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Year Awarded 2021
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 $999,736
Total award amount $2,141,527
Location Pullman, WA
Matching Funders Flinders University, LongReach Plant Breeders, O.A. Vogel Wheat Research Fund, Washington Grain Commission, Washington State University
Wheat and other plants avoid overheating by evaporating water from leaf surfaces. However, this mechanism is inefficient if the soil moisture is scarce. As climate change disrupts precipitation patterns, causing drought conditions to become more prevalent, wheat breeders must pursue every genetic advantage possible to increase the crop’s climate resiliency. Washington State University researchers are using a new technique developed in their lab to identify genes promoting heat and drought resiliency in wheat.
FFAR award amount $642,202
Total award amount $14,000,000
Location Ithaca, NY
Matching Funders New York Farm Viability Institute, Elanco
Mastitis, a common and costly udder infection in dairy cattle is a major economic problem for dairy farmers. Cornell University researchers are exploring compounds secreted by stem cells as a potential therapy for mastitis.
FFAR award amount $790,326
Total award amount $1,830,312
Location Gainesville, FL
Matching Funders Curtiss Healthcare
Tilapia provides protein for billions of people each year. These fish are under threat from tilapia lake virus, a highly contagious virus that causes high mortality rates among tilapia and poses a global threat to food security. University of Florida researchers are developing a vaccine delivery system that will prevent the spread of tilapia lake virus and other diseases in the aquaculture industry.
Year Awarded 2020
FFAR award amount $997,455
Total award amount $2,001,761
Matching Funders Dickinson College Farm, Iowa State University, L&M Farms, Lakeview Organic Grain, the Pennsylvania State University, Quinn Farm & Ranch Rodale Institute, Stroud Water Research Center, the University of Delaware, and West Virginia University
Despite greater production of whole foods like grains, beans, nuts and vegetables, the average diet may be nutritionally deficient. Developing agricultural practices that improve the quality of soil and increase the availability of nutrients in crops is essential to ultimately enhancing human health.
FFAR award amount $796,878
Total award amount $1,593,756
Location Ithaca, NY
Matching Funders BASF, Limagrain, Virginia Crop Improvement Association
Climate change is creating increasingly unstable farming environments, leading to unpredictable yields and quality. Crop breeding programs aim to develop crops that can thrive despite climate instability; however, breeding programs face their own challenges in predicting how the climate will change and how crops will respond. One specific challenge to breeding programs is the lack of information about how plant genomes and growing conditions interact, and how that interaction impacts agronomic traits such as yield. Cornell University researchers are studying how different plant genomes respond to environment conditions throughout the entire growing season, with the goal of improving crops’ climate resiliency.
FFAR award amount $992,419
Total award amount $1,985,206
Location Minneapolis, MN
Matching Funders Forever Green Initiative, Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation, The Land Institute
FFAR award amount $333,777
Total award amount $667,570
Location Corvallis, OR
Matching Funders Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Oregon State University, OSU Food Innovation Center, Pacific Seafood Group, Seafood Industry Research Fund, Trident Seafoods, West Coast Seafood Processors Association
The American food system wastes food and resources, in part because raw materials are discarded during processing. This waste, especially of protein sources, is highly problematic as an additional 148 million people may be protein deficient by 2050 due to climate change. Researchers at Oregon State University are developing high protein, nutritious and attractive food products from byproducts of the seafood industry.
FFAR award amount $748,549
Total award amount $1,497,098
Location Ames, IA
Matching Funders Iowa State University, KWS SAAT SE & Co, Beck’s Superior Hybrids, BASF, SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC and RAGT
On average, it takes farmers ten years to produce a new crop. With an increasing global population, there is high demand for more crops sooner. Iowa State University researchers are developing breeding methods that accelerate plant breeding for multiple crop species. These breeding techniques deliver improved crop varieties – with greater yields – into the hands of farmers sooner.
FFAR award amount $1,000,000
Total award amount $2,070,000
Location Urbana-Champaign, Ill.
Matching Funders University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota and Ag Air Imaging, LLC
While also providing environmental benefits, carbon retention in the soil is critical for effective water retention, nutrient absorption and root development. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $1 million grant to the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota to develop an integrated technique to monitor soil organic carbon, a measurable component of soil organic matter, in the US Corn Belt.
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