About Us

We build unique partnerships to support innovative science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges.

Why We’re Here

With 9.7 billion people projected to populate the world by 2050, our food system must evolve. Sustainably nourishing the growing global community demands transformative discoveries from the best and brightest scientists. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research brings together leading experts to identify and investigate the researchable questions whose answers have the potential to enhance the economic and environmental resilience of our food supply.

We know that innovative science cannot happen without collaborative thinking from a strong, diverse, and creative workforce. That’s why we’re working to elevate the visibility of food and agriculture research in the scientific arena. By supporting and spotlighting leaders breaking new ground in food and agriculture, we strive to inspire the next generation of scientists to pursue careers that help put food on every table.

We’re also here to make progress. That means asking the right questions, convening the best and brightest minds to answer those questions, and seeing research through to successful implementation.

How We Work

We welcome you to the table.
Our commitment to inclusivity starts at the issue identification stage. As we finalized our initial research priorities, we sat down with more than 100 groups with a stake in this space to listen to different perspectives on the most pressing issues. We continue to welcome insight from all facets of our vibrant food system: from scientists conducting food and agricultural research, to farmers in the field, to members of the public deciding what to feed their families each day.

We ask the right questions.
We seek researchable issues with the potential to yield pivotal pieces of knowledge that propel the food and agriculture field forward. For each project, we survey the food and agriculture field to ensure we are focusing on research questions that are not being answered elsewhere. We then look at the landscape and decide, project-by-project, how to convene the right partners to address a given issue.

We leverage top talent and diverse perspectives.
To catalyze innovation, we believe we need not only brilliant minds, but also diverse perspectives tackling today’s challenges in food and agriculture. It will take outside-the-box, interdisciplinary thinking to truly transform our food system. When soliciting research proposals or building a team, we strive to include experts with diverse backgrounds and in different fields, and perspectives from different sides and stages of an issue.

We drive results.
Once we embark on a research project, tangible results become our guiding light. To drive socially feasible and economically viable solutions, we seek stakeholder input starting at the research design phase.

Who We Are

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation was established by the Farm Bill passed in 2014 and charged with complementing and furthering the important work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leveraging public and private resources, FFAR will increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population.

To maximize the Foundation’s impact potential, FFAR is committed to complementing and not duplicating existing research endeavors.

FFAR is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors, chaired by President of Mississippi State University Mark Keenum.

What We Do

  • Fund cutting-edge research and development through grants and innovation challenges
  • Build unique public-private partnerships
  • Convene stakeholders and thought leaders to foster collaboration
  • Build human capacity and inspire the next generation of food and agriculture scientists
  • Utilize social, physical, and biological sciences to answer research questions

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Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

Executive Director, FFAR

The pace of technology is absolutely breathtaking because we have this combination of understanding how things work coupled with new technologies. For agriculture, we want to take advantage of not only the increases to our knowledge base but also this technological pace.”

Excerpt from Heurmann Lecture by Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
seen at left being recognized for her lecture by Ronnie Green, Ph.D., then Chancellor-elect of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mark Keenum, Ph.D.

Image of Dr. Mark Keenum

President, Mississippi State University

“I am very proud to have been part of the startup of this organization from day one and I commend the full board for giving their time and energy to something that is bigger than all of us. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues to continue building on the extraordinary progress we have made to create the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.”