• Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Announces 100th Grant

    Browning, MT (July 15, 2019) — The Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR), a non-profit organization established by the 2014 Farm Bill, awarded its 100th grant at the 2019 North American Indian Days Grand Entry on July 12, 2019. The grant was awarded to Montana State University, in concert with the Blackfeet Nation, to develop best practices in natural resource management, climate adaptation and water governance that are consistent with the Tribe’s cultural values. Below is a statement from FFAR’s Executive Director Dr. Sally Rockey in recognition of FFAR’s 100th grant: “I am proud to announce that FFAR awarded our 100th grant to Montana State University and the Blackfeet Nation for research supporting sustainable agriculture in Blackfeet Nation. The grant is emblematic of FFAR’s mission and values. Not only will this grant combat growing diet-related health issues, it will also support the development of best practices in natural resource management, climate adaptation and water governance. FFAR is committed to building public private partnerships to fund innovate science that provides every person access to affordable, nutritious food grown on thriving farms. This grant exemplifies the transformative research that FFAR is thrilled to support. “I am also proud of how far the Foundation has come since its establishment. FFAR was founded in the 2014 Farm Bill, we awarded our first grant in 2016 and are now celebrating our 100th grant. When I started this job in 2015, we were a team of three along with our wonderful Board of Directors. We had the daunting task of building an organization from the ground up, and yet, everyone involved shared a belief in FFAR’s potential to fund truly innovative agriculture research. “Five years later, we’re a team of 20 and we’re bringing innovative research that tackles food and agriculture’s most intractable challenges to fruition. Through our work with over 280 funding partners, FFAR is pushing the boundary of agriculture innovation, finding opportunities to protect the environment, improve health and help farmers thrive. “FFAR continues to pioneer the next frontier of scientific innovation, funding projects that catalyze breakthroughs benefiting farmers, the environment and the global community.” ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking


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  • FFAR Awards 100th Grant to Support Sustainable Agriculture in Blackfeet Nation

    Joseph Pecora PhotographyBROWNING, MONTANA (July 10, 2019) — The Blackfeet Nation (Amskapi Piikani) in Montana is home to one of the largest intact ecosystems in the lower forty-eight states. Yet, despite their rich agricultural diversity, the Piikani people suffer from diet-related health disparities and persistent poverty. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded its 100th grant to Montana State University and the Blackfeet Nation to develop best practices in natural resource management, climate adaptation and water governance that are consistent with the Amskapi Piikani cultural values. The Blackfeet Nation, Montana State University’s Department of Native American Studies and its Native Land Project, and other Blackfeet Nation partners have provided matching support for a total project investment of $2 million. The Blackfeet Nation’s primary industry is agriculture, with reservation lands supporting about 500,000 acres of grain and forage production, and over 1,000,000 acres of grazing lands for cattle, sheep and horses. With an abundance of rich natural resources at their disposal, the Piikani people can sustainably produce, distribute and consume food grown on their lands. From 2016 to 2019, a coalition of Piikani representatives partnered with stakeholders from federal and state agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations to develop the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP), which outlines a strategy for sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty and natural climate solutions. The tribe realized that achieving the objectives of the plan required innovative research and technology to enable widespread adoption. FFAR’s grant allows Piikani and Montana State University researchers to achieve three key objectives:Understanding the socio-economic cost of various management decisions to help Piikani farmers and ranchers make choices that reduce costs, protect the environment and increase local food access and affordability; Investigating various regional food systems to establish research priorities that sustainably nourish the Piikani people; and Identifying how traditional Indigenous foods and foodways influence Piikani health.“The funds that we have been granted from FFAR will help underwrite and support the Tribe’s efforts in implementing the community developed objectives for the Tribe’s ARMP,” said Loren BirdRattler, the Project Manager for the Blackfeet Tribe’s ARMP. “It will also position the Tribe to attain our own USDA Agriculture Research Station, which would be the first in Indian Country in the United States. FFAR’s generous support, along with the support of our partners, including Montana State University, provides ongoing opportunities for Blackfeet researchers to lead the way in implementing the research requirements that have been prioritized and defined under the ARMP.” This research has the potential to improve the Piikani people’s socioeconomic, health, agricultural, environmental and governance systems. The Piikani people will use this research to govern and manage their resources; form partnerships with outside organizations; and produce environmentally sustainable, nutritious food for themselves, and eventually for others. “This project fits well with Montana State University’s mission to transform lives and communities and is at the heart of the Land Grant mission; one of its goals is to increase mutually beneficial collaborations with Tribal partners,” said Dr. Walter Fleming, Department Head and Professor of Native American Studies at Montana State University. “The Department of Native American Studies, MSU, is proud to be a part of an innovative and systemic response to the evolution of tribal food sovereignty.” At its core, this research and the ARMP supports the Blackfeet Nation’s “triple bottom line,” which seeks to narrow health disparities, bolster sustainable economic development and support young farmers. This research directly aligns with FFAR’s core objectives to develop strategic public-private partnerships, fund innovative research and support the agriculture industry’s next generation. “FFAR is thrilled to be part of the Blackfeet Nation’s efforts to improve health, promote economic development and invest in future farmers and ranchers,” said FFAR’s Executive Director Sally Rockey. “This grant is especially significant not only because it highlights FFAR’s core objectives, but also because it marks FFAR’s 100th grant. FFAR was established in 2014, awarded the first grant in 2016 and is now celebrating our 100th grant in 2019. FFAR’s unique funding model and innovative research touches people around the globe.” FFAR’s Seeding Solutions grant program is an open call for bold ideas that address pressing food and agriculture issues in one of the Foundation’s Challenge Areas. This research supports FFAR’s Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area, which aims to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the United States and around the globe. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking CONTACT: Colleen Klemczewski, 202-204-2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org


