As the world's population grows and natural resources become limited, investments in animal agriculture research are needed to improve efficiency in order to continue providing safe and abundant food supplies for the growing global community. This was the message delivered to the leadership of the Senate and House agriculture committees by representatives of nearly 50 agriculture associations, including the American Sheep Industry Association.
The organizations urged the support for inclusion of the Farm Animal Agriculture Integrated Research Initiative (FAAIR) as a part of the conference report as members reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill.
Demand for food is expected to increase from 70 to 100 percent by 2050. Advancements in animal science will play an important role in meeting this need and enabling the future success of animal agriculture and the rural economy. When feed crops consumed by livestock are included, livestock and poultry sales account for 60 percent of all farm income.
Unfortunately, current funding by the United States Department of Agriculture to support the animal sciences is not proportionate with the economic contributions of animal agriculture. The FAAIR initiative helps address the shortfall in federal investments for the animal sciences by supporting high priority research.