The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Organic Transitions
Donor Name: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
State: All States
County: All Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $500,000 to $1 million
Grant Duration: 4 Years
The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) is to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. NIFA administers the ORG program by determining priorities in U.S. agriculture through Agency stakeholder input processes in consultation with the NAREEEAB. ORG will continue to prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation, pollinator health, and climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as the development of educational tools for Cooperative Extension personnel and other agricultural professionals who advise producers on organic practices, and development of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. It is expected that all projects will integrate research, education and extension activities, as appropriate to project goals, although some projects may be weighted more heavily than others in one or more of these areas. However, all proposals should have activities and impact in research and at least one of the other areas: education and extension.
- Priority 1: Document and understand the effects of organic practices on soil health and fertility; greenhouse gas mitigation; enhanced biodiversity; and understanding of weeds, pests and diseases dynamics for better management to help systems adapt to climate change, build resilience of the organic farming system, protect water and other resources, and provide other ecosystem services. These practices include but are not limited to crop rotation; livestock feeding and management; livestock-crop system integration; organic manure, mulch, and/or compost additions; cover crops; and reduced or conservation tillage.
- Priority 2: Develop improved technologies, methods, models, and metrics to document, describe, and optimize the ecosystem services and the climate change adaptation and mitigation ability of organic crop, livestock, and integrated crop-livestock production systems.
- Priority 3: Develop cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from NOP’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. This may include effective substitutes or new technologies, cultural practices, cultivars, or breeds that render the NOP-cited substance in question less limiting to production under organic standards. Studies of alternatives should include evaluation of efficacy based on resulting productivity, profitability, climate change adaptation, and natural resources stewardship effects. They encourage a sustainable whole-systems approach but will also consider proposals that are narrower in scope.
- Priority 4: Overcome barriers to organic transition. Projects under this priority should address major barriers that limit the transition to organic agriculture in a specific region, crop, or animal production system and develop practical information and tools for producer use. These can include, but are not limited to, production challenges during the transition period, local and regional infrastructure constraints, marketplace challenges, disruptive conditions like the COVID-19 pandemic, and administrative or policy barriers. Any constraint must be acknowledged by growers and other stakeholders. Proposals to improve organic animal or crop production management strategies and production systems should be submitted to the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Lobbying and advocacy activities are not allowed.
The amount available for ORG in FY 2024 and 2025 is approximately $7,500,000 each fiscal year. USDA is not committed to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards.
The following describes the types of projects or grants that are eligible for funding:
- ORG anticipates funding Integrated Research, Education, and Extension projects as Standard grants with a project period of 2 to 4 years. The budgets that applicants provide may not exceed $400,000 per year with the total amount budgeted per award not to exceed $1,000,000. NIFA expects to make a total of eight awards in FY 2024 and eight awards in 2025.
Up to 4 years.
Applications may only be submitted by colleges and universities, as defined in 7 U.S.C. 3103, 1994 Institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities
For more information, visit Grants.gov.