Administered by USDA’s NIFA, the ORG competitive grant program supports colleges and universities seeking to advance the organic sector. Funding for organic agriculture is extremely limited, despite the rising demand for organic products from consumers and increase in transitioning to organic agriculture from farmers. The ORG grant program seeks to fill this funding gap by supporting projects focused on research, education and extension for organic transition, with the ultimate goal of making organics more competitive in the food industry. For the FY 2017 round of applications, NIFA will make about $3.8 million available. In the RFA for ORG, NIFA describes key priority areas for FY 2017 projects, including: (1) research on the effects of organic practices on an agricultural system (i.e., cover crops, organic manure, and conservation tillage); (2) technological and methodological improvements for climate change mitigation on organic farming systems; and (3) increased understanding of the barriers to organic transition. Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on March 9, 2017.
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