WASHINGTON — Oat millers within the North American Millers’ Association have pledged $510,000 to the "North American Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise," a global oat research project created with the goal of improving the genetic map of oat.

The project, which is utilizing resources from around the world in the form of scientists, universities and governments, is expected to give oat breeders the ability to make marker-assisted selections, give growers another crop option, provide millers greater oat availability, and ensure consumers continued access to safe food, NAMA said.

In addition to NAMA’s contribution of $510,000, the project will receive $450,000 from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (A.F.R.I.) funded through the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, and $318,000 from General Mills, Inc.

"This project will provide a much needed resource for the oat genetics and breeding community, and is the next logical step in advancing oat genomics," said Ed Kaleikau, the national program leader for the A.F.R.I. "The team is highly qualified to undertake the marker development, and there are partnerships in place to immediately make use of the resource."