Pralle is an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in the UW–Platteville School of Agriculture. His research interests span dairy cow nutrition and predictive analytics. Specifically, his research strives to develop data-driven management tools and strategies to optimize the nutrient supply to and the metabolic health of individual cows. Pralle’s position is funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub.
The reticulorumen is the most important part of the ruminant digestive tract in dairy cows, responsible for 70-80% of digestion processes. Rumen cannulation, or the surgical process of placing a cannula in the side of a cow, is the gold-standard method for gaining access to the reticulorumen to conduct nutrition related research. With support from present and former UW–Madison veterinarians, Pralle and Hardyman will be trained in rumen cannulation surgery, postoperative care, and long-term care of cannulated cows. Twelve cows will be cannulated after training at UW–Platteville’s Pioneer Farm. This population of cannulated cows will allow for more innovative research in reticulorumen metabolism and digestion.