About the Program

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare initiative is a new program at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to support farm animal welfare research. Animal welfare research plays a critical role in the development and continuing improvement of sustainable livestock production, with potential to improve animal lives, food quality, farm-laborer work environments and the relationship between our society and the food we eat.

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare program will bring together major stakeholders from the public and private sectors to affect positive changes in farm animal welfare by:

· Identifying High Impact Target Areas for Research

· Partnering to Fund Transformative Research Projects

· Publicizing Applied Outcomes

· Outreach and Education



Key Dates

May 11, 2017: Funding Opportunity Announcement

May 31, 2017 (12:00 PM EDT): Application Package Available

August 2, 2017 (5:00 PM EDT): Application Deadline

December, 2017: Applicants Notified; Awards Made


Scientific inquiries: Timothy Kurt, Scientific Program Director: tkurt@foundationfar.org.

Please direct all other inquiries to: grants@foundationfar.org.


The objective of this program is to stimulate and support innovative research in farm-animal welfare. Research is critical to progress in this field, as changes to animal production practices may impact animal physiology, may require large-scale alterations in animal housing and may have environmental and economic impacts that extend beyond the farm or production facility. FFAR expects the Animal Welfare program to support cross-disciplinary research in animal genetics, behavior, husbandry, physiology, biotechnology, nutrition and other scientific areas.

The first Request for Applications (RFA) in this program will be available May 31 and address the following issues:


Cage-Free Poultry Welfare: Reduce the incidence of bone fractures in aviary housing systems.

The global demand for eggs and egg products is expected to increase significantly in the next several decades. With all top 25 U.S. grocers and the majority of the top 20 fast food chains working to meet cage-free pledges, new production practices must be developed to manage the changing production landscape. Bone fractures, which cause pain and decrease egg production, are one known challenge to raising hens in cage-free housing systems. Keel bone fractures have a major negative economic impact on American farmers, as hens with keel fractures produce significantly fewer eggs while consuming dramatically more feed than those without fractures.

Potential Impact:

Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates of the number of cage-free hens needed to meet existing cage-free pledges, this research has the potential to improve the welfare and productivity of approximately 100 million hens by 2025. FFAR is committed to supporting science-based approaches to this issue.

Swine Welfare: Assist the development of alternatives to castration that provide for the piglet’s well-being and maintain pork quality.

Currently, the US produces 120-150 million swine per year and global demand for pork is projected to increase by 50% by 2050. One of the most prominent welfare issues of pigs raised for commercial production is surgical castration, a global livestock production practice used to improve meat quality and make management easier and safer. Alternatives to castration, a painful procedure, are currently limited. This competitive research will help develop new alternatives.

Potential Impact:

New alternatives to castration have the potential to improve the welfare and productivity of more than 60 million piglets per year. This research is designed to yield multiple benefits by addressing the concerns of consumers and producers regarding high standards of animal care, and by increasing production efficiency and economic benefit for farmers. 

 2017 Funding Opportunity Announcement

Application to be Available May 31

Anticipated Funding within this Opportunity: FFAR anticipates awarding at least $2 million. Outside funding (i.e. matching funding) is not required for eligibility. FFAR anticipates awarding 3-5 grants under this funding opportunity.

Duration: Projects of up to 60 months in duration will be considered, although shorter projects of 24-36 months are preferred.

Indirect Expenses: A maximum of 10% of the total award may be used for indirect costs. For more information regarding project budget, please contact grants@foundationfar.org



  • Public and private institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • For-profit organizations
Further RFA Details Forthcoming
 Join FFAR in supporting innovative science to Accelerate Advances in Animal Welfare.

There are numerous ways to collaborate with FFAR. Contact Tim Kurt, Scientific Program Director or Renee Bullion, Director of Development, to learn more.