Animal Production and Protection


Contact Dr. Robert Smith, NPL for SBIR Animal Production and Protection at or (202) 401-4892 regarding questions about the topic area or to arrange a telephone consultation.


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts that feeding the world’s growing population will require a doubling of global food production by 2050. Fulfilling this need will require new technologies to improve both productivity and efficiency of food animals. The Animal Production and Protection topic area aims to develop innovative, marketable technologies that will provide significant benefit to the production and protection of agricultural animals. New technologies for rapid detection, treatment and prevention of disease are needed to improve productivity and enhance the biosecurity of our herds and flocks. Better technologies are also needed to develop and enhance alternatives to the use of antibiotics since pathogen resistance and human sensitivity to residue food products derived from animals have become of increasing concern. To meet increasing consumer demand for value-added animal products, innovative technologies are needed to address the challenges presented by non-conventional management systems and strategies. And there is an urgent need for technologies that decrease the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and optimize use of our natural resources. Technological advances in animal production and protection will not only enhance the safety of the Nation’s food supply and contribute to environmental stewardship, they will also allow American producers to remain competitive in the global marketplace and contribute to global food security. This topic area supports the NIFA Strategic Plan Goal 1 Science: Catalyze exemplary and relevant research, education and extension programs; SUB-GOAL 1.1: Advance our Nation’s ability to achieve global food security and fight hunger.

FY 2018 Research Priorities:

Development of marketable technologies designed for use in agriculturally important animals that will:

1. Improve production efficiency

Areas of interest include improved fertility; increased feed efficiency; and translation of genomic information into practical use and benefit.

2. Improve the safety and/or quality of end products derived from animals

These technologies must be applicable in the pre-harvest environment.

3. Improve animal health and well-being

Examples of these technologies include new diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and other immunization methods, biosecurity management tools, traceability methods, and animal handling methods and developing alternatives to the use of antibiotics.

4. Improve the productivity of animals in modified conventional or alternative animal production systems

Examples include non-confinement housing, pasture-based feeding systems, and organic systems.

5. Mitigate the impacts of animal agriculture on the natural environment

Areas of interest include technologies that decrease greenhouse gas emissions or reduce the excretion of phosphorus and nitrogen, but does not include manure management.

Other Key Information

  • Applications that deal with post-harvest technologies for products derived from animals will not be accepted for review under this program area. Applications that deal with post-harvest technologies for foods derived from animals may be submitted under topic area 8.5 Food Science and Nutrition.
  • Applications dealing with aquaculture species should be submitted under topic area 8.7 Aquaculture.

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