Chosen as one of 15 agtech companies to present its climate-fighting solutions for livestock in FoodBytes! Pitch
SOLON (October 29, 2020) A focus on cow burps and farts has led Rabobank to name Locus Animal Nutrition (Locus AN) one of 15 top agtech startups developing solutions for a sustainable food system. As part of the recognition, the new operating company of Locus Fermentation Solutions participated in the FoodBytes! Pitch discovery program aimed at scaling its feed additives for cattle—which show massive potential in reducing methane emissions while enhancing productivity.
The Climate Problem: Methane Emissions in Cattle
The world’s climate crisis is causing serious challenges for the future of the livestock industry. Producers are under pressure to not only produce more protein to meet a growing demand, but also curb the emissions associated with it. Methane emissions from cattle make up 4-5% of global greenhouse gases, cause as much as 12% of feed to not be utilized properly and take away from cattle growth and productivity. Reducing these emissions would have an immediate effect on fighting climate change and improving profitability.
A Promising Solution: “Probiotic” Feed Additives
Locus Animal Nutrition is testing non-GMO, direct-fed microbial organisms, or “probiotic” feed additives, with researchers at a leading California university. One combination yielded a 68% reduction in methane and an individual strain by itself achieved a substantial 78% reduction. Further studies are in progress and planned for 2021 that will help to discover the most optimal dose for reducing methane, while still providing additional benefits such as increased milk production and enhanced feed to weight ratios.
Top AgTech Startup Recognition
There were over 340 applications for the FoodBytes! Virtual Pitch this year, which was narrowed down to the top 15 AgTech, Foodtech, and CPG companies that represent the best and brightest companies with innovative solutions for a more sustainable food supply. Leaders from Locus AN participated in a 2-week virtual program aimed to help scale the company’s impact through mentorship and connections to corporate leaders and investors.
“We’ve made great progress in the development of our methane-reducing feed additives, but participating in the Rabobank’s FoodBytes! program has been absolutely invaluable in making instrumental connections and giving us an opportunity to share the unique value proposition for the climate crisis and producer bottom lines,” said Keith Heidecorn, managing director of Locus Animal Nutrition. “It is inspiring to be part of a cohort of companies with so much passion and innovation for improving our global food supply.”
Next, 15 startups will be chosen to participate in a live-streamed pitch competition on December 2 for a chance to win $10K and consultative prizes in each of three categories. For more information on the 2020 cohort, visit Foodbytesworld.com. To learn more about Locus AN’s work in livestock methane reductions, visit LocusAnimalNutrition.com.
About Locus Animal Nutrition
Founded by probiotic experts, Locus Animal Nutrition (Locus AN) uses patented microbrewery-type production technology to create direct-fed microbial (DFM) solutions for the livestock industry that address the interrelated UN Sustainable Development Goals of fighting climate change and increasing food supply. The startup is currently developing “probiotic” feed additives that are customized to reduce enteric methane emissions from cattle—one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world—while lowering feed waste and improving productivity. Solutions are economically viable, cost -competitive for livestock producers and produced at high concentrations. The unique approach enables rapid strain selection, deployment and scaling for use across the U.S. and eventually international markets for a global impact. To learn more about Locus AN’s work in livestock methane reductions, visit LocusAnimalNutrition.com.
About Rabobank and F&A Innovation
Rabobank is a leading global food and agriculture bank providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Rabobank’s F&A Innovation team supports the bank’s global mission of Growing a Better World Together – helping to turn today’s promising ideas into impactful solutions for a sustainable food supply. Through the FoodBytes! food and agriculture innovation platform, Rabobank is building a powerful engine for ongoing collaboration and innovation between food and ag change agents who want to feed the world sustainably. FoodBytes! brings together startups, leading food and ag companies and investors through two complementary programs that drive industry change: FoodBytes! Pitch and FoodBytes! Pilot. To learn more, visit Foodbytesworld.com.