Innovate Animal Ag
Innovate Animal Ag facilitates the development and adoption of new technologies that improve animal health and welfare
Innovate Animal Ag is a 501(c)3 nonprofit think tank that promotes technology as a practical solution to make animal agriculture more efficient, sustainable, and humane. We conduct and publish research on cutting edge technologies in animal agriculture that can improve animal health and welfare while also increasing efficiency and productivity. We then directly support the companies developing and implementing the most promising technologies.
The last few decades of industrialization in animal agriculture have led to an unprecedented period of abundance in our food system. More people than ever have access to a practically unlimited supply of affordable, safe, and nutritious animal protein.
Yet this abundance hasn’t come without costs. Most people in our society care about the welfare of animals, and polls consistently show that Americans want animals on farms to be handled respectfully and responsibly. Yet when informed of practices that are commonplace on industrial farms, a vast majority of people express discomfort. Peoples’ assumptions and expectations around animal welfare are often disappointed by the realities of how animal agriculture currently works.
As a result, our society has had to start grappling with how to navigate the tradeoff between maintaining a safe, affordable, nutritious supply of animal protein, and maintaining the respect and care that everyone believes animals deserve. Heated debates have started within businesses, in our government, and in the media. With vociferous advocates on both sides, the conversation has become polarized, being too often framed as activists versus farmers, welfare versus affordability.
We believe that the best solution is not to choose either animal welfare or an abundant food supply, but to leverage technology to have both.
The Lessons of Climate Tech:
The challenge of climate change is remarkably similar to the challenge of animal welfare. To use the language of economists, both are unpriced externalities: unplanned consequences of industrialization whose costs are not directly paid by producers or consumers, and hence are not inherently incentivized to be improved. No one wants the climate to change, yet it happens anyways. Similarly, no one wants a farm animal to be treated poorly, yet it happens anyways.
When it comes to climate change, the most promising practical solutions are technologies like solar panels, electric vehicles, improved batteries, and carbon capture. These technologies are powerful because they eliminate tradeoffs - they allow us to maintain the prosperity brought about by economic growth, while simultaneously mitigating the harms of climate change.
Despite the similarities with the climate space, technology is an under discussed and underinvested in as a solution to animal welfare. Information is often difficult to impossible to find, and few champions actively push solutions forward.
Our mission is to change this. Instead of continuing to grapple with how much we as individual consumers or business are willing to personally sacrifice for animal welfare, we can use technology to eliminate the tradeoff. By expanding what’s possible, technology allows us to preserve the abundance brought about by industrialized animal agriculture, while simultaneously bringing animal welfare in line with the expectations and demands of the modern consumer.
Innovate Animal Ag was founded with the goal of helping companies develop and commercialize technologies that help meet the expectations and demands of the modern consumer around animal welfare. We do this by:
- Promoting technology as a practical solution to animal welfare
- Conducting research on cutting edge, science-backed, technologies in animal agriculture, then creating resources for businesses, policymakers, and the media
- Directly supporting the companies developing and implementing the most promising technologies, such as in-ovo sexing