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

Current Funding Opportunities

This funding opportunity is now closed.

To discuss specific animal welfare research interests, please contact:


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.


2017 Funding Opportunity Announcement

This funding opportunity is now closed. 

Research Areas: 1) Reducing the incidence of keel bone fractures in cage-free hens and 2) developing castration alternatives in swine production

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.

Application Deadline: August 2, 2017 at 4:59:59 pm Eastern Time

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

 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.


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.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.

Together, we will solve problems like how to pair new ideas with the most relevant technologies, and this will help us all create products that are not just better, but game changing — even life changing.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.
president of Precision PlantSciences

Pam Johnson

Portrait of Pam Johnson

This collaborative research with public and private partners will build on the investments already made in agriculture research so farmers like me can see the return on those investments through improvements in plants in our fields.”

Pam Johnson
National Corn Growers Association past president, FFAR Board Member

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.

Rijk Zwaan is keen to actively contribute to the world’s food supply and stimulate vegetable consumption. Joining the Crops of the Future Collaborative, with leafy vegetables as one of the focus crops, can help us achieve this mission.”

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.
Managing Director of Rijk Zwaan

-April Carroll, Ph.D., Purdue University College of Agriculture

Interest in the phenotyping event exceeded our highest expectations, which speaks to the critical importance of connecting plants’ DNA information to meaningful traits.”

April Carroll Director of Phenomics Purdue University College of Agriculture

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