February 28, 2024   •   News

Greener Cattle Initiative Opens Call for Enteric Methane Emission Research


WASHINGTON (Feb. 28, 2024) — Enteric methane, which animals release into the atmosphere by burping or exhaling, is a significant source of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Today, the Greener Cattle Initiative (GCI), a multi-partner international consortium created by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, opened its second request for proposals for research to develop scalable technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions and benefit farmers and ranchers, consumers and the environment.

Methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Yet, methane is more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Reducing the amount of methane cows emit presents an opportunity to slow the effects of climate change while also helping the dairy and beef sectors meet their sustainability goals. However, more research is needed to determine how to safely, sustainably and productively do so.

GCI will consider applications addressing one or more of the following: Delivery mechanisms of non-vaccine enteric methane mitigation technologies; impact of applying interventions early in life to reduce enteric methane emissions later in life or in offspring; combined impacts of administering multiple enteric methane mitigation technologies to examine additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects; and long-term and longitudinal studies to evaluate lasting effects of enteric methane mitigation technologies on mitigation, animal health and productivity.

A maximum request of up to $5 million is available for all proposed projects. Matching funds are optional for this program. Pre-applications are due 5 p.m. ET, April 3, 2024. All domestic and international higher education institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations and government-affiliated research agencies are encouraged to apply. Visit the GCI Request for Applications webpage for additional information.

Additionally, FFAR is hosting an informational webinar about this funding opportunity on March 6, 2024, at 3 p.m. ET.   Preregistration is required. A recording of the webinar will be available on FFAR’s website. FFAR invites interested individuals to submit questions in advance of the webinar to [email protected]

“This research is aimed at developing more enteric methane mitigation options for farmers and ranchers, so they can make informed, individualized decisions based on the conditions unique to their farms,” said Dr. Juan Tricarico, senior vice president for environmental research at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Scientifically proven solutions addressing farmers’ needs across the multitude of farming systems that exist today is critical for increasing adoption rates of these new technologies and methods and reducing greenhouse gases.”

 In 2023, GCI awarded its initial grants in the total amount of $5,554,669 to Penn State’s Distinguished Professor of Dairy Nutrition Dr. Alexander N. Hristov; the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Animal Sciences Professor Dr. Roderick Mackie; and the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Assistant Professor of Quantitative Genomics, Dr. Francisco Peñagaricano.   

# # #

The Greener Cattle Initiative The Greener Cattle Initiative, launched by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, is the first consortium to share knowledge, leverage investments and accelerate research to develop scalable and commercially feasible solutions that reduce enteric methane emissions. The Greener Cattle Initiative includes stakeholders from across the dairy and beef value chains and supporting nonprofit organizations including: ADM, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), Elanco, Genus plc, JBS USA, the National Dairy Herd Information Association, Nestlé and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC).