Oat Rust Initiatives

The Oat Rust Initiative (ORI) is a global oat community coming together to develop community-wide research and extension approaches to minimize the impact of oat rust diseases. For more information about ORI visit the ORI website.

ORI is comprised of a board of directors and whose objectives are to:

  • Provide leadership in implementing the strategy/roadmap of the initiative developed by the scientific community to address the problem of oat rust.
  • Provide stakeholder management on behalf of the initiative.
  • Attract support from additional interest groups.
  • Provide mentoring to the scientific community for the sake of timely execution of the strategy.
  • Ensure flexible and prompt response to funding opportunities.
  • Engage public and private funding sources above and beyond grant proposals submitted by the scientific community.

ORI also is assembled into project teams from the scientific/stakeholder community to work on specific goals of the strategy/roadmap. These project teams include:

  • Data & Knowledge Management
  • Epidemiology
  • Pathogen Genomics
  • Phenotyping
  • Breeding Enablement
  • Isolate Collection
  • Novel Genetic Technologies
  • IPM, Extension, and Outreach (IEEO)
  • Gene Release/Use Strategy


Oats have historically been a staple of the world’s diet, whether it’s a bowl of oatmeal to start the day or granola bars to snack on later. Not only have they been an important component of the human diet, but they have also played a role in shaping the United States economy. Oats have been used in specialty feeds in livestock production and also in the manufacturing of biofuels, cosmetics, and even health products.

However, the production of this cereal is being threatened by rust diseases, which continue to pose problems for the industry with increasing prevalence in fields with limited options for control. 

In response to this growing problem the SBC, with support from NAMA and PepsiCo, convened the 2015 Oat Rust Forum. This forum brought together members of the global oat community to develop a community-wide strategy to provide sustainable solutions to this problem, which led to the formation of the Oat Rust Initiative.