The Organic Center and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) are pleased to announce the provision of $2.4 million in matching funds for outreach and research programs in 2023 and 2024 that support organic farming and its impact on productivity and climate change mitigation.
These funds – half to be awarded this year and half in 2024 – support several projects through two distinct initiatives, the Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize and the Research Grants Program award, over the next three years.
Priority areas for research and extension projects were first 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 was attended by a broad array of farmers, researchers, policymakers, industry members, and nonprofits to develop a roadmap for research areas that would have the biggest impact on moving the organic sector forward and was followed by a webinar open to the public and a survey to organic stakeholders.
That initial research and identification of priority areas resulted in an infusion in 2021 of $1.2 million in funding from FFAR and The Organic Center.
This additional funding supports:
The Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize is awarded 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 to the prize to advance the impacts of the recipients’ education programs. Pre-applications open April 17, 2023, and close June 1, 2023. Programs/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 April 17, 2023, and close June 1, 2023. Matching funds are not required.
For both the Extension Prize and the Research Grant Program, priority will be given to applicants who have a strong history of serving under-represented farmers and demonstrate a critical lens in exploring systemic barriers; on projects that demonstrate an ability to use systems-based, cutting-edge techniques to change the trajectory of organic for the future; and on projects in the Northeast region working with organic dairy.
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
The Organic Center
The Organic Center’s mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental impacts of organic food and farming and to communicate the findings to the public. The Center is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.