Funding Opportunity

Currently Closed

To kick off FFAR’s new direction of embarking on Challenge areas, we are Seeding Solutions, a call to the community to come forward with bold, innovative, and potentially transformative research proposals in our recently launched Challenge Areas. Prospective grantees may come forward with a proposal for up to $1,000,000 of FFAR funding, and must secure 1:1 matching funding from a non-Federal source before a grant will be awarded. FFAR anticipates funding at least one meritorious and transformative proposal in each Challenge Area. Each grant will be awarded over a period of one to five years.  FFAR will continue to seek and develop additional partnerships and projects in the Challenge areas; this will serve as a first step to bringing innovative ideas to FFAR’s doorstep.


  • Monday, January 16, 2017: Pre-Proposal Deadline
  • First week of February 2017: Finalists invited to submit full proposals.
  • April 1, 2017: Proposals due;  applicants must have identified a committed partner who will provide non-federal matching funds should the proposal be selected.
  • June 1, 2017: Successful applicants notified.

Seeding Solutions Pre-Proposal Criteria

  1. Demonstrate the potential for a transformative impact within the Challenge Area.
  1. Demonstrate partnerships with different sectors (private, NGOs, governments, academia, and end users, etc.), such that research outcomes may be scalable and applicable to working food and agriculture systems.
  1. Contribute to the goal of sustainable food and agriculture, defined as practices that, “satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operation; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.” (Food and Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990, Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603).
  1. Serve the public good by making data open and accessible to the public, creating unique economic development opportunities, and/or contributing to food and agriculture workforce development.

Plant your Seed: Download Detailed Pre-Proposal Requirements and Submission Instructions


Mark Keenum, Ph.D.

Image of Dr. Mark Keenum

President, Mississippi State University

“I am very proud to have been part of the startup of this organization from day one and I commend the full board for giving their time and energy to something that is bigger than all of us. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues to continue building on the extraordinary progress we have made to create the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.

Together, we will solve problems like how to pair new ideas with the most relevant technologies, and this will help us all create products that are not just better, but game changing — even life changing.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.
president of Precision PlantSciences

Pam Johnson

Portrait of Pam Johnson

This collaborative research with public and private partners will build on the investments already made in agriculture research so farmers like me can see the return on those investments through improvements in plants in our fields.”

Pam Johnson
National Corn Growers Association past president, FFAR Board Member

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.

Rijk Zwaan is keen to actively contribute to the world’s food supply and stimulate vegetable consumption. Joining the Crops of the Future Collaborative, with leafy vegetables as one of the focus crops, can help us achieve this mission.”

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.
Managing Director of Rijk Zwaan

-April Carroll, Ph.D., Purdue University College of Agriculture

Interest in the phenotyping event exceeded our highest expectations, which speaks to the critical importance of connecting plants’ DNA information to meaningful traits.”

April Carroll Director of Phenomics Purdue University College of Agriculture

Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

Executive Director, FFAR

The pace of technology is absolutely breathtaking because we have this combination of understanding how things work coupled with new technologies. For agriculture, we want to take advantage of not only the increases to our knowledge base but also this technological pace.”

Excerpt from Heurmann Lecture by Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
seen at left being recognized for her lecture by Ronnie Green, Ph.D., then Chancellor-elect of University of Nebraska-Lincoln