June 01, 2017

FFAR request for applications


The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is accepting applications through August 2, 2017, for its Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare program, the first initiative within the FFAR Protein Challenge. $2 million is available!

Program Overview

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare initiative is a new program at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to support farm animal welfare research. Animal welfare research plays a critical role in the development and continuing improvement of sustainable livestock production, with potential to improve animal lives, food quality, farm-laborer work environments and the relationship between our society and the food we eat.

Research is critical to progress in this field, as changes to animal production practices may impact animal physiology, may require large-scale alterations in animal housing and may have environmental and economic impacts that extend beyond the farm or production facility.

The Accelerating Advances in Animal Welfare program is the first initiative within the FFAR Protein Challenge, a suite of research programs that will support producers’ efforts to improve plant and animal production efficiency to meet the growing global protein demand while conserving natural resources.
Open RFA
This research funding opportunity is designed to support producers’ ability to adapt to a changing animal production landscape, partially driven by consumer demand for products such as cage-free eggs and increasing global demand for pork.
Applicants to the Farm-Animal Welfare Program must address one of the following program priorities:
1) Reducing keel bone fractures in cage-free housing systems.

FFAR is committed to supporting science-based approaches to this issue, including:
  • Identification of quantitative trait loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s) that may assist primary breeders in selection for pro-welfare traits (e.g. bone strength) while maintaining egg quality
  • Development of dietary formulations/additives for improved bone strength
  • Research on microbiome/gut health and bone density
  • Improved housing design (perch design, materials and placement, tier height, ramp angle, etc.)
  • Improved rearing conditions (pullet housing design and management)

2) Development of alternatives to castration that provide for the piglet’s well-being and maintain pork quality. FFAR is committed to supporting science-based approaches to this issue, including:

  • Selective breeding, or gene-editing, for production of animals with low physiological levels of androstenone and skatole
  • Chemical interference with the production of androstenone and skatole hormones that cause boar taint
  • Mechanical or genetic sex-selection of sperm (selection for female-only offspring)
Learn More and Apply Here