Building Team Chemistry: The Bigger Picture Behind Cows & Climate
Animal Biology Graduate Student, UC Davis
Year Awarded 2020
FFAR award amount $221,743
Total award amount $506,743
Location West Lafayette, IN
Matching Funders Microsoft
COVID-19 had devastating effects on food processing workers. As infections spread in the spring of 2020, some segments of the food supply chain, including beef and pork processing, were operating at one point below 40 percent capacity due to illnesses among farm and agricultural workers. As a result, while consumers faced empty shelves at grocery markets, farmers were dumping milk, euthanizing livestock and plowing under vegetables they were unable to send to food processing sites.
These disruptions highlight the need for better real-time monitoring and reporting of the status of the food supply chain to prevent or mitigate food crises. However, relevant data is often scattered across different federal agencies and private companies and is used mainly by specialists or industry insiders.
Purdue University researchers led by Dr. Jayson Lusk are creating a series of open-access online dashboards that help quantify and illustrate potential disruptions to the food supply chain. The dashboards will focus on COVID-19 but have the flexibility to be tailored to suit future market disruptions.
This research is exposing vulnerabilities in the food supply chain in real time, providing policy makers and industry with the information needed to prevent bottlenecks and ensure food security. These dashboards benefit many stakeholders:
Purdue University researchers are expanding their preliminary Food and Agriculture Vulnerability Index Dashboard, which quantifies the potential risk to the US food supply of COVID-19 illnesses among farm and agricultural workers. They are also developing additional dashboards to track further metrics.
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