About AIP
You are here: Beltsville Area Home / Beltsville Agricultural Research Center / Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory / Animal Improvement Program

About Us
About AIP

About the Animal Improvement Program (AIP)

Objectives  |  Project details  |  Awards  |  History  |  Directions


The primary AIP objective is to improve the productive efficiency of dairy animals for traits of economic interest through genetic evaluation and management characterization so that the United States and other countries can meet the dietary needs of their populations. Specific objectives include:

Objective 1: Expand national and international collection of phenotypic and genotypic data through collaboration with the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding and other research programs in the Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory (AGIL).
Objective 2: Develop a more accurate genomic evaluation system with advanced, efficient methods to combine pedigrees, genotypes, and phenotypes for all animals.
Objective 3: Use economic analysis to maximize genetic progress and financial benefits from collected data focused on herd management practices, optimal systems for genetic improvement, quantification of economic values for potential new traits such as feed efficiency, economic values of individual traits, and methods to select healthy, fertile animals with high lifetime production.

Project details

  • Formerly "Improving genetic predictions in dairy animals using phenotypic and genomic information"
  • 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: 04/27/2017