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  • FFAR Grant Reframes Polarized Public Food Narrative

    WASHINGTON (June 18, 2019) – The national conversation about farming practices often oversimplifies agriculture concepts to good versus bad, which erodes public confidence in food safety, agricultural research and emerging technologies. However, if the agriculture sector could more effectively explain the benefits of agricultural advancements, consumers and policymakers would better understand of the value of sustainable farming practices. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded $150,000 to IPM Voice to develop communications strategies, in partnership with Red Tomato and FrameWorks Institute, that equip farmers and scientists to reframe the public conversation about agriculture. Scientists, environmentalists and farmers diligently educate the public about sustainable farming practices. However, their communication methods often do not comport with the public’s oversimplified understanding of agriculture. To create alignment, FrameWorks Institute researchers are using Strategic Frame Analysis to study people’s understanding of farming to develop new frames, metaphors and strategies that inform consumers about farming practices. By mapping consumer biases and exploring the different ways to discuss technology and farming practices, this project will deliver effective evidence-based communications strategies to reframe public discussions. “We can generate all the facts in the world about agriculture practices, but the key is to translate them appropriately for the consumer,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “This project improves how farmers talk about modern agricultural practices to help the public understand that agriculture research and technology can increase food safety and environmental sustainability.” Strategic Frame Analysis is a communication method invented by the FrameWorks Institute in 1999 that makes academic research more digestible and interesting. This method begins by understanding how consumer choices are influenced by preexisting beliefs and develops communications tools to reframe the topic. These resulting messages orient consumers toward an evidence-based understanding of innovative agricultural practices and eliminate misconceptions. “The growers we work with cannot readily explain advanced ecological farming practices to their customers in short, simple ways. And despite decades of marketing experience, neither can we,” said Red Tomato founder Michael Rozyne. “This project offers hope based in cognitive science, the promise of language, metaphors, and training in how to use them, so the public will actually hear and understand.” This project will deliver frames, metaphors and suggested strategies for farmers, scientists and agriculture organizations to reframe the national conversation about agriculture in a way that productively informs the public about the benefits of sustainable agriculture. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking Contact: Sarah Goldberg, FFAR, 202.204.2605, sgoldberg@foundationfar.org


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  • FFAR Grant Develops Tools to Predict Consumer Demand, Reduce Food Waste

