Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, Apply

Federal Organic Research Funds Available Proposals Due February 10, 2011

This week, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released the Request for Applications for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). OREI is the largest single source of organic research and education funding in the U.S. In 2010, NIFA awarded more than $18 million through OREI to fund 26 projects. Information on previously funded projects can be found at OREI abstracts. NIFA anticipates that approximately $19 million will be available to fund OREI projects in fiscal year 2011. OREI funds four distinct project types: integrated research and extension projects, conference proposals, research and extension planning proposals, and eXtension proposals.

Successful applications demonstrate producer involvement in developing project goals, implementing and evaluating the project, and helping disseminate findings. Convening local or regional advisory panels is also expected. Any fieldwork is required to be conducted on certified organic or transitional land. In addition to its eight legislatively specified goals, OREI has identified seven priority areas for 2011 proposals that include economics, biological, physical, and social sciences. Projects that help farmers and ranchers to develop their Organic System Plans for organic certification and research on pest management in southern states are also specific interests expressed by program administrators. The deadline for proposals is February 10, 2011. See the full Request for Applications for more details on each proposal type, priority areas, and the requirements for applying. It is online at OREI RFA. Keep in mind that only electronic applications may be submitted via the website Grants.gov. Program administrators encourage applicants to register with the Grants.gov system well before the applications are due and to submit proposals before the deadline to allow time for correction of technical errors identified by Grants.gov

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