How To Apply Grant For Organic Farming – how to apply for government farm grants, There are a lot of organic farmers who have amazing stories to tell you. Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has interviewed farmers to know more about their stories and to know about their view of life related to the farm. We have also gathered some of the collection stories from some of the best farmers out there. After reading the stories you will start to admire them more. The farmers can apply for grants to support their organization farming financially. OFRF has been one of the forefront of the organization for more than three decades and has also awarded $3 million towards research grants all over the United States. However, the result of OFRF’s research and education has also helped many farmers to receive better training and research information. The best thing about it is that the results are freely shared. If you are looking for information about Organic Farming then you are at the right place.
Highlights of this Post
Grants for New Organic Farming
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) also offers various scholarship programs, however the application is only open to those people who are residing in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
There are mainly two steps that are followed for application funding. First of all the applications need to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Another best thing about the OFRF is that they do not charge any association or membership fees. The funds are generally raised from grants that are for organization farming and they also make sure that those money directly go to farm research and other educational programs.
There are also advocacy related to researchers and organic farmers. You can also find various ways to help. The LOI applications need to submit their detailed application. OFRF also funds projects and offers grants that are up to $20,000. But it is identified that most of the projects take more than a year to complete. However, multi-year projects are only funded for the first year.
Apart from that OFRF also encourages advisory staff, young researchers, veterans, PhD students, ranchers and farmers to apply for the funding. The farmers and ranchers know that working with a professional researcher will help in learning a lot of things related to the project. Therefore OFRF encourages such partnerships between farmers and professional researchers.
OFRF also offers grants related to organizations for research based on ecological production systems. The research results will also help out the organic farmers and the research communities. However, the proposal needs to be led by the farmers or it should meaningfully involve the ranchers or farmers in project implementation and designing. It is also important for the project to take place on a certified land that is suitable for organic farming.
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Healthy Soil Increase Resilience
As you already know, organic production requires healthy soil. The healthy soil must be of good structure that easily allows moisture to absorb and hold. Apart from that a good soil will also help in maintaining adequate ventilation, drain well and promote a healthy plant root system. These particular soils hold harvest for periods of drought and therefore they require less irrigation water and are not much subject to congestion, erosion and runoff because of heavy rainfall.
It is also identified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that there are mainly 4 guiding principles that support healthy soils including maximizing biodiversity, minimizing disturbance, preserving living roots and keeping the soil covered. These 4 principles are basic requirements to build a resilient farm system.
However, the USDA National Organic Standards need certified producers that can be used in crop rotation, nutrient management, tillage, catch cropping and many other practices. These are mainly done to enhance and maintain the biological, chemical and physical condition of the soil.
Organic for the Climate
I hope you already know about the risk associated with climate change, especially when you are a farmer or rancher. Climate change directly threatens water, soil and other resources that are hugely responsible for production of the food. There are also other factors that can threaten food products are droughts, heat waves and storms as it makes it difficult for the crops to grow.
There is also some good news that the organic system is helping the farmers and ranchers to enhance and increase resilience that are affected by climate change. The organic system that has emphasized soil health has also helped the farmers and ranchers.
Apart from that there is also extensive research that has helped in identifying the potential of the ecological system to reduce the contribution towards agriculture because of climate changes. Organic farming also has its own benefits as it releases low amounts of greenhouse gasses. Organic systems also help by capturing and storing more amount of carbon (CO2) in the soil that is known as carbon sequestration.
Healthy Soil Release Less Greenhouse Gases
It is seen that organic farmers do not use any type of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides as they are one of the main emitters of greenhouse gasses. Healthy soils are very important in providing the plants with adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients that are needed for the growth of plants. Therefore it eliminates the need of those fertilizers that degrade the quality of water and also release greenhouse gasses from the soil.
Health Soil Stores More Carbon
Only living plants and soil have the ability to remove excess carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere. Therefore it is considered one of the most inexpensive and practical ways. However, the organic systems do require some types of physical disruption to control the weeds; it is also needed to eliminate synthetic inputs that can help in reducing tillage.
It is also identified that reducing tillage, catch crop cultivation, solid nutrient management, crop diversification and other organic changes can help in improving carbon sequestration. It will also help in strengthening climate resilience in ecological farming systems.
