Five black-and-white cows with yellow ear tags standing on grass in a field and staring at the viewer Five black-and-white cows with yellow ear tags standing on grass in a field and staring at the viewer

Cattle Industry Consortium Awards First Grant to Curb Enteric Methane Emissions

State College, PA

  • Advanced Animal Systems

Today, the Greener Cattle Initiative (GCI), the first consortium investing in research mitigating enteric methane, awarded its initial grant to develop actionable options that reduce enteric methane emissions from cattle.

Dr. Juan Tricarico
Mitigating enteric methane emissions is a major focus of farmer-led voluntary efforts by the dairy sector to meet environmental stewardship goals. Research resulting from this and future GCI awards will provide more options for farmers to choose from to mitigate methane emissions. Dr. Juan Tricarico
Senior Vice President for Environmental Research at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Cows and other ruminant animals produce enteric methane as part of their natural digestive process. This methane is the single largest source of direct greenhouse gases in the beef and dairy sectors. Addressing enteric methane emissions is critical to slowing the effects of climate change while also helping the dairy and beef sectors meet their sustainability goals.

GCI awarded its initial grant in the amount of $758,776 to Penn State’s Distinguished Professor of Dairy Nutrition Dr. Alexander N. Hristov to develop new enteric methane inhibitors and delivery methods for them. Inhibitors are naturally occurring or synthetic compounds that when ingested by cows can decrease enteric methane emissions. Hristov is focusing on inhibitors that have already been shown to reduce methane by at least 30% in laboratory tests. The project aims to develop feed additive options that will deliver the greatest mitigation potential that is practical for producers. The research team is conducting a series of studies to determine the efficacy and feasibility of these inhibitor compounds in cows. Additionally, the efforts are identifying and optimizing dietary conditions required to maximize enteric methane emissions reductions.

Earlier this summer, the world experienced the hottest day on record, jeopardizing human and animal health, our food supplies and more. A surefire way to slow the impacts of climate change is to reduce the amount of methane cows produce. This award aims to provide dairy producers with safe, practical options to reduce enteric methane emissions. Nikki Dutta
Scientific Program Officer

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy launched GCI in 2021 to convene stakeholders across the dairy and beef value chains to fund research for enteric methane mitigation options that are proven, scalable and affordable for producers. FFAR matched initial program participant contributions with $2.5 million. While the consortium originally sought to award $5 million in research, it has exceeded funding expectations and will be making additional grant awards that represent a greater research investment than originally targeted.


The Greener Cattle Initiative

The Greener Cattle Initiative, launched by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, is the first industry-oriented consortium to share knowledge, leverage investments and accelerate research to develop scalable and commercially feasible solutions that reduce enteric methane emissions. The Greener Cattle Initiative includes stakeholders from across the dairy and beef value chains and supporting nonprofit organizations including: ADM, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), Elanco, Genus plc, JBS USA, the National Dairy Herd Information Association, Nestlé and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC). 

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