Greener Cattle Initiative

The Greener Cattle Initiative is an industry-oriented research consortium that will award approximately $5 million over the next five years to support research to mitigate enteric methane emissions from cattle.

Working to Solve Advanced Animal Systems

Program Contact

Dr. Tim Kurt
tkurt@foundationfar.org

Development Contact

Lauren Hershey
lhershey@foundationfar.org

The Greener Cattle Initiative brings together stakeholders from across the dairy and beef value chains to leverage investments in the research and development of practices and technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions.

Research Focus Areas

  • Feed additives and supplements that inhibit enteric methane emissions
  • Feed ingredients that alter metabolic pathways to reduce enteric methane emissions
  • Selection traits and programs that allow breeding of low methane emitting cattle
  • Understanding the microbiome composition and activity in cattle
  • Technologies such as sensors, robots and artificial intelligence to monitor enteric methane emissions or related physiological indicators
  • Socioeconomic analysis of enteric methane mitigation practices and technologies

Why the Greener Cattle Initiative is Needed

Methane and carbon dioxide are both greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, but as a short-lived flow gas, methane presents an opportunity for positive impact. Carbon remains in the atmosphere for upwards of 1,000 years. Methane is more powerful but remains in the atmosphere for roughly just 12 years.

Enteric methane is the single largest source of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the beef and dairy sectors, representing 2.5 percent of total US GHGs. Methane is emitted on farms through two primary sources: manure degradation and enteric fermentation, the normal digestive process which enables cattle to eat grass and fiber. While several efforts to advance the sustainability of livestock production are currently underway, most of these do not specifically address enteric methane emissions, despite the potential to improve animal productivity and move the dairy and beef sectors towards net zero emissions.

The Greener Cattle Initiative serves as a vehicle for multiple stakeholders to share knowledge and accelerate the development of scalable and commercially-feasible technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions and enable the production of sustainable beef and dairy.

By funding audacious research that reduces enteric methane emissions, the Greener Cattle Initiative can be a climate change solution that benefits producers, animals and the environment.

The Greener Cattle Initiative’s Vision

The Greener Cattle Initiative funds innovative research that provides global nutrition while also curbing the escalating climate crisis.

Consortium Partners

The Greener Cattle Initiative’s Founding Members are the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, ADM, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), Elanco, Genus PLC, the National Dairy Herd Information Association, Nestlé and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC)

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