Thriving livestock, poultry and aquaculture farms are key to accessing affordable, nutritious food. FFAR’s Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area improves animal production through innovations in animal health, welfare and productivity, antibiotic stewardship and environmentally sound production practices.

The Animal Systems Challenge Area works closely with farmers, ranchers and allied industry to develop, evaluate and implement new knowledge and technologies in the following areas:

  • Animal health, welfare and productivity
  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Environment

FFAR develops, and helps industry adopt, new technologies that support good stewardship, public health and producer viability.

Advanced Animal Systems Opportunities

SMART Broiler Research Initiative

FFAR and McDonald’s Corporation have teamed up to offer $4 million to the group or individual who successfully develops and commercializes an automated monitoring tool that quantitatively assess key animal welfare indicators in broiler chickens. The SMART Broiler Research Initiative will fulfill a need for commercially-feasible tools that enable real-time, quantitative assessment of behavior, health and well-being of animals in large-scale poultry facilities.

International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture

The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) is a public-private partnership created to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture.  FFAR created this consortium to increase investment in research that promotes the judicious use of antibiotics and improves animal health and welfare. ICASA is an opportunity for partners from all stages of the animal agriculture supply chain to collaborate on projects that will drive actionable advances in commercial production.

Egg-Tech Prize

Several billion layer chicks are hatched each year to supply the world’s eggs, with demand expected to rise in coming years. Male chicks are culled on the day of hatch, as poor growth performance and meat quality makes them unsuitable for consumption. Unnecessary incubation causes the loss of millions of male chicks each year and is a major challenge to animal welfare, food waste, farm profitably and energy consumption. In 2019, FFAR will launch the Egg-Tech Prize, a $6 million prize to revolutionize global egg production. This prize will be awarded to the individual or team that successfully develops a technology that can determine the early stage in ovo sex of layer chicks accurately and efficiently.

Advanced Animal Systems Programs

Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare initiative supports 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.

Sustainable American Aquaculture

The Sustainable American Aquaculture program stimulates innovative research in farmed production of fish and shellfish, providing economic opportunities to U.S. farmers and increasing the supply of domestically-produced, nutritious foods to meet growing consumer demand.