    WASHINGTON and PHOENIX (June 5, 2019) – In the US, more than half of produce is wasted, and 30 percent of total food production is lost before it reaches consumers. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $963,513 grant to Arizona State University researchers to develop tools that enable farmers to more effectively meet consumer demand and reduce food waste. Arizona State University and New Mexico State University contributed matching funds for a total $1.93 million investment. Rising consumer demand for healthy food and strict regulations for handling  produce requires more efficient supply chains to ensure fresh food reaches consumers with the right quality. Produce is usually shipped across long distances and is highly perishable. Without information about current and future market demand, some farmers produce a surplus of food that ultimately goes to waste. Arizona State University and New Mexico State University researchers are teaming up with local businesses and organizations to develop market intelligence and supply chain planning tools to sell and deliver fresh produce. These tools will enable small-scale growers to both predict consumer demand and sell produce directly to consumers. Farmers will be able to coordinate supply chain logistics to reach the right markets at the right time. “Maintaining farmer profitability and reducing food waste are key goals for FFAR. This research helps small-scale growers compete in emerging markets, reduce food waste and provide consumers consistent access to affordable, nutritious food,” said FFAR’s Executive Director Sally Rockey. “The resulting technology will be a win-win for farmers and consumers.” Researchers will use mathematical modeling to develop analytical tools that enhance supply chain planning and engage with growers to help them effectively use these tools. This project creates a roadmap for small growers to successfully compete in emerging markets such as direct-to-consumer produce channels led by Amazon Fresh, Instacart and Walmart Grocery, among others. “I am excited to accept this grant on behalf of the research teams at Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, and the several small businesses and grassroot organizations we are working with on this effort,” says Dr. Jesus Rene Villalobos, the project lead and an associate professor of industrial engineering in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “With this funding from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, we have the opportunity to advance the state of the art in logistics coordination tools to help growers efficiently reach their customers, provide small growers with the resources to reach the best markets with the least waste, and create a roadmap for small growers to use market and logistics analytics to avail themselves to direct-to-consumer produce channels.” Project participants include Local First Arizona, Stern Produce, Duncan Family Farms, New Mexico University, La Montanita Cooperative, Sol y Tierra Cooperative and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. Researchers will provide training and education to effectively employ supply chain planning tools. FFAR’s Seeding Solutions grant program is an open call for bold ideas that address a pressing food and agriculture issues in one of the Foundation’s Challenge Areas. This research supports FFAR’s 2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area, currently the Urban Food Systems Challenge Area. FFAR’s work in this area supports innovative, systems-level approaches aimed at reducing food and nutritional insecurity. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking Contact: Colleen Klemczewski, 703-204-2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org


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  • FFAR Grant to Accurately Predict Food’s Shelf Life to Reduce Food Waste

    ITHACA and WASHINGTON (April 30, 2019) –An estimated 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted, often because consumers unknowingly dispose of food before it expires. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $590,000 Seeding Solutions Grant to Cornell University to develop technology that provides consumers with a more accurate shelf-life predication for perishable products. The FFAR grant has been matched with funding from the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, New York State Dairy Promotion Order, and Chobani for a total $1.56 million investment. The “best-by” labels on perishable products indicate when the food is at peak quality. However, many consumers mistakenly interpret these labels as an expiration date and discard food on or before that date without realizing that the product is safe for consumption. Without a way to accurately predict shelf-life, food waste has become increasingly common and costly. Milk spoilage alone costs the United States $6.4 billion annually. Cornell’s researchers will develop models that predict milk spoilage and shelf life as well as the effectiveness of interventions that predict when food spoils and how to prevent consumers from disposing of items that are still safe. The project will initially focus on milk, applying the results to other perishable food and beverages. Ultimately, the research team aims to develop way for consumers to scan a QR code linked to a time/temperature indicator on a food product, providing a precise estimate of the item’s remaining shelf life. “To sustainably feed a growing population, it is imperative that we advance technology to accurately predict food spoilage,” said Sally Rockey, FFAR’s executive director. “This research will bring us closer to predicting the expiration of perishable food, which is essential for reducing avoidable food waste while ensuring nutritious food is safely consumed.” FFAR’s Seeding Solutions grant program is an open call for bold ideas that address a pressing food and agriculture issues in one of the Foundation’s Challenge Areas. Cornell’s research supports FFAR’s 2018 Food Waste and Loss Challenge Area, currently the Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area. FFAR’s work in this area supports innovative, systems level approaches aimed at reducing food and nutritional insecurity and improving human health in the United State and around the globe. “This project represents an exciting application of digital agriculture tools to reduce food waste and further improve the sustainability of our food supply,” said Dr. Martin Wiedmann, professor of Food Science at Cornell University and the principal investigator of this project. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking CONTACT: Colleen Klemczewski, 202.204.2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org Cornell University The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being. The Cornell CALS experience empowers us to explore the boundaries of knowledge, supported by the leading minds of today and surrounded by the leading minds of tomorrow. Connect: @CornellCALS


