Our History


We’ve come a long way since we were established in 2014, yet our commitment to funding bold science remains the same.

February 7, 2014

FFAR is Established

Congress established FFAR in the Agricultural Act of 2014 with bipartisan support and the Farm Bill is signed into law by President Obama.

July 23, 2014

USDA Secretary Announced Creation of FFAR

Then USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of FFAR and appointed a 15-member board of directors.

Read the USDA press release

November 6-7, 2014

Inaugural Board Meeting

The FFAR Board of Directors met for the first time in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the first FFAR board meeting

September 2015

Dr. Sally Rockey joined FFAR as the first executive director.

Read the press release

October 28, 2015

FFAR launched inaugural programs

FFAR launched the New Innovators Award and the Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program.

May 18, 2016

FFAR Hosted First Convening Event

November 16, 2016

FFAR Awarded First Grants

June 29, 2017

FFAR Established First Consortium: Crops of the Future

December 20, 2018

FFAR Was Refunded in the 2018 Farm Bill

October 2018

FFAR Revised Research Focus, Our Challenge Areas

In 2016, the board of directors defined seven Challenge Areas, topics that comprise our strategic research framework. In 2018, we revise the Challenge Areas:
- Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms became Soil Health
- Overcoming Water Scarcity is now Sustainable Water Management
- We added Next Generation Crops
- Protein Challenge became Advanced Animal Systems
- Urban Food Systems remained the same
- Food Waste and Loss and Making My Plate Your Plate combined into Health-Agriculture Nexus
- The Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was eliminated as sustainability is a key theme across all Challenge Areas.

July 15, 2019

FFAR Awarded 100th Grant

We awarded our 100th grant to the Blackfeet Nation and Montana State University for research supporting food sovereignty and nutrition.

June 23, 2019

FFAR Celebrated Fifth Anniversary

February 5, 2019

FFAR Hosted First Signature Event, Foster Our Future

February 5, 2020

FFAR Launched the Agricultural Climate Partnership

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