Advanced Animal Systems Research Vision

Our Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area supports radical innovations and collaborative partnerships that improve animal health, welfare and productivity, antibiotic stewardship and the environment.

The Broad Scope of Animal Systems Research

Animal-based foods are a key component of nutritious diets and livestock farming is a major contributor to the U.S. agricultural economy and an important source of income, trade and risk management for many of the world’s poor. In addition, the demand growth for high-value animal-based foods is approximately double that for cereals, underscoring the need for research that aligns animal production with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with efforts to enhance animal welfare and reduce the potential development of antibiotic resistance. Our research strives to go above and beyond existing efforts to address these issues by working across sectors to identify, develop, evaluate and implement new knowledge and transformative technologies that could improve public health and producer viability.

Sample Research Topics

Antibiotic Resistance

Efforts to monitor, understand and mitigate the development of antimicrobial resistance in commercial animal production. Practices and innovations that reduce, refine and/or replace antibiotic use in animal agriculture.


Discoveries with the potential to reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation. Research to improve environmental resilience while reducing environmental impacts of animal agriculture.

Animal Health and Welfare

Development and validation of automated animal health and welfare technologies, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Development of new practices and countermeasures to prevent the spread of high-priority animal diseases.

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area supports the SDGs, 17 global goals to enhance peace and prosperity, eradicate poverty and protect the planet. Through our innovative public-private partnerships we support climate-smart livestock production and help ensure everyone has access to nutritious food. Our work supports Goal 2, Zero Hunger; Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 13, Climate Action; and Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals.

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