June 02, 2014

American Society of Animal Science releases new Grand Challenge Document: Water Quantity and Quality in Agricultural Animal Production


June 2, 2014 – The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) addresses animal research and animal-based food challenges in our Grand Challenges documents. Based on the importance of water quantity and quality in livestock production we have added a 6th Grand Challenges to our Grand Challenge document.

We now have the following Grand Challenge Documents:

Animal health: Healthy animals produce healthy products for human consumption. Animal health research also decreases the risk of animal diseases reaching the human population. Support for animal health research would improve disease resistance, disease prevention and animal productivity. Read this document

Climate change: Animal agriculture is one source of greenhouse gas emissions, but animal agriculture is also directly affected by shifting climates. Natural disasters, droughts and heat waves can harm animals and make animal feed scarce. A better understanding of climate change would keep animal agriculture economically and environmentally sustainable. Read this document

Food safety: New technologies and basic microbial research can help scientists detect pathogens in the food supply. Research into food safety can decrease chance of contamination on the farm and in the kitchen. Read this document

Global food security: The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that one in seven people suffers from chronic hunger. New research could improve the nutrient content in animal products, increase production efficiency and reduce food wastage along the supply chain. Read this document

Animal well-being: Animal scientists work to balance science-based, economically sustainable animal care with public concerns about animal welfare. Animal scientists must conduct transparent, proactive research into welfare issues like animal housing and humane animal harvest. Read this document

Water Quantity and Quality in Agricultural Animal Production: Global demand for water is expected to increase significantly by 2025 and will be complicated by the impact of climate variability and altered patterns of rainfall throughout the world.  About 8% of the available global supply of water is used for agricultural animals for the production of meat, dairy, and poultry products for human consumption. Read this document


The Grand Challenges documents are ASAS endorsed and advocated research priorities for the future of animal science. With the support of policy makers and the public, animal scientists can continue to feed the world. To read the documents, go to: http://asas.org/public-policy/asas-grand-challenges


Dr. Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe
American Society of Animal Science
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Debora Hamernik
ASAS Public Policy Committee Chair