About AIP
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About AIP

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About the Animal Improvement Program (AIP)

Objectives  |  Project details  |  Awards  |  History  |  Directions


The primary objective is to improve dairy cattle productive efficiency, health, fertility, and other traits of economic importance by evaluating genetic merit and comparing management practices so that the United States and other countries can meet the dietary needs of their populations. Specific objectives include:

Objective 1: Expand genomic data used in prediction by selecting new variants that more precisely track the true gene mutations that cause phenotypic differences.
Objective 2: Evaluate new traits that can all be predicted at birth from the same inexpensive DNA sample.
Objective 3: Improve efficiency of genomic prediction and computation by developing faster algorithms, testing new adjustments and models, and accounting for genomic pre-selection in evaluation.

Project details

  • "Improving dairy animals by increasing accuracy of genomic prediction, evaluating new traits, and redefining selection goals"
  • A stakeholder listening session webinar was co-hosted by the AGIL and the Dairy Forage Research Center (Madison, WI) on May 9, 2016. To view the presentation, go to USDFRC and AGIL Overview NP101 Dairy Stakeholders. The presentation includes a series of questions related to research, education, and extension priorities in food animal production.


The AIP research program has received international, national, and regional recognition. A list of team and invidiual scientist awards can be viewed at AIP awards.


History pages include information about USDA dairy evaluation history, past AIP staff, and the centennial celebration of the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in 2008.


The AIP work site is located in Bldg. 005 on the west campus of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The main office is in Room 306. Detailed driving and public transportation directions are listed under AGIL-West on the AGIL directions page.

Last Modified: 07/22/2021