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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The future of Health with Algae?

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Alltech Symposium Glimpse 2020.  The presentations really gave me an amazing number of things to think about and contemplate.  I love companies that think outside the contemporary agriculture mind set.  This company and their leader really gets that we must keep improving and trying new ideas and ways or we are dying as a company and an industry.

I took lots of ideas away.  As a rancher and a mom, the research on DHA piqued my interest.


We have all heard the health benefits of DHA.  Those of us that have raised children over the last 10+ years know how DHA has become one of those essential things to look for in formula.  It is labeled safe by the FDA and can be found in infant formula, juices, and a number of dietary supplements.

DHA is important for brain and eye development, and heart health.  What would you think if I told you that people are looking to add DHA to cattle rations?  Not to improve what I listed above, but to improve the fertility of cattle.  I have several friends and family members that struggle with the ability to have a family and I wondered if DHA could help to improve their fertility.

Farmers are always looking for ways to improve the production of our cows.  Honestly, as a mom I look at my cows as my girls.  I hate it when they don't get pregnant.  As The Farmer always says, we don't believe in cow welfare.  If a cow isn't pregnant, she is sold.  The only way the girls pay for themselves is to raise a calf every year.

I'm always looking for new nutritional supplements to help the girls out.  DHA added to their feed or even their vitamin and mineral supplements looks totally intriguing to me.

So where does DHA come from?

DHA is found naturally in fish oil.  Fish eat algae that is a natural source of DHA.  Amazingly, Alltech owns 1 of 2 algae growing facilities in the world and it is certified as food grade algae.

I think it is awesome to think that we could isolate DHA from algae and not have to process fish that could be used as a protein source in someone's diet.

I wonder if added DHA to the diets of some of my friends and family that are having difficulty conceiving a child would help them.  Hmmm.  Those are thoughts for someone much smarter than I. 

The the future of agriculture is diverse and opportunities abound for those willing to look at new ideas.  The opportunities that exist would seem magical in nature to my grandfathers.

Be sure to check out the Alltech Blog for other great articles from the Symposium.

-A Kansas Farm Mom