Safety?
Devi Patnayak The Role of Astrovirus and Other Enteric Viruses in Poult Enteritis Syndrome
Jun Zhu Co-digesting the Wasted Milk from Dairy Operations with Cattle Slurry to Reduce Water Pollution