OFRF Research Grants

Organic Farming Research Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 16, 2019 12:59am PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Graduate Student Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Canada, Mexico, United States

Location of residency: Canada, Mexico, United States

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Overview of the Research Grants Program

OFRF offers funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working organic farms or ranches.

Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems, as well as ways in which organic farmers or ranchers can utilize proposed results in their operations. OFRF encourages grants that address the resiliency of organic systems to challenges like climate change and/or have economic and social considerations to compliment on-farm research.

Research projects must include strong education and outreach components and contain measurable outcomes, yet projects that are purely outreach will not be considered. Projects should include expected impacts due to the results or outcomes of the projects.

Project proposals are reviewed and awarded by the OFRF Board of Directors, most of whom are certified organic producers.

OFRF research grants are intended to fund agricultural research in certified organic settings. OFRF does not provide funding to start or expand a commercial enterprise.


This request for proposals is open to any agricultural production, social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers and/or ranchers. OFRF supports research that is relevant to and takes place in certified organic systems. 

Priority Areas

Based on the OFRF report, 2016 National Organic Research Agenda, this year’s priority areas for research projects are listed below. We encourage applicants to refer to the 2016 National Organic Research Agenda for more information on research priority areas that have been identified.

  1. Soil health. Topics of particular interest include nutrient balancing , crop rotations, and fertility management focused on reducing environmental impacts.
  2. Innovative weed control. Topics of particular interest include weed control related to climate change and changing weather patterns.
  3. Management of emerging insect and disease issues.
  4. Livestock health. Topics of particular interest include livestock and crop integration and best practices for grass based livestock production.


OFRF requests proposals with objectives that are realistically achievable with a modest level of funding. OFRF will fund projects for up to $20,000 for one year.

OFRF acknowledges the importance of conducting long-term research to verify experimental results. OFRF cannot guarantee funding for any project beyond a single year. Submission of a new proposal is required for OFRF to consider continued funding in subsequent.

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


  • The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) grants program is open to all applicants residing in Canada, Mexico and the United States. 
  • Organic Certification of Research Sites: OFRF requires that research be conducted on land certified to the National Organic Program standards.
    • Applicants are required to provide information on organic certification status, identify the certifier, and state length of time under organic certification for all study sites.
    • If the only available research ground is in transitional status, provide the expected date of certification and the prospective certifier.
  • OFRF generally will provide funding for:
    • Labor and other expenses for recording, analyzing, documenting, and disseminating results
    • Rental of equipment necessary to the project
    • Stipends for farmer/rancher cooperators
    • Mileage for field travel (reimbursed at a rate no greater than the U.S. General Services Administration's rate on the date of application, currently $0.56 per mile).


  • OFRF particularly encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students and early career researchers, veterans and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding.
  • Farmers and ranchers often find that working with a professional researcher helps to design and carry out a research project, and OFRF encourages applications from such partnerships.


  • OFRF does not fund projects outside of the US, Canada or Mexico.
  • OFRF does not normally fund studies that compare conventional with organic systems as a primary objective.
  • Ordinarily, OFRF will not provide funding for:
    • Faculty salaries
    • Student tuition
    • Farm labor not related to research activities
    • Other farm expenses not related to the proposed research activities
    • Permanent equipment
    • International travel
    • Travel to professional meetings or publication in scientific journals