On Jan.25, at the International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo in Atlanta, IFEEDER (The Institute for Feed Education and Research) conducted a luncheon to update the media, donors and industry stakeholders about IFEEDER’s progress on its two-year anniversary.
The mission of IFEEDER is “To sustain the future of food and feed production through education and research.” After two years of existence, it was time we came back and gave an update on the status of our endowment, and more importantly, what projects we have funded to date and how those projects are going. Remember, the need for someone to focus on education and research in our industry is critical. However, without significant increases in private research and education spending, we will never feed the projected 9.1-billion-plus global population by 2050. The majority of that demand will come from the United States.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) simulations indicate that if U.S. public agricultural R&D spending remains constant (in nominal terms — not adjusting for inflation) until 2050, the annual rate of agricultural TFP* growth will fall to under 0.75% and U.S. agricultural output will increase by only 40% by 2050. By comparison, average TFP growth over the last 50 years was 1.5% annually.
Under this scenario, raising output beyond this level would require bringing more land, labor, capital, materials and other resources into production, and we know that’s unlikely to happen. Raising R&D spending by 3.73% annually (offsetting the historical rate of inflation in research costs) would increase U.S. agricultural output by 73% by 2050. Raising R&D spending by 4.73% annually (1% annual growth in inflation-adjusted spending) would increase output by 83% by 2050 — in line with the need to double our food production by 2050.
The projects IFEEDER has sponsored to date will make an impact. IFEEDER has invested a total of $195,000, leveraging another $1.5 million of investments, in projects including:
- National Academies’ Nutrient Requirements for Swine (Swine NRC) and Beef (Beef NRC)
- Research to better define the impact of Salmonella in feed
- Research for FAO Life Cycle Assessment Model for Livestock
- The ABCs of Farming coloring book
- Adopt-a-Teacher Program
IFEEDER is very proud to announce that at our luncheon we received another $99,000 in donations to take our total to date to over $1 million, well on our way to our two-year goal of $1.25 million. Our sincere “thank you” goes to all those individuals and companies that have agreed to help sustain the future of food and feed production through education and research.
Visit www.ifeeder.org for more information about IFEEDER’s education and research initiatives.
*TFP = Total Factor Productivity, an indicator of technological change and, thus, output.
Dean Warras is the president of Prince Agri Products and the chair-elect of IFEEDER. Previously he served as the vice-chair for IFEEDER.