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Source: Iowa State University news release

A new competitive grants program in the recently passed Farm Bill that addresses critical issues impacting animal agriculture helps counter the shortfall in federal investment in animal science, said Maynard Hogberg, chair of the Iowa State University animal science department.

Hogberg also serves as president-elect of the National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science (NAAAS), the organization that proposed the grants program last year. He said national and state animal agriculture organizations and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities worked with the NAAAS to support inclusion of the new program in the Farm Bill.

"The federal investment in research for the animal sciences has been declining for many years. This new competitive grants program provides the opportunity to step up investments in animal research to be more proportional with animal agriculture's economic contributions," Hogberg said.

Livestock and poultry sales account for 40 percent of all farm income, according to the NAAAS. When feed crops consumed by livestock are included, the contribution to farm income is 60 percent.

The new program is part of the Continuing Animal Health and Disease, Food Security and Stewardship Research, Education and Extension Programs and is authorized for $25 million per year over the life of the Farm Bill. Research will focus on the priority areas of food security, health and stewardship.

NAAAS is dedicated to improving overall federal funding for animal agricultural research. It is comprised of animal, dairy, poultry and veterinary science departments from colleges and universities across the United States as well as national and state organizations involved in animal agriculture and animal science.

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