Breaking Down the Barriers: Identifying Research Needs to Overcome Obstacles to Innovation Adoption Across the Food System 

November 30-December 1, 2017
Association of Public Land-Grant Universities | Washington, D.C.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) will host a convening event to analyze barriers to adoption of a wide range of innovations and technological advances aimed at improving agricultural sustainability.  The event will focus on the areas where FFAR can research pathways to increase adoption of innovations across the U.S. food and agricultural production chain.

At this convening event, we will explore areas of potential research on barriers to adoption that could fall into the pre-competitive realm with the aim of building a partnership (consortium) with both potential funders and thought leaders.  Through targeted conversations we plan to address issues that act as impediments to the adoption of innovations, with potential overall topics including:

• How trends in farming and food production practices and structures, consumer tastes and agro-food industries impact innovation

• Public, private and nonprofit sectors’ role in stimulating adoption of innovations in food and agricultural production chain

• Examples of successfully adopted innovations (both low cost and large capital intensive)--lessons learned

• Identifying common barriers to adoption of innovations across the food and agricultural production chain, and research gaps in this area

• Others

FFAR believes that through increased investments from both the private and public sector, we can help forge innovation pathways to sustainable food production.

FFAR is pleased to recognize the following Event Sponsor: 

Issue Background

Two farmers examining plants in a field

Photo: Bob Nichols, USDA

With the increasing world’s population, decreasing human and natural resources in food production, effects of climate change, and shifts in socio-economics and dietary patterns, there has been growing demand for more sustainable food production without environmental degradation and socioeconomic losses. For years researchers have been working on innovations in farming practices and food production systems as well as technological advances that have generated promising results for improving agricultural sustainability and, at the same time, increased consumers’ awareness about the sources of food and how it is produced. 

Although many innovations have been applied across the U.S. food system (e.g., water-saving irrigation practices, conservation tillage, hybrid seeds, energy efficient storage facilities), the adoption of innovations is far less widespread than anticipated. The impact of an innovation on agriculture depends on the nature of the innovation and its rate of adoption, which is affected by numerous factors, such as individual viewpoints, age and education, access to information, size and type of the farm/production facility, compatibility with the current production system, federal and state agricultural policies and programs, economics, land tenure issues, and societal and community influences.  


Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
1307 New York Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Getting to APLU
Though APLU's street address is New York Avenue, the building is physically located on H Street between 13th and 14th streets in northwest Washington, D.C., around the corner from the Hilton Garden Inn hotel. The location is conveniently located between the Metro stops McPherson Square (Orange, Blue, & Silver lines) and Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue, & Silver lines). For more information about APLU, please click here.

Download location information here.


The Hilton Garden Inn hotel, located across the street from the McPherson Square Metro Stop.

To secure a room at a discounted rate on the FFAR room block, please call the Hilton Garden Inn central reservations number at (877) 782-9444 and refer to the FFAR event or click here to book online. Reservations are on a first come first serve basis until Monday, October 30th at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.

Getting to the Hotel

The hotel is located approximately 4 miles from Reagan National Airport and 30 miles from Dulles International Airport. For directions to the hotel and Metro information, please click here.

Download hotel information here.


Download a detailed agenda here
November 30

7:30 am: Registration and breakfast

8:30 am - 5:00 pm: Sessions and panels (includes lunch)

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Reception 


December 1

7:30 am: Breakfast

8:30 am - 12:30 pm: Sessions and panels (no lunch)