AgriZeroNZ, a pioneering alliance between New Zealand agribusiness giants and the Government, is championing a game-changing initiative. In a strategic move, they've invested NZD$4.1 million into Hoofprint Biome, a promising US start-up, to accelerate the development of a revolutionary probiotic that curbs methane emissions and improves cattle health.
Wayne McNee, Executive Director of AgriZeroNZ, hailed this investment.
"Hoofprint is developing technology with the potential to be a breakthrough in achieving our country's climate goals," he said.
"We're thrilled to lead this investment and secure an opportunity for New Zealand farmers to be at the forefront of its success."
Hoofprint Biome, a spin-off from North Carolina State University, was founded by visionary biotech entrepreneurs Dr. Kathryn Polkoff and Dr. Scott Collins. Recognizing the power of microbiome engineering in ruminant agriculture, they discovered enzymes that naturally reduce rumen methane emissions. When combined with probiotics, these enzymes promise long-lasting effectiveness.
The Hoofprint probiotic, given in a small supplement, aims to slash enteric methane emissions by a remarkable 80 percent while simultaneously increasing milk and meat yields by over 5 percent.
Dr. Polkoff, co-founder and CEO, said, "We're introducing next-gen probiotics to ruminant agriculture to cut methane emissions and boost animal health and profitability."
"This investment offers a unique opportunity for Hoofprint to partner with New Zealand farmers, who are leaders in sustainable agriculture, to tackle the climate crisis together," he added.
AgriZeroNZ, established in February, is dedicated to accelerating the development of tools and technologies that enable farmers to reduce emissions while maintaining productivity and profitability, aligning with New Zealand's climate goals and global consumer demands.
"New Zealand farmers are the most efficient globally, but reducing agricultural emissions is crucial, and technology like this needs to be part of the solution," McNee emphasized.
AgriZeroNZ's goal is to ensure all Aotearoa farmers have equitable access to affordable, effective emission-reducing solutions, targeting a 30% reduction by 2030 and striving for 'near zero' emissions by 2040.
"We've been tasked with making bold investment decisions to support New Zealand agriculture. The Hoofprint probiotic is in its early stages, but if development continues, we look forward to supporting its regulatory process and getting it into farmers' hands," McNee concluded.
This strategic investment marks AgriZeroNZ's fourth since its February inception.
The venture welcomes interest from potential shareholders and partners to amplify its reach and grow the fund, with further investments on the horizon. It heralds a new era of eco-conscious farming and climate action.