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  • Innovative Consortium Reduces Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste

    WASHINGTON and AMES, IOWA (April 17, 2019) – Food loss and waste is a global problem that negatively impacts the bottom line of businesses and farmers, wastes limited resources and damages the environment. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), The Rockefeller Foundation and Iowa State University today launched the Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction at the 2019 Iowa International Outreach Symposium. Through this consortium,  thought leaders and experts from across the globe will work in tandem with industry and nonprofit organizations to address social, economic and environmental impacts from food loss and waste. “Feeding a growing global population demands innovation at all levels — from planting to processing to consumption. This consortium will help farmers across the globe use technology to continue using resources efficiently,” said Sally Rockey, FFAR’s executive director. “Optimizing food production practices is critical for ensuring that farmers are profitable, food is plentiful and accessible, and the environment is preserved.” Due to the volume of food that is moved globally, food loss and waste affects producers, manufacturers, distributors and end-users. More than 40 percent of fruits and vegetables in developing regions spoil before they can be consumed. These goods include mangoes, avocadoes, pineapples, cocoa, and bananas, many of which are exported to the United States. This loss negatively impacts the bottom line for farmers, who are not compensated for their products. Consumers then don’t have access to these popular foods. Additionally, food waste forces farmers to use precious natural resources producing food that either never makes it to the supermarket or is otherwise thrown out by consumers due to quality issues, creating a significant drain on environmental resources. In 2016, The Rockefeller Foundation launched the YieldWise Initiative aimed at reducing both food loss in developing nations like Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, and food waste in developed markets like the United States. In sub-Saharan Africa, YieldWise provides farmers with access to segmented markets, technologies and solutions that curb preventable crop loss and facilitates training that helps them solidify buyer agreements with markets in African communities. “To nourish, sustainably, nearly 10 billion people by 2050, we must implement a menu of solutions that simultaneously shift diets toward plant-based foods, close the yield gap, and reduce food loss and waste,” said Rafael Flor, Director, Food, The Rockefeller Foundation. “This is paramount to meeting both the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 12. Failing to reduce food loss and waste will make the challenge of achieving a sustainable food future significantly more difficult.” Food loss and waste highlights the inefficiencies in our food system. According to the FAO[1], nearly 1.3 billion tons of food—costing roughly $940 billion—are either lost or wasted yearly, generating about 8 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Food is lost more at the consumption stage in higher-income countries, while more food is lost at handling and storage stages in lower-income regions. This consortium will work collaboratively to develop a scalable approach for adoption of the YieldWise model and provide farmers with cost-effective strategies and technologies that link their crop supply to the market demand. This will allow farmers to gain more value from their crops and become more profitable, while also stimulating local economic growth and improving the resiliency of rural communities. “Our consortium approach will build academic and entrepreneurial capacity of the next generation by engaging researchers and students in multi-national, multi-disciplinary teams in the project identification, planning, and execution phases together with professionals from the private and public sectors,” said Dirk Maier, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University and the consortium director. FFAR is contributing $2.78 million for this three-year project, which partner organizations from around the world are matching for a $5.56 million project budget. Participating institutions include The Rockefeller Foundation, Iowa State University, USA; University of Maryland, USA; Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands; Zamorano University, Honduras; University of São Paulo, Brazil; Stellenbosch University, South Africa; University of Nairobi, Kenya; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana; and the Volcani Center, Israel. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking CONTACT: Colleen Klemczewski, 202-204-2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org About The Rockefeller FoundationThe Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, the Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. [1] FAO. 2015. Food wastage footprint & climate change.  Rome: UN FAO.


