Animal research grants announced

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer $24 million in grants for research and development organizations focused on animal health, reproduction, breeding, genetics and nutrition.

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative includes four major programs: animal reproduction; animal genome, genetics and breeding; animal growth and nutrient utilization and integrated solutions for animal agriculture. The department pays for research, education, and grants that address key problems of national, regional and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture.

Today the animal industry accounts for 42 percent of forecast U.S. agricultural receipts in 2009, the USDA said in a statement.

Colorado’s agriculture and food industries also add about $20 billion annually to the state’s economy. The same sector supports about 100,000 jobs annually, and the state is home to several major food processing companies.

During 2009, Colorado State University was awarded three grants totaling $814,000 to study varying aspects of animal reproduction.

Applicants may go to www.nifa.usda.gov for more information.