Scientists at six United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) locations formed the National NIRS Forage Research Project Network in 1978; and, worked for nearly a decade to summarize their findings in a report by Marten and co-workers. In 1990, a group led by John S. Shenk was formed to evaluate the variation among testing labs and determine ways to standardize instrument and software methodology. That group later became the NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium (NIRSC) in 1992. The organization created specific goals of standardizing instrumentation and software which were developed into standard operating procedures in the industry and for NIRSC members. The NIRSC was first incorporated in 1998, then in 2002 elected a Board of Directors, created bylaws, and established the 501(c) non-profit organization.

These goals remain intact today within a much larger scope of testing strategies and animal nutrition constituents within forages and other feedstocks. The NIRSC is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization composed of Instrument Partners, Collaborators, Sponsors, Commercial Laboratories, Research Laboratories, University Laboratories, Plant Breeders, and Producers. The NIRSC strives to unify knowledge, accuracy, and application of NIR technology to help members in the use of calibrations, educational efforts, and support with instrumentation. The membership shares in the effort and costs to produce calibrations for use with continued work to strengthen forage and feed testing and to encompass new technology as it comes available. The NIRSC works toward a vision to lead collaboration and applications for agriculture through educational efforts, promotion of best sample handling and preparation practices, and proper NIR instrument and calibration use. The goal of the NIRSC is to create uniformity in all aspects of NIRS analysis of feeds and forages for the membership and beyond.

Join the Consortium


The NIRS Consortium offers annual membership licenses, sponsorship opportunities, instrument vendor partnerships, and collaboration opportunities. The membership categories are: 

  • Instrument Partner Member
  • Collaborator Member
  • Sponsor Member
  • Commercial Member
  • Research and Non-Profit Member
  • Alfalfa Breeder Member
  • Producer Member

NIRSC Membership Brochure



Existing Members

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Mailing Address:
PO Box 867
Berea, KY 40403

Physical Address:
975 Misty Drive
Berea, KY 40403

Tina Bowling, Exec. Director


888-410-NIRS (6477)




NIRS Applications Specialist, Bobbi Jo Anderson-Husmoen
Instrument Hub Manager, David McIntosh



NIRSC Instrumentation Hub
c/o David McIntosh
2505 EJ Chapman Drive, PBB 112
Knoxville, TN 37996


Forage Calibrations offered:

  • Grass Hay
  • Mixed Hay
  • Legume Hay
  • Mixed Haylages
  • Fermented Corn Silage
  • Unfermented Corn Silage
  • Alfalfa Breeder
  • Switchgrass ETOH


NIRSC Calibration and  Constituents