WASHINGTON — As consumer demand for animal protein increases, meat producers are under tremendous pressure to increase productivity, while maintaining profitability. As a result, many producers rely on feed supplements to encourage faster growth, reduce disease and improve feed efficiency. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $653,035 Seeding Solutions Grant to Sasya, Inc. to develop sustainable, cost-effective, multi-species feed supplements that are safe for livestock, the environment and human consumption. The FFAR grant is matched with funding from the State of Minnesota, including Launch Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, private equity financing and Sasya for a total $1.41 million investment.
Metabolites, such as amino acids and their derivatives, naturally occur in human and animal bodies. When used as dietary supplements, evidence suggests they can enhance performance and health in both humans and animals. While metabolites are commercially available, many are produced from harmful chemicals that require extensive purification and energy-intensive processes. As a result, despite their documented benefit, metabolite supplements remain prohibitively expensive to the feed industry.
Sasya is developing a novel sustainable process to mass produce high-performance supplements for the animal feed industry. This research will primarily focus on swine. Demonstrated success in the swine market will pave the way for easier adoption in other animal species such as poultry, beef and dairy cows.
“Responding to consumer demands for transparency in the supply chain, producers are looking for sustainability but are not willing to pay a green premium,” said Dr. Goutham Vemuri, chief executive officer and founder of Sasya. “We are keen to prove that sustainability doesn’t have to cost more. Our processes can meet the increasingly stringent sustainability metrics while allowing profitability across the supply chain.”
“We understand the need for sustainably-produced supplements as alternatives to antibiotics and other environmentally unsafe animal feed supplements,” said Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin, FFAR executive director. “Now is the time to invest in pioneering research that will allow the development of high-performance supplements to be economically available to producers and foster antibiotic stewardship, animal welfare, environmental sustainability and farmer profitability.”
FFAR’s Seeding Solutions Grant Program is an open call for bold ideas that address pressing food and agriculture issues in one of the Foundation’s Challenge Areas. Sasya’s research furthers FFAR’s Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area. The work in this Challenge Area supports sustainable animal systems through innovative technologies, environmentally sound production practices and advancements in animal health and welfare.
About the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
–Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research