Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Offers Matching Funds to Accelerate First Response to Future Agricultural Emergencies

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New Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research Program is Open for Participation

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“Somewhat like an insurance policy, the ROAR program allows groups to enter into a pre-agreement with FFAR so that if and when a major problem in a commodity occurs or is about to occur, we are several steps down the path toward effective crisis response.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research today opened the Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program, making available up to $150,000 in matching funds per one-year grant to combat new or emerging pest and pathogen outbreaks that threaten the U.S. food and agriculture systems.

The spread of a pest or pathogen can cause immediate and severe damage to multiple industries across the value chain. Last year, avian influenza outbreaks caused the loss of an estimated 50 million birds nationwide and $1 billion in damage, including 8,000 jobs lost, in Iowa alone. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research designed the ROAR program to accelerate initial research and outreach response to potential emergencies by pre-establishing teams of experts, agreements, and funding sources.

Research funded through ROAR will enhance the nation’s capacity to mitigate, contain and prevent outbreaks by reviewing and responding to emergency grant proposals within one week of submission, and rapidly issuing research and outreach funds to serve as a bridge to traditional funding sources.

ROAR is structured around commodity consortia. Participating groups will enter into an agreement with FFAR to facilitate rapid proposal review and response in the event of a pest or pathogen outbreak affecting the commodities of interest to the particular consortium. Program applicants will be responsible for providing funds to match the amount, up to $150,000, requested from the Foundation.

To establish a consortium, interested groups are invited to self-organize or take advantage of pre-existing consortia of researchers, extension agents, institutions, commodity and industry representatives, diagnostic laboratories, and relevant state and local representatives.

In the event of a new or emerging agricultural pest or pathogen outbreak, a given consortium will submit a proposal for rapid research and extension response. FFAR will render decisions to fund or not fund a proposal based upon qualifying criteria, including but not limited to:

  • The outbreak has regional and/or national implications.
  • The outbreak is acute in nature and has substantial economic implications for a commodity.
  • The program will contribute to practical solutions that producers can implement in the field.

“The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is dedicated to building unique partnerships to address the most pressing needs of our nation's food system,” said Executive Director Sally Rockey, Ph.D. “Somewhat like an insurance policy, the ROAR program allows groups to enter into a pre-agreement with the Foundation so that if and when a major problem in a commodity occurs or is about to occur, we are several steps down the path toward effective crisis response and can swiftly disburse research and outreach funding in coordination with designated experts in just a matter of days.”

Learn More
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will host a webinar on how to take advantage of the ROAR program on Friday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

To join the webinar or learn more about ROAR, please visit http://www.foundationfar.org/ROAR.

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Madeleine O'Connor
@FoundationFAR
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