Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has awarded more than US$11 mln in grants to 15 states to support research, education and outreach in animal genomics that will enhance the protection and safety of agriculture and the food supply.
"President Obama understands that to remain globally competitive in the livestock business and to continue to produce safe, nutritious products from livestock requires the application of cutting-edge genetics and breeding programmes," Vilsack said.
"Investing in good basic and applied research will help pinpoint genetic differences that result in superior animal products of the best quality for the consumer," he added.
Successful application of this research will reduce the number and severity of animal disease outbreaks and decrease dependence on the widespread use of antibiotics.
The Fiscal Year 2008 projects were awarded through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) National Research Initiative Animal Genome Programme, which seeks to develop sound, practical, science-based knowledge that can be shared with other researchers, farmers and consumers of US animal products. These awards also support the training of the next generation of scientists by providing support for 25 post-doctoral fellows and 15 graduate students.
The 2008 Farm Bill did not renew the NRI, but did authorise creation of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
Fiscal Year 2008 animal genome grants were awarded to:
• Auburn University, $725,000
• University of California, Davis, $550,000
• University of California, Davis, $10,000
• University of Southern California, $711,884
• University of Delaware, $125,000
• University of Georgia, $449,575
• Iowa State University, $10,000
• Iowa State University, $909,439
• Iowa State University, $749,345
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, $449,421
• USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)/Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Md., $625,000
• University of Maryland, $906,098
• USDA, ARS/Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (ADOL), Mich., $875,000
• USDA, ARS/ADOL, $448,552
• University of Minnesota, $549,999
• University of Minnesota, $447,633
• University of Missouri, $125,000
• Texas A&M University, $313,516
• Texas A&M University, $125,000
• Utah State University, $629,471
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $585,613
• Washington State University, $450,000
• University of Wisconsin, Madison, $10,000
• University of Wisconsin, Madison, $401,651
• US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
• USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)
• CSREES National Research Initiative Animal Genome Programme
• Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)