Types of Grant for Organic Farming
First thing you need to know when starting a farm is that it not only involves farming and building barns but there are also other activities. However, Apart from the traditional aspect of farming it also involves financial concerns that are much needed for business operations.
The U.S Department of Agriculture mainly offers grants for organic farming and also offers different types of financial assistance to those farmers that are involved in organic farming. Most of the agriculture funding programs mainly focus on organic farming and therefore there are many grants for organic farming.
Application Procedure To Apply For Organic Farming Grant
The applicants need to explain about the proposed research project that can help in promoting improvement or introduction towards organic farming systems. It is also important to know how the organic farmers or ranchers are going to use the results of the project on their respective farms. OFRF funds grants are mainly addressed for the resilience of ecological systems that will help in challenging climate or economic changes and social considerations that are related to agricultural research.
However, it is also important for research projects to have strong education public relation components with defining results. It is also important for the projects to have expected impacts on the basis of the results and outcomes. OFRF board of directors are in authority to carry out the project applications and also for allocation of the funds. OFRF are predominantly certified organic producers and remember that they do not fund the expansion or establishment of any commercial enterprise or general operations.
Organic Cost Share Program
When you want to be officially certified as an organic farmer before founding your company, you have the opportunity to reimburse the cost using the USDA’s Organic Cost Share Program. It is said and stated on their website by the Agricultural Marketing Service that the cost of organic certification can be prohibitive for some people. Reimbursing certification related expenses will help the cost of regulation and also make certification more affordable as recognized by the USDA.
The farmers that are undergoing certification must be eligible for the program and need to submit reimbursement applications to the government agency or state agriculture ministries. First of all the government processes the application and then it is reimbursed by the USDA that is 75 percent of the certification cost and it can go up to $750.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
There are conventional farmers who want to switch towards organic farming can also receive grants from the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. If you are a farmer and have your own organic certification you are also eligible for receiving farm equipment grants. The grants can be used for cultivation of organic arable land and can also be used for conservation measures that include nutrient management and crop rotation.
It is also identified that the farm producers can receive an amount of $20,000 each year and it can go up to $80,000 in the span of six years. The farmers that are interested in applying for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program need to contact their local USDA service center. You can also check the USDA website to know about the application deadlines and other general information. But remember the organic farmers need to meet the certification standards as stated by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to qualify for the program.
Integrated Organic Program
As you know the USDA is continuously trying to help out the organic farms by sharing the right information. It is mainly the intent of the Integrated Organic Program. There are mainly two types of framing grants.
One first program is for new and developing research and university programs to help out the organic farmers who are switching to organic farming from conventional farming. Whereas the second program is offered to the organic farmers who are established and are planning to enhance and improve their farms. The female farm grant is also available to land grant institutions, nonprofits, businesses, colleges and universities and other government agencies.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
The new organic farmers can easily benefit from the grant that is designed for organic farming. But they are not specifically intended for organic farmers but can also be used by any kind of farmer. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is such a program by the USDA. According to the USDA it is identified the average age of the farmers is 57 years.
The grant generally helps the less experienced farmers who are earning their living. The grant is offered to those farmers who have farmed or raised livestock for less than 10 years. These grants generally go to the local and tribal government, universities, state government and community organizations. They use the grant money to farmers and also other agricultural producers.
You can also check out this article on Mental Health Grants for Individuals
I hope the article has provided all the information on How To Apply Grant For Organic Farming. There are many farmers who are looking for Organic Farming grants to improve their farm. Apart from that the U.S Department of Agriculture also provides grants for organic farming along with financial assistance. A lot of farmers are shifting from conventional farming to organic farming. There are also grants for beginner farmers who have just started organic farming. If you know any farmers or ranchers looking for information regarding organic farming please share this article with them. Thanks for reading this article till the end; I hope you have a great day ahead!
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
We are going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions on Organic Farming. Go through the question and answer to gain additional knowledge on the topic.
Are there any grants for Organic Farming?
Yes there are grants for Organic Farming; The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers grants that are up to $20,000 on projects. But it is seen that most of the projects take a longer duration for completion.
I just started organic farming, Can I get some help?
If you are new to organic farming you can try out the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. However, the program is available only for those people who have farmed or raised livestock for less than 10 years.
Am I eligible for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program?
To be eligible for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program you need to own an organic certification. If you own an organic certification you can receive farm equipment grants and also other types of grants to improve your farm.