The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), pronounced /fɑr/, builds unique public-private partnerships to support innovative science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges.

FFAR’s work seeks to provide every person access to affordable, nutritious food grown on thriving farms.

Open Grant Opportunities

We match every federal dollar with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. The funding supports bold, innovative grants to fill critical knowledge gaps and advance science. Our work improves the food and agriculture system and provides a better quality of life for Americans and people around the globe.

Challenge Areas

FFAR’s six Challenge Areas aim to solve large-scale food and agriculture problems, while understanding broad implications and impacts.

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Soil Health

Sustainable Water Management

Next Generation Crops

Advanced Animal Systems

Urban Food System

Health Agriculture Nexus

The Soil Health Challenge Area enriches soil by building knowledge, fueling innovation and enabling the adoption of improved soil management.

The Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area increases water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

The Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops that will increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

The Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area supports sustainable animal systems through innovative technologies, environmentally sound production practices and advancements in animal health and welfare.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area enhances our ability to feed populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture, bringing local food to these venues.

The Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutrition insecurity and improve human health in the United States and around the globe.

See Our Funded Projects

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Consortia

Keeping US agriculture competitive and profitable for producers requires developing research, technology, and products at an unprecedented pace.

Yet, research and development can be financially risky. FFAR establishes consortia that pools resources and knowledge to conduct research. The results are distributed to the consortium participants for use by their individual institutions. Ultimately, the consortium model allows participants to collectively explore multiple areas of research based upon common need, while minimizing risk and costs.

The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) is a public-private partnership created by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture.

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The Crops of the Future Collaborative is a public-private, multi-participant consortium convened by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to accelerate global efforts to develop crops needed to meet food system challenges 20-50 years from now.

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The Irrigation Innovation Consortium (IIC) is a joint initiative between private, public, and university organizations, addressing growing water scarcity in the western U.S. and worldwide.

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The Precision Indoor Plants (PIP) Collaborative is a global multi-participant pre-competitive consortium formed by FFARto accelerate advances in scienceand technology that increase our abilityto produce flavorful and nutritiouscrops indoors.

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Support cutting-edge research that provides access to nutritious food, grown on thriving farms

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Recent News

Even the longest journey starts with one little step

By Francesco Cappai Hello reader, let me introduce myself. I am Francesco Cappai, an Italian student currently pursuing a Ph. D. in the US at the University of Florida and a FFAR Fellow. I would like to share my story with special attention to our younger colleagues interested in pursuing a career in agricultural sciences […]

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Undergrad-led study suggests light environment modifications could maximize productivity

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The crops we grow in the field often form dense canopies with many overlapping leaves, such that young “sun leaves” at the top of the canopy are exposed to full sunlight with older “shade leaves” at the bottom. In order to maximize photosynthesis, resource-use efficiency, and yield, sun leaves typically maximize photosynthetic […]

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FFAR Grant to Accelerate Crop Development

AMES (June 29, 2020)—To meet the growing global food demand, plant breeding technology must increase crop yields in less time. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $748,548 Seeding Solutions grant to Iowa State University of Science and Technology to accelerate crop development. Iowa State University, KWS SAAT SE & Co, Beck’s […]

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Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

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Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.

Protein Challenge

Protein Challenge

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.

The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

Food Waste and Loss

Food Waste and Loss

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About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.

Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability

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Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.

Urban Food Systems

Urban Food Systems

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The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.

Making My Plate Your Plate

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.