USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released details of 26 grants that will help organic farmers and ranchers improve business operations and bring more organic food to the table. The grants are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG).
“America’s organic industry continues to grow and is an increasingly viable option for farmers and ranchers,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “USDA supports research, education and Extension to give organic producers science-based best-practices, helping them grow their business by contributing to a healthy America.”
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s recently released 2015 Certified Organic Survey showed that the number of certified farms, acres and sales were all up and the 12,818 certified organic farms in the U.S. sold $6.2 billion in organic products, up 13% over 2014. Certified organic products in the U.S. include a wide range of goods from dairy and meat to fruits, vegetables, and grains.
OREI investments totaling $17,640,143 in 18 projects will help existing organic producers grow and market high-quality products. These projects give farmers, ranchers, and processers more insight into the science and economics of successful organic production.
The 2016 OREI recipients include:
- Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, $2,000,000
- Regents of the University of California, Davis, CA, $1,999,848
- University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, $49,983
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, IL, $1,999,979
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, $999,917
- Regents of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, $1,400,940
- Regents of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, $1,523,708
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Southeastern Area, Stoneville, MS, $1,991,149
- Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, $1,000,000
- Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, $249,810
- Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, $44,531
- Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, $1,192,110
- Clemson University, Clemson, SC, $999,770
- Organic Center for Education and Promotion, Brattleboro, VT, $50,000
- Washington State University, Pullman, WA, $1,999,950
- Washington State University, Pullman, WA, $49,915
- The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, Madison, WI, $49,969
- The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, Madison, WI, $38,564
Project details can be found at the NIFA website.
The other $3,777,222 was awarded to eight projects through NIFA’s ORG Program that invests in research, education, and Extension efforts to help existing and transitioning organic livestock and crop producers improve their competitiveness as well as adopt organic practices. Priority areas for 2016 include research on organic practices such as crop rotation, improved technologies, and understanding barriers to organic transition.
2016 ORG recipients include:
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, $499,990
- Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, $369,853
- Board of Regents, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, $499,718
- University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, $499,559
- The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $499,415
- Pennsylvania State University – University Park, City, PA, $463,947
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, TX, $475,000
- University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, $469,740
More information on ORG grants is available on the NIFA website.