Animal Nutrition, Growth Grants

Dan Cattle, Industry News Release

USDA Awards $6.6 Million in Animal Nutrition, Growth Grants

animal nutritionThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $6.6 million for research focused on improving animal nutrition and growth. These awards were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Animal production and health play critical roles in the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture. They contribute significantly to the nation’s economy, global food production and food security” said Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Administrator. “These awards will expand knowledge and best practices to enhance

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy

animal health, lower production costs, and minimize environmental impacts.”

Grants were awarded through the Animal Nutrition, Growth, and Lactation program, part of the AFRI Foundational Program, which supports basic and applied research. Research areas include studying how animals use the nutrients in their feed; improving the use of traditional feed; exploring opportunities to use non-traditional feedstuffs; increasing the quality and efficiency of producing meat, milk and eggs; and mitigating metabolic disorders.

Fiscal year 2015 grants include:

  • University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., $485,000
  • University of California, Davis, Calif., $500,000
  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn., $150,000
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Del., $500,000
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill., $485,000
  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $990,487 (two awards)
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., $20,000
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., $500,000
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $500,000
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., $1,000,000 (two awards)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., $500,000
  • West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown, W.Va., $500,000
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., $500,000

Funded projects include a South Dakota State University project aimed at improving our knowledge of starch digestion in cattle, and an Iowa State University project designed to improve delivery and availability of nutrients and energy to pigs facing disease challenges, to minimize losses in growth rates and production efficiency.

Science funded by AFRI is vital to meeting food, fiber, and fuel demands as the world’s population races toward a projected 9 billion by 2050, diminishing land and water resources, and increasingly variable climatic conditions. In addition, AFRI programs help develop new technologies and a workforce that will advance our national security, our energy self-sufficiency, and the health of Americans. The President’s 2017 budget request proposes to fully fund AFRI for $700 million; this amount is the full funding level authorized by Congress when it established AFRI in the 2008 Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA’s integrated research, education, and extension programs, supporting the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, have resulted user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, controlling water availability, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability, and ensuring food safety. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.