The University of Missouri has received a $2 million grant to study cattle genetics.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the grant is part of $16.5 million in federal funding meant to increase food availability, safety and sustainability.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the research will focus on the six most common breeds produced in the United States and examine 15 million genetic markers.
Vilsack say the goal is to "do a much better job of protecting our beef cattle industry."
Assistant animal science professor Jared Decker will lead a research teams. He says researchers will collect data from cattle breed associations to determine the characteristics that work best in different locations.