Greta M Krafsur, veterinarian, third year anatomic pathology resident and PHD student at Colorado State University grew up in Estelline, South Dakota on a four generation family farm where her family’s history, experiences and accomplishments as small family farmers and quality cattle breeders cultivated her dedication to the beef cattle industry.
Greta is using her veterinary pathology training and research experience to elucidate the pathogenesis of pulmonary vascular remodeling owing to chronic hypoxia that results in progressive dysfunction and failure of the right heart. The condition known by ranchers as Brisket Disease is well described in cattle grazing at 7,000 feet where low oxygen incites vasoconstriction, remodeling of pulmonary arteries and progressive right heart dysfunction resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the loose tissues comprising the brisket. Right heart failure is now recognized as a common cause of death in late fed cattle in high plains feedlots with no history of high altitude grazing, suggesting other risk factors, chiefly chronic inflammation and bovine respiratory disease may initiate or contribute to disease progression. The specific aims of Greta’s work are to identify the biomarkers associated with the inflammatory and pulmonary hypertension phenotype that can be used to predict disease risk with the goal of improving selective breeding, preconditioning and fattening regimens.
Greta’s aspirations include the formation of a consulting group providing disease prevention and treatment protocols, diagnostic pathology services and research aimed at the identification of novel therapeutic targets designed to reduce the incidence of respiratory disease, pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure in the beef industry. Greta’s father transferred the family’s lifetime membership in the American Angus Association to her so that she may start her own cow-calf herd under the Heismeyer Family Farms registration.