OFRF Research Grants

Organic Farming Research Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 16, 2020 11:59pm 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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About this funder:



Overview of the Research Grants Program

OFRF offers funding for research on organic farming, ranching, and food systems. Funding also supports the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and ranchers 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. The only exceptions are if the application addresses Priority Area 6 or 6a. Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming or ranching systems, as well as ways in which organic farmers or ranchers can utilize the proposed results in their operations. OFRF encourages proposals that address the resiliency of organic systems to challenges like climate change and/or have economic and social considerations to complement on-farm research. Research projects must include strong educational and outreach components and contain measurable outcomes. Projects should include expected impacts due to the results or outcomes of the projects.


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. In addition to the general priority areas, the 2019 grant cycle includes Special Topics. These areas may be research-based or integrated (research, education, and/or extension). Proposal submissions must meet one or more of the seven priority areas listed below. We encourage applicants to refer to the 2016 National Organic Research Agenda for more details on the research priorities listed below.

1. Soil Health. Topics of primary interest include carbon sequestration, reduced tillage systems, and fertility management focused on reducing environmental impacts and improving soil health.  

Special Topics: 

  • 1 a. Impact of soil management practices and soil health on crop nutritional quality and human health. 
  • 1 b. Links between soil health and the health of plants, livestock, and/or humans.

2. Innovative Weed Control. Topics of primary interest include weed control strategies that integrate soil improvement practices.

3. Organic Insect Pest Management. Topics of primary interest include management of emerging insect pest issues.

4. Livestock Health. Topics of particular interest include livestock production and best practices for grass-based livestock production.

5. Climate Change. Addressing impacts on and adaptations to climate change.

  • 5 a. Tools that can be implemented by agricultural producers to measure the impacts of organic farming practices on net greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 5 b. Best practices to help organic farmers and ranchers mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  • 5 c. Economic incentives for organic production systems to address the impacts of climate change (e.g., ecosystem markets, price premiums for mitigation practices, etc.).

6. Social science research on the marketing, policy, and economic barriers to successful organic production, including barriers to transition from conventional to organic.

Special Topic:

  • 6 a. Best practices to support the transition from conventional to organic farming systems.

7. Research on critical emerging issues related to environmental, economic, or social challenges for organic growers.


OFRF requests LOI 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; however, OFRF cannot guarantee funding for any project beyond a single year.

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