Matt Akins

Assistant Scientist & Dairy Extension Specialist

60% Extension, 40% Research

Phone

715-384-9459

Office Location

2615 Yellowstone Dr
Marshfield, WI 5449

Matt Akins is an assistant scientist and dairy extension specialist with a focus on dairy heifer nutrition and management.  He obtained his BS ’05 from UW-Platteville, MS ’07 from University of Arkansas, and PhD ’12 from UW-Madison.  During his time working on a MS degree in Arkansas, he worked with beef cattle evaluating cereal forage quality and bloat incidence.  While at the UW working toward his PhD with Randy Shaver, Matt evaluated vitamin B12 nutrition in dairy cattle.  He also evaluated monensin feeding, different corn silage hybrids, and the use of corn snaplage in dairy cattle diets.  From 2012 through 2014, Matt taught the animal nutrition courses at UW-Platteville and worked with undergraduate students to conduct research projects.  In 2015, he started his current role as an assistant scientist and extension specialist working mainly with dairy heifer nutrition and forage management.  As part of this role, he works with the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station to conduct heifer research studies to evaluate nutrition and forage feeding strategies to control heifer growth and costs of production.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Erickson, P. S., J. L. Anderson, K. F. Kalscheur, G. J. Lascano, M. S. Akins, and A. J. Heinrichs. 2020. Symposium Review: Strategies to improve the efficiency and profitability of heifer raising. Journal of Dairy Science

Gelsinger, S. L., W. K. Coblentz, G. I. Zanton, R. K. Ogden. M. S. Akins. 2020. Physiological effects of starter-induced ruminal acidosis in calves before, during, and after weaning. Journal of Dairy Science.

Williams, K. T., K. A Weigel, W. K. Coblentz, N. M. Esser, H. Schlesser, P. C. Hoffman, M. S. Akins. 2019. Effect of diet energy density and genomic residual feed intake on pre-bred dairy heifer feed efficiency, growth, and manure excretion. Journal of Dairy Science.

Gelsinger, S. L., W. K. Coblentz, G. I. Zanton, R. K. Ogden, M. S. Akins. 2019. Ruminal in situ disappearance and whole-tract digestion of starter feeds in calves before, during, and after weaning. Journal of Dairy Science.

Esser, N. M., H. Su, W. K. Coblentz, M. S. Akins, B. A. Kieke, N. P. Martin, M. A. Borchardt, and W. E. Jokela. 2019. Efficacy of recycled sand or organic solids as bedding sources for lactating cows housed in freestalls. Journal of Dairy Science.

Li, L., N. M. Esser, R. K. Ogden, W. K. Coblentz, and M. S. Akins. 2019. Comparison of feeding diets diluted with sorghum-sudangrass silage or low-quality grass on nutrient intake and digestibility and growth performance of Holstein dairy heifers. Journal of Dairy Science.

Coblentz, W. K. and M. S. Akins. 2018. Silage review: Recent advances and future technologies for baled silages. Journal of Dairy Science.

Su, H., M. S. Akins, N. M. Esser, R. Ogden, W. K. Coblentz, K. F. Kalscheur, and R. Hatfield. 2017. Effects of feeding alfalfa stemlage or wheat straw for dietary energy dilution on nutrient intake and digestibility, growth performance and feeding behavior of Holstein dairy heifers. Journal of Dairy Science.

Akins, M. S. 2016. Dairy Heifer Development and Nutrition Management. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice.

Conference Proceedings

Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference (2021). Dairy Heifer Coccidiosis Research With Novel Egg Antibodies. Alternative forages for dairy heifers 

Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference (2019). Alternative forages for dairy heifers   

Midwest Forage Association Tour de Forage (2019). Sorghum Forage Management

Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop (2019). Heifer Nutrition from Weaning to Calving

Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference (2018). Costs of raising calves using individual or automated feeding

Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference (2017). Potential for Sorghum Forages for Dairy Heifers in the Midwest.  

Popular Press Articles

Akins, M. Sorting out some sorghum decisions. Hay and Forage Grower. April 2021.

