Foundation admin November 1, 2023

Established in 1965, the National Grain and Feed Foundation supports public education and research projects that benefit the grain, feed and processing industry, enhance the industry’s presence to the public, and positions it for future growth. The Foundation is funded entirely by voluntary corporate and individual contributions. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible. Read the Foundation’s bylaws.

The Foundation's Mission is to:
  • Support specific research projects that enhance the economic growth and knowledge base of the industry.
  • Promote applied research that enhances the productivity and safety of industry members.
  • Foster the highest standards in education pertinent to the grain, feed and processing industry.
  • Enhance public awareness about issues important to agribusiness.
  • Promote a positive image of the grain, feed and processing industry through expanded public awareness of the grain-based food system.
Recent Foundation Projects
  • Safety Training Modules: The Foundation authorized funding for a series of interactive employee safety training modules designed to provide information on certain types of hazards and best safety practices within the grain handling, feed and processing industry. The first e-learning module, entitled Slips, Trips and Falls covers best safety practices, legal requirements and interactive question-and-answer scenarios. 
  • MANRRS Student Scholarship: Three $5,000 scholarships, payable for up to two years, to exceptional undergraduate and graduate student members of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. In addition to financial support, the scholarship also provides networking and mentorship opportunities for the selected student scholars through complimentary attendance at the NGFA Annual Convention in scholarship year one and, if applicable, NGFA’s annual Summer Legislative Fly-In in scholarship year two.
  • FSMA Hazard-Assessment Tool: This online hazard-assessment tool assists NGFA members in complying with FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) animal food rule. With help from the Foundation, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Food Safety and Animal Health reviewed scientific literature and published recall reports for hazards that have occurred in animal food. The resulting “Scientific Literature Database Tool” summarizes published information regarding the occurrence of hazards in animal food. In addition, the tool contains qualitative scoring to describe the severity of identified hazards for 16 animal species groups.  
  • Waterways Education: The Foundation provides $25,000 annually to the Waterways Council. The money supports an on-going educational campaign that highlights the importance of waterways transportation to agricultural producers and agribusinesses.
  • Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV): The Foundation donated $60,000 to the National Pork Board, which was used to pursue PEDV research that infected swine herds in the United States.
  • Conservation Reserve Program: The Foundation funded a major study of economic impacts of the Conservation Reserve Program on small towns/rural communities and on the general economy.  The study concluded that there is much productive cropland currently in the CRP that could be brought back into production in an environmentally responsible way, with major benefits for the economy.
  • Fire and Explosion Research: In conjunction with Purdue University, the Foundation helps fund annual reports on grain facility explosions. Prevention of these kinds of accidents is a major focus of the Foundation, which houses the resources of the NGFA’s Fire and Explosion Research Council that was founded in the 1980s.
  • Regional Safety Seminars: The Foundation provides ongoing support for a series of ongoing Regional Safety Seminars co-sponsored by the NGFA and our state/regional Affiliate associations.  Over the past couple years, we’ve conducted about 20 such seminars locally/regionally to educate and inform industry of best safety practices for grain handlers and processors.

  • Venting Standards: The Foundation supported an analysis of the NFPA’s bin venting recommendations and their real-world/economic impacts on our industry.
  • Biofuels Study:  The Foundation helped fund a landmark study in 2007 that provided a realistic assessment of how large the U.S. biofuels sector could become, and estimated the likely impacts on crop markets, the livestock and poultry sectors, exports, and grain-based wholesale and retail food prices. The study, conducted by Iowa State University’s Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, also was funded by major national livestock, poultry, meat and food organizations.
  • Arbitration Study : The Foundation funded a comprehensive study on NGFA’s Arbitration System published in 2007 by famed University of Chicago School of Law Professor Lisa Bernstein. The research focused on numerous factors, such as the comparative expense, complexity and fairness of different alternative-dispute resolution forums.
  • Feed Quality Assurance Videos:  The Foundation provided financial support for the production of four feed quality assurance videos.  The videos – the first of their kind – are designed to be used by feed mill managers as an ongoing training and educational tool with employees and new hires.
  • Optimal Grain Marketing:  This project examined how various cash grain marketing contracts and strategies can be used most effectively – with or without crop insurance – to maximize market returns for farmer-customers.  The Foundation developed an extensive resource notebook, a producer’s booklet and conducted four educational workshops.
  • U.S. Agriculture 20/20:  Started in 1993 to help restore economic growth to all sectors of U.S. agriculture, this program was successful in educating policymakers and the public on the benefits of increased crop production by ending government acreage-idling programs.
  • Research on Clean Air Act Data:  The Foundation conducted a $250,000 research project that obtained valuable data on grain dust emissions that convinced the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt most grain elevators, feed mills and processing plants from the requirement to obtain Clean Air Act operating permits and pay costly annual fees.  Estimated savings to the industry reduced regulatory compliance costs:  $20 million annually – an average of $1,500 per facility each and every year!
  • Engulfment Research:  This project developed new techniques and educational materials on how to prevent employees from being entrapped in grain, and in extricating them if such engulfments occur. 
Support the Foundation

All administrative support and management of the Foundation are donated by the NGFA — that means 100 percent of the contributed funds are directed to research and education.

If you have questions, contact the NGFA office at (202) 289-0873.

Foundation Trustees

The Foundation is led by NGFA Foundation Trustees, who carefully review prospective projects — many of which come from NGFA committees.  Resources are managed carefully to ensure maximum benefit in return for the Foundation’s investment.  Only those projects judged to have a high probability of making a significant positive contribution to the industry, its employees and the industry’s future are funded and undertaken.