BARD (U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research And Development Fund)
The U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) is a competitive funding program jointly conducted by American and Israeli scientists to carry out strategic and applied agricultural research. Since its establishment in 1979, BARD has funded scientists affiliated with public or not-for-profit private entities and encouraged the exchange of agricultural scientists, engineers, and other agricultural experts.
Most BARD-funded projects run 3 years and focus on increasing agricultural productivity, particularly in hot and dry climates, and emphasize plant and animal health, food quality and safety, and environmental issues. BARD also supports 1-year feasibility studies, international workshops, and postdoctoral fellowships.
For the United States, the BARD program is administered through the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Office of International Research Programs (OIRP). BARD provides ARS scientists with unique opportunities to apply for competitive funding for collaborative research with an Israeli counterpart. ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young is a member of the BARD Board of Directors.
In 2015, a BARD project between ARS scientists and those at their Israeli counterpart, the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), developed software to optimize poultry growth through feed efficiency. The result was a 2-percent reduction in costs to the U.S. broiler industry and was credited with a total savings of $800 million.
Since 1979, BARD has evaluated 5,000 proposals, funded 1,300 projects, and awarded $310 million. — By Mina Chung, ARS Office of Communications.