Akins, M. Harvest timing for alfalfa/grass mixes. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. May 2021

Akins, M. and J. Cavadini. Nitrogen Fertility Effects on Italian Ryegrass Yield and Quality. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. March 2021

Akins, M. Calculating and Comparing Production Costs of Forages. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. December 2020

Akins, M. Nutritive Quality of Straw and Feeding Recommendations. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. August 2020

Akins, M. and G. Blonde. Yield, Quality, and Production Costs of a Cocktail Forage Mix and Italian Ryegrass. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. May 2020

Akins, M. and L. Ferraretto. Fermentation of frozen and thawed corn silage. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. March 2020

Akins, M. S. Managing limited forage inventory and low starch corn silage. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. December 2019

Akins, M. S. Estimate fair price for corn silage. Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin – Dairy’s Bottom Line. September 2019

Akins, M. S. Determining a price to pay for or sell corn silage. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. August 2019

Hribar, C., M. S. Akins, G. Brink, W. Coblentz, J. Bleier, R. Ogden. Dairy heifer growth while grazing meadow fescue or orchardgrass. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. May 2019

Akins, M. S. Rear heifers with rotational grazing. Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin – Dairy’s Bottom Line. April 2019

Akins, M. S. and K. Bolsen. Make silage safety priority #1. Midwest Forage Association Forage Focus. March 2019

Akins, M. S. Strategically manage heifer inventory. Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin – Dairy’s Bottom Line. November 2018

Akins, M.S. and M. A. Hagedorn. Putting a price tag on raising replacements. Hoard’s Dairyman.  April 2016

Posters

Niebuhr, A., D. Schaefer, C. Nolden, and M. Akins. 2019. Growth and health of recently transported dairy heifers fed a novel antibody to interleukin-10. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Hribar, C., G. Brink, J. Bleier, M. Casler, W. K. Coblentz, R. K. Ogden, J. S. Cavadini, and M. S. Akins. 2019. Dairy heifer growth while grazing meadow fescue or orchardgrass.American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Hribar, C., J. S. Cavadini, and M. S. Akins. 2019. Comparison of growth and relationship with genomic body size for dairy heifers managed in confinement or on pasture. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Li, L., N. M. Esser, R. Ogden, W. K. Coblentz, and M. S. Akins. 2019. Effects of feeding two different types of sorghum-sudangrass silage based diets on nutrient intake and digestibility and growth of Holstein dairy heifers. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Akins, M.S., K.T. Williams, H. Su, W.K. Coblentz, N.M. Esser, P.C. Hoffman, K.A. Weigel. 2017. Effect of limit feeding and genomic residual feed intake on dairy heifer growth and feed efficiency. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Grisham, A., M. Akins, E. Remick, H. Su, R. Ogden, W. Coblentz. 2017. Effects of irrigation on sorghum forage yield and quality in the central sands region of Wisconsin. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Grisham, A., M. Akins, E. Remick, H. Su, R. Ogden, W. Coblentz. 2017. Nitrogen fertilization effects on sorghum forage yield and quality. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Remick, E., M. Akins, A. Grisham, H. Su, W. Coblentz, R. Ogden. 2017. Evaluation of yield and quality of photoperiod-sensitive sorghums in central Wisconsin. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Williams, K., K. Weigel, W. Coblentz, N. Esser, P. Hoffman, H. Su, M. Akins. 2017. Effect of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on pre-bred dairy heifer feed intake and growth. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Williams, K. T., K. A. Weigel, W. K. Coblentz, N. M. Esser, H. Schlesser, P. C. Hoffman, H. Su, and M. S. Akins. 2016. Effect of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on dairy heifer performance. American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Akins works with county extension personnel to conduct on-farm projects and offer educational programs on dairy heifer and forage management. Programs focus on evaluating and controlling costs of heifer rearing including survey work that county extension personnel has routinely done across the state. Current work involves working with dairy and beef producers to evaluate dairy beef management and calf growth. In addition, research to evaluate feeding management for pre-weaned and grow/finish dairy beef cattle is currently being conducted. Work on forage management has focused on the yield and quality of alternative forages (sorghums, cereal forages, grasses, annual mixes) for heifers and lactating cows. Recent work is to evaluate the yield and quality of cocktail forage mixes, and performance of lactating cows fed cocktail mixes.

Graduate Courses

AN SCI/DY SCI 825 – Ruminant Nutritional Physiology II (4 credits, Fall)
Course Description: Focuses on calf and heifer nutrition, regulation of dry matter intake, plant and forage chemistry, vitamins, lipids, and starch. Students should have undergraduate coursework in ruminant nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology as background.
Requirements: Graduate/professional standing
*Dr. Akins instructs select lectures on Heifer  Nutrition

Animal and Dairy Science Extension Committee
Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference Planning Committee
American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting Forage Programming   Committee
Journal of Dairy Science Ad-hoc Reviewer

National Finalist Factsheet Award –National Association of County Agricultural Agents (2016) Donald R. Peterson Farm Technology Transfer Award–College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UW-Madison (2020) Second Mile Award –WI Association of County Agricultural Agents (2020)