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US pumps cash into sustainable livestock research

By Oscar Rousseau , 05-May-2016

USDA said it hopes the investment will
USDA said it hopes the investment will "pay big dividends" in the future

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made $16m (£11m) available through a series of grants to fund research into advancing methods of sustainable livestock production.

In the face of food security, climate change and animal disease, USDA has given 13 universities a share of the $16m grant to support research that develops sustainable agricultural models across livestock and crop production.

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Colorado was also a recipient of the grant, receiving $50,000 (£34,527).

Who got what?
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service - $50,000
  • University of Illinois - $2,397,840
  • Purdue University - $500,000
  • Iowa State University - $10,000
  • University of Kentucky - $120,000
  • University of Maryland - $2,397,840
  • Michigan State University - $2,327,840
  • University of Missouri - $2,000,000
  • North Dakota State University - $50,000 (disease and pest resistance research)
  • North Dakota State University - $2,147,839 (crop sustainability)
  • South Dakota State University - $2,382,840
  • Utah State University - $150,000
  • Washington State University - $40,000 (catalysing northwest agriculture)
  • Washington State University - $2,000,000 (alternative crops)

Pay dividends

In the face of diminishing land and water resources and increasingly variable climatic conditions, food production must increase to meet the demands of a world population projected to pass nine billion by 2050,” said agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack in a press statement on Tuesday, 3 May.

Funding in research to respond to these challenges should be considered as an investment in our nation’s future, an investment which will pay big dividends in the years to come.

The grants have been made available through the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. This is a peer-reviewed grant programme responsible for supporting a raft of scientific discoveries that have had a positive impact on food safety and meat production.

Vilsack also said USDA is seeking applications for its next round of projects. These will focus on pollinator health as well as plant and animal phenomics – an area of biology that analyses the biochemical traits of organisms as they change in response to genetic mutation.

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