Using mRNA vaccines to protect farm animals against diseases

I am/was hoping to get Brandi Buzzard Frobose’s ok to use her on-the-ranch commentary about the use of mRNA vaccines on livestock. I think she has been too busy to comment back to my email. In any case, I linked to her July 2023 commentary about the use of mRNA in cattle and livestock.

As the Iowa State University article states, mRNA is not yet approved for cattle. Testing is going on at Iowa State University and has an end date of September 2026. I linked to the test process down below. Article is also below.

The Conversation has an article covering testing as guided by Iowa State’s Assistant Prof. David Verhoeven. He is conducting this study at Iowa State University as mentioned in the following article. Interesting reviews in the field and in the labs.

Vaccines using mRNA can protect farm animals against diseases traditional ones may not – and there are safeguards to ensure they won’t end up in your food, Research – ISU, Iowa State University

While effective vaccines for COVID-19 should have heralded the benefits of mRNA vaccines, fear and misinformation about their supposed dangers circulated at the same time. These misconceptions about mRNA vaccines have recently spilled over into worries about whether their use in agricultural animals could expose people to components of the vaccine within animal products such as meat or milk.

In fact, a number of states are drafting or considering legislation outlawing the use of mRNA vaccines in food animals or, at minimum, requiring their labeling on animal products in grocery stores. Idaho bill  would make it a misdemeanor to administer any type of mRNA vaccine to any person or mammal and includes COVID-19 vaccines. A Missouri bill would have required the labeling of animal products derived from animals administered mRNA vaccines but failed to get out of committee.  Arizona  and Tennessee  have also proposed labeling bills. Several other state legislatures are discussing similar measures also.

Iowa State University Assistant Professor of Vet Microbiology and Preventive Medicine David Verhoeven is a researcher who has been making vaccines for a number of years. He started studying mRNA vaccines before the pandemic started. His research on using mRNA vaccines for cattle respiratory viruses has been referenced by social media users and anti-vaccine activists who say that using these vaccines in animals will endanger the health of people who eat them.

Novel mRNA vaccine technology for prevention of bovine respiratory syncytial virus, Iowa State University (

Here, we will develop the platform for a bovine RSV F vaccine as a proof of priniciple for development of vaccines against this pathogen but also as a platform technology for other vaccines as well. Goal 1 will be development of the technology and Goal 2 will be testing for efficacy in vivo.

Defining and Using mRNA Vaccines in Cattle and Livestock, Buzzard’s Beat, Brandi Buzzard Frobose. Lately, we’ve been hearing quite a buzz around vaccinations in livestock, particularly mRNA vaccines. And while concerns are understood, the livestock industry has mounds of evidence that solidify the safety of the vaccinations given to our livestock. To break it down, here are three reasons to rest easy about cattle and mRNA vaccinations.