Farmers Advocating for Organics Grant

Farmers Advocating for Organic

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Sep 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Sep 15, 2020 (Full proposal), Feb 1, 2021 (Letter of inquiry), Feb 15, 2021 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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Got Organic?

Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO) began with the 2002 Farm Bill, which included an exemption for organic farmers from contributing to national promotion programs like “Got Milk?” In response, Organic Valley devised a way for farmers to pool their exemptions into an organic-focused granting fund as a way to promote and advance organic farming.

Our name says it all: Farmers Advocating for Organic. FAFO is a grant program funded entirely by annual, voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers. It's the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic. 

The fund provides a way for Organic Valley farmers to address the long-term needs of the organic marketplace and the future of organic agriculture by supporting the development of long-term solutions. Through combining resources, Organic Valley farmers are able to invest in projects that affect the livelihoods of organic farmers across the country. 

Simply said, FAFO is organic farmers helping organic farmers.

FAFO funds projects that make a difference

Grants are awarded to research, education and advocacy projects that advance FAFO’s mission: to protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers.

Within this context, FAFO is currently prioritizing projects that focus on: 

Understanding Organic 

Projects that result in broader consumer and public understanding of the benefits of organic food and farming

Cultivating CROPP Cooperative Community (internal)

Projects that strengthen CROPP Cooperative by building community amongst and between farmers and employees.


In addition to the criteria outlined above, the FAFO Committee is currently prioritizing projects that demonstrate:

  • Solutions - We’re most interested in projects that implement solutions (or at the very least identify them). 
  • Collaboration - Have you explored what other organizations or individuals are working on the same goals?
    • Have you sought to collaborate with them or build on what they have accomplished?
    • The more collaboration we see, the more convinced we will be that awarding a grant to your project will have the greatest impact possible. 
  • Uniqueness - Many organizations have already developed successful programs, created useful resources, or conducted insightful research focused on organic.
    • There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – show us what’s unique about your project or how it’s building on what’s already been done. 
  • Additional sources of funding - We want to see broad support for your project;
    • it shouldn’t rely entirely on FAFO funds. We’re especially interested in matching grant opportunities. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants:
    • Non-profit organization and academic/research institution are eligible to submit a letter of interest.
    • The organization receiving the grant needs to be based in the US. 
  • Eligible projects:
    • Research, education or advocacy project
    • Focused on organic food and farming
    • Aligned with FAFO’s strategic priorities
    • Projects just impact the organic industry or livelihood of organic farmers in the US.
  • Grants exceeding $50,000 and multi-year grants are considered under extraordinary circumstances by invitation only.


  • The FAFO Committee is not currently funding:
    • Local/regional beginner farmer training programs that do not have a broad national impact ;
    • Videos that are not entirely educational / fact-based (i.e. videos that include emotional appeals) and cannot be viewed in their entirety by the FAFO Committee in advance of being released.