Protein Challenge Area

The Protein Challenge seeks to advance the production of high-quality, animal-source foods by improving antibiotic stewardship, environmental sustainability and farm-animal welfare. This Challenge Area will target research that includes, but is not limited to, improving the efficiency of protein production for human or animal consumption, reducing the environmental impact of food animal production, and innovative biological and management approaches to preventing and controlling infectious diseases and reducing reliance on medically-important antibiotics.

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Open Funding Opportunities

Sustainable American Aquaculture

The Sustainable American Aquaculture program is intended to advance innovative research in sustainable fish and shellfish production. Aquaculture has the potential to provide millions of Americans with nutritious foods while contributing to the economic health of communities across the country. Scientific research in this area has typically been funded at low levels compared to other agricultural commodities, however as the industry grows, research will play a critical role in understanding the biology and marketability of a variety of fish and shellfish species and in developing environmentally-friendly practices that sustain production.

The objective of this RFA is to stimulate 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. There is a major need to understand the biological and technological barriers, and market potential for a diverse range of aquatic species. In addition, research focused on understanding and minimizing potential environmental impacts of aquaculture production will be key to public acceptance of farmed fish and shellfish products, an important consideration for long-term industry success.

Learn more about the program.

Full proposal submission is now open to invited applicants who submitted a pre-proposal. 

Other Programs

Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare initiative is a new program at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to support 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.

Learn more about the program.

The request for proposals (RFA) within the Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare initiative is now closed. An announcement of grant recipients is coming soon!


Grants Awarded

2017 Seeding Solutions Grant

portrait of Dr. James MacDonaldFFAR awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to improve land use efficiency by integrating livestock and crop production systems. Researchers will investigate various outputs including yields, soil health, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the economic feasibility of adopting these new practices, which bring crop production and cattle grazing together on the same land. The first goal of the research is to develop a combined cattle and crop production system that maximizes land use efficiency, improves soil health, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Producers will play a vital role in the research by participating in surveys and focus groups to gather input about how they make decisions.

Outcomes of this study will help farmers and ranchers understand which practices will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while efficiently producing food in a diversified system. James MacDonald, Ph.D., associate professor of animal science and ruminant nutrition in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is leading the team of collaborators. Learn more.