The agency will make $17.6 million in grants available.
WASHINGTON – Late in December 2017, the US Dept. of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $17.6 million in grants earmarked for organic agriculture research, education and extension activities.

The grants are funded by the NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OAREI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“America’s organic industry continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of US agriculture,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, Ph.D. “NIFA strives to support the development and deployment of science-based best knowledge and practices to organic producers to help them grow their businesses while solving critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems.”

The OAREI supports programs that improve the ability of producers and processors who adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products.

Land-grant and other research universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, state agricultural experiment stations, research foundations and other private researchers are all eligible entities for funding.

Priority areas include biological, physical, social science research and economics. Funded projects will aid farmers and ranchers with whole-farm planning by delivering practical, research-based information to improve their ability to develop an Organic System Plan required for certification.

Applications must be received by March 1, 2018. More information on the funding program can be found on the NIFA website.