How To Apply Grant For Organic Farming
Organic farmers have amazing stories to tell. Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) interviewed farmers to get a bird’s eye view of life on the farm. Read the collection of stories we gathered with some of our favorite farmers.
You will develop even more admiration for these people. And the farmers can apply grant for organic farming for their financial support.
OFRF has been at the forefront of the organic movement for nearly three decades, awarding over $3 million in research grants in the United States. As a result of OFRF’s research, education and outreach efforts, thousands of farmers have received relevant research and training information. All research results are freely shared.
Grant For Organic Farming
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) scholarship program is open to applicants residing in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The application for funding takes place in two steps. Applicants first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).
OFRF does not charge membership fees or association fees. We raise funds from grant for organic farming and make sure those dollars go straight to farm research, educational programs.
Advocacy for organic farmers and researchers. There are many ways to help.
A subset of LOI applicants will be asked to submit a full application. OFRF wants to fund projects up to $20,000. Most projects extend over a year; Multi-year projects are only funded for the first year.
In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, PhD students, veterans, young researchers and advisory staff to apply for funding.
Farmers and ranchers often find that working with a professional researcher is helpful in designing and conducting a research project, and OFRF encourages applications from such partnerships.
OFRF offers grant for organic farming for research on ecological production systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and agricultural and research communities. Proposals MUST be led by farmers or meaningfully involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation.
Unless otherwise stated in the tender, projects MUST take place on certified organic land, ideally on organic farms or ranches.
Organic For The Climate
Climate change poses critical risks for farmers and ranchers and threatens the soil, water and other resources on which food production depends. Rising temperatures have already exacerbated droughts, heat waves and storms, making it difficult to grow crops and raise livestock.
- The good news is that organic systems that emphasize soil health are helping farmers and ranchers increase resilience to the effects of climate change. There is also extensive research showing the potential of ecological systems to reduce the contribution of agriculture to climate change (i.e., mitigate climate change).
- Organic systems do this by capturing and storing more carbon (CO2) in the soil (carbon sequestration).
- They also release fewer greenhouse gases.
Healthy Soil Increase Resilience
Healthy soils form the basis of organic production. Healthy soils have good structure (tith) that allows them to absorb and hold moisture, drain well, maintain adequate ventilation, and promote deep, healthy plant root systems.
Such soils hold harvests through periods of drought, require less irrigation water and are less subject to congestion, runoff and erosion during heavy rainfall.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has identified four guiding principles that support healthy soils: 1) minimize disturbance, 2) maximize biodiversity, 3) keep the soil covered, and 4) preserve living roots.
These principles form the basis for a resilient farm system and are explained in more detail in the infographic above.
The USDA National Organic Standards require certified producers to use crop rotation, catch cropping, tillage, nutrient management, and other practices that improve and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil.
Healthy Soils Stores More Carbon
The most practical and inexpensive way to remove excess carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere is through living plants and soil.
While organic systems require some degree of physical disruption to control weeds, they eliminate synthetic inputs and can significantly reduce tillage.
Reduced tillage, crop diversification, catch crop cultivation, organic changes and solid nutrient management can improve carbon sequestration and strengthen climate resilience in ecological farming systems.
Healthy Soils Release Fewer Greenhouse Gases
Organic farmers do not use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases.
Healthy soils help plants to gain nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients from the soil’s organic matter. This reduces the need for fertilizers, which can endanger water quality, and minimizes the release of greenhouse gases from soils.
How To Apply Grant For Organic Farming
Applicants should explain how the proposed research project will promote the improvement or introduction of organic farming systems and how organic farmers or ranchers can use the project results on their farms.
OFRF funds grants that address the resilience of ecological systems to challenges such as climate change and / or have economic and social considerations to complement agricultural research.
Research projects MUST have strong educational and public relations components and have measurable results. Projects should have expected impacts based on the results or outcomes of the projects.
The assessment of the project applications and the allocation of funds is carried out by the OFRF board of directors, which is predominantly certified organic producers. OFRF does not fund the establishment or expansion of a commercial enterprise or general operational or program support.
Different Kind Of Grant For Organic Farming
Starting a farm goes beyond first farming and building barns. Outside of the traditional aspects of farming, there are financial concerns that need to be addressed in an essentially business operation.
The government, primarily the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides grant for organic farming and various other types of financial assistance to new organic farmers to help them get started. One area of agriculture that many funding programs focus on is grant for organic farming.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Conventional farmers who wish to switch to organic farming can receive grants from the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Farmers who already have organic certification can also receive farm equipment grants for the cultivation of organic arable land or for conservation measures such as crop rotation and nutrient management.
Farm producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or up to $80,000 over six years. Farmers interested in applying must contact their local USDA service center. Check with the USDA for application deadlines.
Organic farmers must meet the certification standards defined by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
Organic Cost Share Program
People who wish to be officially certified as an organic farmer before founding the company can have their costs reimbursed through the USDA’s Organic Cost Share program.
“The cost of organic certification can be prohibitive for some,” says the Agricultural Marketing Service on its website. “By reimbursing certification-related expenses, the USDA recognizes the cost of regulation and makes certification more affordable.”
Farmers undergoing certification from eligible programs submit reimbursement applications to state agriculture ministries or other government agencies.
The government processes the applications, then the USDA reimburses 75 percent of the certification costs, up to $750.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
New organic farmers can benefit from grant for organic farming that are not specifically intended for organic farmers but include them with all types of farmers.
One such program is the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The initiative addresses the increasing average age of farmers, which according to the USDA is 57 years.
To help less experienced farmers earn a living, the program provides grant money to those who have farmed or raised livestock for 10 years or less. Grants go to state, local and tribal government agencies, community organizations and universities, who in turn use the money to farmers and agricultural producers.
Integrated Organic Program
Part of the way the USDA is trying to help more organic farms is by spreading information about them. This is the intent of the Integrated Bio Program. The grant for organic farming two types of initiatives, one for new and developing research, advisory and university programs that help organic farmers and farmers who switch to organic farming.
The second program is for established organic farmers to improve their farms. The female farm grant area is available to government agencies, colleges and universities, businesses, nonprofits, and land grant institutions.
- Grant For Organic Farming.