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Year Awarded 2020
FFAR award amount $500,000
Total award amount $610,000
Program SMART Broiler
Matching Funders Plukon Food Group, CLK GmbH, Utrecht University
Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring which can be inaccurate and time consuming. Wageningen University researchers are using an affordable camera-based system and artificial intelligence that automatically and continuously monitors broilers’ ability to walk and other activities. This grant was awarded through our SMART Broiler research initiative.
FFAR award amount $310,738
Total award amount $310,738
Matching Funders Moy Park
Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring which can be inaccurate and time consuming. Queen’s University Belfast researchers are developing a vision-based system to monitor large numbers of birds and track individual activity patterns. This grant was awarded through our SMART Broiler research initiative.
FFAR award amount $232,063
Total award amount $232,063
Location Oxford OX1 2JD, United Kingdom
Matching Funders Munters, Tyson Foods
Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring, which can be inaccurate and time consuming. University of Oxford researchers are testing a novel camera/computer system, called OpticFlock, inside chicken houses to monitor bird behavior and alert producers to early signs of welfare issues, like foot pad lesions and lameness. This grant was awarded through our SMART Broiler research initiative.
FFAR award amount $75
Total award amount $150
Location 1815 N. University Street Peoria, IL 61604
Matching Funders Nestle, Tyson Foods
The environment in which pigs are raised contributes to their health, welfare and productivity. Damaging behaviors in group housing, such as tail-biting and ear chewing are detrimental to their welfare. USDA-ARS scientists are measuring behavior, health and growth rates to develop environmental enrichment management strategies that assess pigs’ welfare. The result of this research can be applied to the US livestock industry.
FFAR award amount $200,000
Total award amount $603,500
Location Greenfield, Mass.
Matching Funders Australis Aquaculture
Methane is a potent climate pollutant that has more than 40 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere. Ruminants, such as sheep, goats and cattle, release enteric methane from normal digestive processes primarily through “burps.” Previous research has shown that feeding a red seaweed, Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT), to cattle can dramatically reduce enteric methane emissions; however, AT is not readily available in large quantities for livestock. To address this challenge, the we awarded a $200,000 grant to Greener Grazing, LLC, a subsidiary of Australis Aquaculture, LLC, to develop the world’s first seed bank and ocean cultivation techniques for AT.
FFAR award amount $16,000
Total award amount $16,000
Location University of Georgia
As environmental change brings wild and domestic animals in increasingly close contact, disease transmission between wildlife and livestock is an emerging threat to food production. Xiu is studying critical factors related to how the virus interacts with the host to predict viral spillover between wildlife and livestock.
Location University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rotavirus is a small intestinal disease that is infecting piglets in increasing frequency in commercial swine breeding herds. Conventional control methods of vaccination and high-pressure washing with disinfectants have been ineffective. Botkin is evaluating the effectiveness of conventional and alternative cleaning methods to reduce the incidence of diarrhea in neonatal pigs.
Location University of Pennsylvania
Lameness is a major detriment to sow productivity and welfare; however, lameness scoring can be subjective and needs to be done manually. Boulanger’s research is using infrared cameras to automatically evaluate lameness in swine. He is using a novel algorithm, as well as machine learning, to process the images and comparing the predictions to standard visual assessment tools.
Location University of California, Davis
Toxoplasma gondii is widespread parasite that causes reproductive challenges in small ruminants. Laabs is investigating the prevalence of T. gondii in US goat herds and identifying risk factors associated with T. gondii-positive herds. Her research is informing management strategies and future preventive measures.
Swine health and illness significantly impacts productivity and economic losses worldwide. Rehman is identifying a swine health signature in Pennsylvania swine farms by studying the gut, lung and skin microbiomes, as well as characterizing white blood cell populations of healthy and sick animals. Identifying a swine health signature will improve global animal health and productivity.
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