The Organic Center and Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research announce $600,000 for advancement of organic agriculture

The Organic Center has announced a new partnership with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance organic agriculture through the provision of $600,000 in matching funds for programmes supporting training, technical support, and innovative climate research. These funds will support several projects through two distinct initiatives, an Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals prize and a Research Grants Program and Extension Award, over the next three years.

“Research, training, and technical support are the foundations of any strong agricultural system,” says Dr. Jessica Shade, director of Science Programs for The Organic Center. “Despite continuously increasing demand for organic products, however, funding for organic research and extension continues to lag. This collaboration with FFAR will be a game changer for organic agriculture, matching support dollar-for-dollar for selected projects that help expand critical research on climate and expand information transfer to farmers.”

“Climate change mitigation is an all-hands on deck effort that affects us all, and it is critical that we act urgently to fund research that increases farmer resiliency and protects our future global food supply,” says FFAR executive director Dr Sally Rockey. “We are thrilled to partner with The Organic Center to fund research and extension projects that will spur innovation in organic agriculture, advance climate change resiliency and support thriving farms.”

Priority areas for research and extension projects were identified through a robust outreach campaign that began in 2019 at an Organic Research Consortium Convening event co-organized by The Organic Center and FFAR. Over the course of the following year, the two organizations engaged a diverse cadre of thought leaders, farmers, researchers, and policy makers in robust debate around the needs of the industry. Selected priorities strike a balance between sector growth, human capital and equity, and environmental stewardship.

The Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize will award up to $300,000 per year to programmes showing the greatest success in training agronomic groups and professionals in organic practices. Funding will be provided for one year, with the potential to extend for a maximum of three years. Pre applications opened on 13 December and will close on 28 January 2022. Programmes are required to provide matching funds for this prize.

The 2022 Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program will award grants of up to $200,000 per applicant for projects ranging between one and three years. Matching funds are not required for this project. Successful projects will focus on organic techniques for improving mitigation and resiliency to climate change, with a priority on systems-based approaches and a commitment to cross-sector partnerships. Pre applications opened on 13 December and will close on 28 January 2022.

“This much-needed investment is an incredible opportunity to help shape the future of organic agriculture,” says Shade. “Through our collaboration with FFAR, we’ll be able to double the current amount of private investment in organic research and extension. We can’t wait to start reviewing and supporting what are sure to be some truly groundbreaking proposals.”

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