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Animal health, disease research gets $14M in federal funding

Animal health, disease research gets $14M in federal funding

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Animal health

Animal health and disease is the focus of newly funded grant projects, including ISU.

Federal grants totaling $14 million will focus on research to protect agricultural animals from disease.

The grants are part of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Diseases of Agricultural Animals program area priority.

“Animal health is critically important to farmers and ranchers,” NIFA director Dr. Carrie Castille said. “This research will help better understand, diagnose, control and prevent diseases in agricultural animals and aquaculture.”

Funded projects will develop new and improved vaccines, diagnostics and antimicrobial alternatives; breeding disease resistant animals; and understanding better ways to manage animals to minimize disease outbreaks.

Examples of the 31 recently awarded Diseases of Agricultural Animals Program grants include:

  • Iowa State University’s project will introduce a new approach to Vitamin A and zinc supplements to help protect cattle against stress and respiratory disease ($500,000).
  • University of Maine, Orono’s project will develop a new, safe aquaculture vaccine to help improve disease immunity in Atlantic salmon in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way (495,000).
  • University of Florida’s project will examine ways to improve immunity in pigs that can protect them from lung disease and influenza virus infections ($500,000).

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. Last fiscal year, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion.

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