Turkeys at NC State farm in Raleigh, NC

Food Animal Initiative

Establishing North Carolina as the world leader in food animal biosciences.

A Grand Challenge in Animal Agriculture

The world’s population will grow to more than nine billion by 2050. Changes in global diets have increased demand for food animal products. We do not have the water or land to simply scale up current cultivation methods. We need true innovation in the underlying biosciences.

North Carolina is a recognized leader in food animal production. Agriculture contributes $84 billion to the state’s economy and generates 663,200 jobs. More than 60% stems directly from food-animal systems. Even more, if you factor in offshore marine fisheries and plant-based agribusiness that supplies feedstocks.

We can help North Carolina become the world leader in food animal sciences by coordinating new research with existing proven infrastructure. CALS has partnered with the College of Veterinary Medicine to lead this transformative initiative, and as it grows, we will enlist the support of our partners at NC State, other land grant universities, government and industry.


Feeding 9.5 Billion by 2050

Requires a 73% Increase in Animal Food Production.
Our Initiative Will Make N.C. a Leader in Feeding the World.

A Strategic Approach to Real Innovation

To encourage collaborative research in animal science, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) will fund three competitive Strategic Enrichment Research Grants.

These grants are separate investigations into the production health of swine, cattle and poultry involving nine CVM faculty members and four from CALS. The areas include:

  • Developing a system for reducing Porcine Reproductive Syndrome virus in reproductive sows.
  • Developing antibiotic use guidelines to mitigate antibiotic resistance in microbes and ensure food safety.
  • Developing a project to aid Ethiopian poultry producers to enhance livestock production.

Our colleges also are working side-by-side to ensure the best training in equine science for both undergraduate Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. The Reedy Creek Equine Farm is a new $5 million facility to serve students, clinicians and horse owners. This project is part of a multi-faceted capital improvement campaign. Phase 1, estimated at $2.1 million, is scheduled for completion in 2018.

We have the resources, partners and skilled personnel to shape the growth of the state’s food animal industry.

Infographic on NC food animal production. 5 Poultry Facilities: Chicken, turkey feed mill and waste management units. Free-range and layer program. 4 Pork Facilities: Specialized units for genetics, sustainability and biosecurity. 14 Dairy and Beef Facilities: Providing uniform genetics, health and record-keeping in diverse locations and climates. 3 Aquaculture Facilities: Fresh and saltwater research focused on our evolving resources. 3 Ruminant Facilities: Goat, sheep and alpaca research to meet growing global needs.
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