The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, in its continued commitment to the needs of our stakeholders and to seeking the most impactful and inclusive research, will expand and refine the FFAR Challenge Areas for 2019. The original Challenge Areas, established in 2016, steered FFAR toward innovative projects and programs designed to propel the U.S. forward in feeding ourselves and the world. To continue supporting cutting-edge research, FFAR is aligning our Challenge Areas with major issue areas with identified gaps and needs to ensure impact as rapidly as possible. These are also areas which are ripe for public/private partnerships and are identified by USDA and other stakeholders as critical.

Many technologies and methods will be used and tested in FFAR’s upcoming programs and projects. These include blockchain, data analytics, robotics, sensors, open source platforms, artificial intelligence, new genetic technologies, and systems approaches to food and agriculture that consider sustainability, farm profitability, and health. These and other innovative approaches may be used across Challenge Areas.

FFAR seeks input on this 2019 realignment. In addition, we are seeking input on the training needs of the next generation of agricultural researchers, as this has been a major FFAR focus and will continue in the future.