Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced Sept. 14 the formation of the Livestock Protection Innovation Grant Program. The program will provide grant funding to assist Iowa-based companies in the development of safe and effective vaccines that may help protect Iowa livestock from foreign animal diseases. Though the threat of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza remains high, prevention and preparedness measures are also being taken to respond to risks posed by African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease, a news release said.

“Protecting Iowa’s nation-leading livestock industry from devastating foreign animal diseases is enormously important to the farm families and local communities that benefit from its $13 billion-dollar impact,” Naig said in a prepared statement. “Vaccine development is one of many steps we are taking to help safeguard our farm animals because it is important to have tools available to effectively respond to disease and protect our food supply.”

The Iowa Legislature appropriated $250,000 for livestock vaccine development within Iowa during the last legislative session. Applications will be reviewed and scored via a competitive process, and grant awards will be made up to $250,000. The deadline for applications is Oct. 10. To learn more about the grants and eligibility requirements, click here.