Apr 18, 2023
$2.4 million available to programs supporting organic farming
The Organic Center and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research are partnering to provide $2.4 million to support the advancement of organic farming and the understanding of the effect of organic practices on productivity and climate change mitigation.
The funds, half of which will be awarded in 2023 and half in 2024, will bolster outreach and research programs through two initiatives: the Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize and the Research Grants Program award. The funding will be applied during the next three years.
“The value of organic research and an open channel of information exchange cannot be underestimated,” Amber Sciligo, director of science programs for The Organic Center, said in a news release. “Research, training, and technical support are the foundations of any strong agricultural system. Our continued collaboration with FFAR matches support dollar-for-dollar for selected projects that help expand information sharing and advance critical research on organic farming practices and climate change.”
Priority areas for research and extension projects were identified through an outreach campaign beginning in 2019 at an Organic Research Consortium Convening event co-organized by The Organic Center and FFAR. The gathering, attended by farmers, researchers, policymakers, industry members and nonprofits, was followed by a webinar open to the public and a survey to organic stakeholders.
That initial outreach resulted in $1.2 million in funding from FFAR and The Organic Center in 2021.
“Transitioning to organic farming requires reliable, research-based information farmers can trust to address a broad range of production, marketing and other challenges,” said LaKisha Odom, FFAR scientific program director for soil health. “FFAR’s partnership with The Organic Center is a two-fold investment that both expands the reach of successful organic education and outreach projects to reach new farmers and supports research that will help future organic farmers remain resilient and profitable in the face of climate, agronomic and socioeconomic challenges.”
The funds for 2023 and 2024 will award:
- The Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize to up to six applicants each year showing the greatest success in training agronomic groups and professionals in organic practices. A total of $800,000 per year for a total of $1.6 million over two years has been allocated. Pre-applications open on April 18 and close on June 1. Applicant programs are required to provide matching funds for this prize.
- The Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program of a maximum of two grants up to $200,000 per project for each of 2023 and 2024, for a total of $400,000 annually and $800,000 over two years, for projects ranging between one and three years. Successful projects in 2023 will connect climate change mitigation and soil health practices to production. The 2024 research grant program will focus on organic agronomic and socioeconomic research, addressing barriers preventing farmers from transitioning to organic or continuing to farm organically. Pre-applications open on April 18 and close on June 1. Matching funds are not required.