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Emily Croft

Position/Title: M.Sc. (Thesis) Student
Office: ANNU 043

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  • BSc Animal Biology, University of Guelph, 2016-2020 



I am currently an MSc student working with Dr. Michael Steele. I graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biology in 2020. During my undergraduate degree I enjoyed a variety of courses including Nutrition of Beef Cattle, Nutrition of Dairy Cattle, and an undergraduate research project. My undergraduate research focussed on the effects of milk replacer intake allowances and starch levels in calf starter on calf performance and metabolism. In addition to my previous research experience, I have a passion for working with animals and have a large amount of agricultural experience. I have worked on dairy, beef cow-calf, goat, swine, and poultry farms. I currently live on an active beef farm and am working to develop my own Red Angus – Simmental herd.

My current research focuses on the effects of prepartum energy intake in late gestation beef cows on colostrum yield and composition, and cow-calf performance and metabolism. This research involved the provision of 3 diets to the pregnant beef cow starting sixty days before the predicted calving date. These diets either under provided, met, or overprovided metabolizable energy. A subset of cows were milked at the time of calving to determine colostrum yield, which is important for calf immunity and early life metabolism and development. Cows and calves were followed for two months after calving to assess performance by tracking weights, rib and rump fat depth, and body condition scores for cows, and weights and frame measurements for calves. Blood samples were collected from both cows and calves to be used to assess metabolism.

The results from my research will be able to be used by producers to formulate nutrition plans to optimize cow and calf performance, while ensuring sufficient colostrum production for calf health and early life development. Additionally, the results will indicate whether current formulations are correctly meeting cow nutrient requirements during late pregnancy, when fetal requirements are high.

In my free time, I enjoy riding horse, hiking and spending time with my dog and family on my beef farm. I hope to continue my work in the beef industry after my MSc.