Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Seeks Scientific and Stakeholder Experts to Serve on Advisory Councils

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research opened nominations today for members of its inaugural Advisory Councils.

Advisory Council members will serve three-year terms and advise the Foundation’s staff and board on program development, identify new and emerging issues of interest, and comment on policies or processes that impact the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and its ability to meet its mission. The Councils will also review and make recommendations on applications pending in their respective areas of expertise.

“To identify and pursue the innovative areas that are most ripe with scientific opportunity within the vast food and agriculture research landscape will take an enormous depth and breadth of scientific knowledge as well as practical experience,” said Dr. Sally Rockey, executive director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. “We envision these advisory councils as our ‘boots on the ground,’ connecting the  Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research staff and board to the latest science and strengthening the knowledge base that informs our decisions.”

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will select Advisory Council members based on their scientific or general experience and knowledge in one or more of the Foundation’s seven research topic areas, which are:

  • Optimizing agricultural water use
  • Transforming soil health
  • Enhancing sustainable farm animal productivity, resilience, and health
  • Improving plant efficiency
  • Achieving a deeper understanding of nutrition and healthy food choices
  • Managing food production systems to enhance human nutritional outcomes
  • Spurring food system innovation

Approximately ten individuals will serve on up to seven councils, whose members will conduct the majority of their business virtually. It is possible that fewer than seven councils will be constituted if FFAR determines that a single Council’s collective expertise covers more than one of the above topic areas.

The call for nominations will close January 20, 2016 and the Foundation will announce selections by February 20, 2016.

Full details and the Advisory Council member nomination form are available at www.foundationfar.org/advisory-councils.

Prime candidates for these positions will be leading representatives in the scientific disciplines relevant to agriculture and food and one or more of the Foundation’s research topic areas, as well as from commodity groups, professional organizations, industry, producers, and other stakeholder groups.  Members will be chosen based on their scientific or general experience and knowledge in the topic area.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research invites universities, businesses, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and to nominate candidates with experience and knowledge in one or more of the Foundation’s research topic areas. Each organization may nominate one individual per research area.

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.