We Fund Pioneering Research
We Invest in the Scientific Workforce
Scientific Workforce Programs
Year Awarded 2022
Total award amount $2,112,454
Location Gainesville, FL
Matching Funders AeroFarms, BASF, Fluence by OSRAM, GreenVenus, Priva
Controlled environment agriculture is a promising opportunity to sustain and develop our food systems despite climate change. Yet, there is still limited knowledge of the conditions popular crops need to thrive indoors. Controlled environment agriculture’s potential is also hampered by scientists’ lack of understanding of genetic advantages that can smooth a crop’s transition to indoor farming. University of Florida researchers are defining and enhancing the physical and genetic traits in tomatoes that affect flavor and that can make them suitable for controlled environments.
Year Awarded 2021
FFAR award amount $9,500,000
Total award amount $19,000,000
Location Myrtle Beach, SC
Matching Funders Noble Research Institute, Greenacres Foundation, The Jones Family Foundation, ButcherBox
An international coalition announced a $19 million research project aimed at understanding how a farmer or ranchers’ grazing management decisions impacts soil health on pasture and rangeland (commonly called grazing lands) and – in turn – how soil health can positively impact a producer’s land and well-being.
FFAR award amount $2,500,000
Total award amount $5,000,000
Matching Funders The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, ADM, the Council for Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), Elanco, Genus PLC, the National Dairy Herd Information Association, Nestlé and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC).
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. This consortium 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.
FFAR award amount $999,957
Total award amount $2,543,829
Location St. Louis, MO
Program Seeding Solutions
Matching Funders The Danforth Center, Danforth Center Field Research Site at Planthaven Farms, The Land Institute, Perennial Agriculture Project and Saint Louis University
To ensure a plentiful food supply in the face of future climate-related challenges, scientists must diversify food crops by domesticating new species. Early farmers domesticated many annual plant species, those planted yearly, in part due to their quick growing cycles; however, these crops require agricultural practices that can harm the soil. Perennial crops, which live for multiple years, offer a more sustainable option. The challenge is that successfully and rapidly domesticating promising perennial crops relies on genetic screening of seeds, an expensive and time-consuming process. This grant is accelerating the development of perennial crops. The researchers are predicting breeding success based on the seedlings’ physical attributes.
FFAR award amount $612,257
Total award amount $800,000
Location St. Paul, MN
Program Plant Protein Enhancement Project
Matching Funders Benson Hill, Keygene, Syngenta, University of Minnesota
Plant protein is an important part of the global diet, but there are barriers limiting plant protein’s potential. Some amino acids, which are essential to diets, are missing or less abundant in plant protein. Also, a popular plant protein, soy, is an allergen for many. One alternative to soy is pea protein, but its nutritional value lags soy. University of Minnesota researchers are studying pea protein, develop methods for screening peas with superior protein nutrition and quality and breed these traits to cultivated peas.
FFAR award amount $189,794
Total award amount $760,271
Location Ithaca, NY
FFAR invests in a range of research technologies, including projects that use biotechnology and gene editing to make agriculture more sustainable, protect biodiversity and ensure that the world has sufficient food to feed a growing population. Through this award, the Alliance for Science, a global communications initiative, is amplifying FFAR-funded research and programs.
FFAR award amount $664,000
Total award amount $739,000
Location College Park, MD
Program Accelerated Crop Breeding
Matching Funders BASF
While gene editing technology has improved crop breeding and adaptation, the process of regrowing a plant from edited cells is costly, lengthy and unpredictable. Many popular crops are difficult to regenerate with existing methods. Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing a CRISPR-Combo system that will use CRISPR gene editing technology to kick-start the regeneration process.
FFAR award amount $1,997,454
Total award amount $3,997,423
Location Minneapolis, MN
Matching Funders Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Cargill, Friends of the Mississippi River, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, NORI, The Land Institute, Walton Family Foundation
Summer crops such as wheat, rice, and corn can be profitable for farmers, but post-harvest farmland is unproductive for several months during the off-season. Fallow land can accumulate a variety of water-related challenges, including soil nutrient loss and erosion and precipitation runoff. However, continuous living cover crops can prevent these challenges and maintain land in the off-seasons. The University of Minnesota is developing models for sustainable supply chains that create markets for crops farmers can grow between seasons.
FFAR award amount $387,556
Total award amount $387,556
Location West Lafayette, IN
Matching Funders Open Philanthropy
Plant-based protein alternatives are a rapidly expanding market. Soy and pea proteins can closely replicate the texture of meats, but they lack the chewy quality of meat, known as viscoelasticity, which creates a tender bite. Researchers at Purdue University are studying the viscoelasticity of a corn protein, zein, to develop a new commercial meat substitute.
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