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  • FFAR Awards $1 Million Grant to Reduce Food Insecurity

    WASHINGTON and CHICAGO (April 09, 2019) – Millions of Americans struggle with food insecurity. To help food assistance agencies provide consistent access to nutritious food, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions Grant to Feeding America. This grant will evaluate the Regional Produce Cooperative model’s effectiveness in reducing food insecurity. The FFAR grant has been matched with funding from Target, the University of Illinois, the Rachel Ray Foundation and Feeding America for a total $2 million investment. “We are very excited about our new partnership with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research,” says Matt Knott, President of Feeding America. “This grant opportunity directly aligns with Feeding America’s strategy to increase access to nutritious food and reduce food insecurity through innovative distribution models which expand access to fresh produce in an effort to improve nutrition and support better health outcomes for people facing hunger.” Feeding America established Regional Produce Cooperatives in 2017 to direct a greater variety of produce to food banks at a lower cost. Currently, seven Regional Produce Cooperatives are operating nationally, and there is a growing demand for more. While the cooperatives have the potential to improve the quantity, variety and quality of food at food banks, Feeding America has not yet conducted rigorous evaluations to determine the program’s overall effectiveness. FFAR’s grant will help Feeding America examine the effect of the Regional Produce Cooperative on the charitable food system. The research will use surveys and data analysis to determine the extent to which the Cooperatives decrease food waste, shorten the time between source and distribution, and increase access to produce. Ultimately, the goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of Regional Produce Cooperatives to increase consumption of nutritious produce and decrease food insecurity. “FFAR’s work aims to provide everyone access to nutritious food. Too many suffer from food insecurity nationwide,” said Sally Rockey, FFAR’s executive director. “This research has the potential to deliver significant, real-world results that will positively impact the lives of those struggling to put dinner on the table.” FFAR’s Seeding Solutions Grant program is an open call for bold ideas that address pressing food and agriculture issues and further research in one of FFAR’s Challenge Areas. Feeding America’s research furthers FFAR’s 2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area, now the Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge area, which supports reducing food and nutritional insecurity in a broad socioeconomic and environmental context. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking CONTACT: Colleen Klemczewski, 202.204.2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org


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  • FFAR Awards $540,000 Grant to Minimize Food Waste

     ITHACA and WASHINGTON (March 25, 2019) –The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $540,000 Seeding Solutions Grant to Cornell University to develop a way to convert nutritious agricultural waste into snack foods. The FFAR grant has been matched with funding from the New York Apple Association and Cornell University for a total $1.08 million investment. “About one-third of food waste occurs during food processing operations and represents tremendous amounts of nutrition and energy,” said Dr. Syed Rizvi, Professor of Food Process Engineering at Cornell University and the principal investigator of this project. “Value recovery from these resources to health beneficial products using novel technologies is both a necessity and a challenge that we propose to address in this research.” The demand for commodities such as juice, jam, concentrates and alcohol are increasing. Most of these products require only the water and water-soluble components. As a result, much of fruit and vegetable skin, seeds, core, stems and soft tissue is left behind after processing. The remaining fruit and vegetable bits become an agricultural byproduct called pomace. Approximately 25-40 percent of the total fruits processed end up as pomace, which has little economic value, limited utility and is harmful to the environment. Pomace is a natural source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants. Instead of including this nutritious byproduct in food, it is currently disposed of as waste or used in animal feed, fertilizer, pectin, citric acid and biofuels. This project aims to preserve the nutritional qualities of pomace by developing a technology that can convert it in to value-added snack foods. The successful conversion of pomace into valuable commercial snack foods and cereals will provide a nutritious input for food and beverage manufacturers, reduce food waste, and mitigate environmental damage. “Reducing agricultural waste benefits farmers, consumers and the environment,” said Sally Rockey, executive director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. “It is a shame to waste a nutritionally potent byproduct like pomace and we are thrilled that Cornell is looking to use this product, thereby reducing food waste and increasing the nutritional content of snacks.” FFAR’s Seeding Solutions grant program is an open call for bold ideas that address a pressing food and agriculture issues in one of the Foundation’s Challenge Areas. Cornell University’s project supports FFAR’s Food Waste and Loss Challenge Area (currently the Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area). FFAR’s work in this area supports innovative, systems-level approaches aimed at reducing food and nutritional insecurity and improving human health in the United States and around the globe. ### Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking CONTACT: Colleen Klemczewski, 202.204.2605, cklemczewski@foundationfar.org


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  • Leaving No Food Behind: WWF Examines Post-Harvest Crop Losses and Pathways to Change

    World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the results of on-farm measurements taken to assess food loss after harvest. The report, 


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  • FFAR Awards $1 Million Grant to Accelerate Data-Driven Innovation in Agriculture

    Purdue University Researchers Seek to Bring Collaborative Power of Open Source Software to Address Challenges in Food and Agriculture


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