The OFRF grants program is open to all applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. OFRF does not fund projects outside of these countries.
OFRF invites proposals from all applicants. OFRF particularly encourages farmers, ranchers, researchers, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding.
The deadline for the next granting cycle is Wednesday, May 15, 2013. OFRF will make funding decisions in November 2013 and applicants will be notified of these by November 30, 2013.
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers funding for organic seed quality or crop breeding projects only. This funding is available for organic crop breeding and seed quality education and outreach projects thanks to a partnership with Seed Matters.
OFRF education and outreach grants are intended to fund development of educational activities and resources on certified organic production. OFRF does not provide funding to start or expand a commercial enterprise. Beginning farmers will find a number of resources here.
Project proposals are reviewed and awarded by the OFRF Board of Directors, the majority of whom are certified organic producers.
Fundable topics in the category of organic seed quality and crop breeding include, but are not limited to, developing educational materials and activities on:
Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems.
The following types of projects will not be funded by OFRF:
OFRF requests proposals which have objectives that are realistically achievable with a modest level of funding. OFRF will not fund a project for more than $15,000 per year. Matching funds from other sources and in-kind contributions from applicants and cooperators are encouraged but not required.
OFRF is not likely to fund an education/outreach project with a duration of more than one year.
In order to fairly evaluate an increasing volume of grant proposals, OFRF must enforce the following policies:
OFRF accepts electronic proposal submissions. To apply, send proposal in .doc, .wpd, .pdf, or .txt formats as one attachment to an email. OFRF will not accept proposals submitted in the body of an email. All elements of a proposal must be included in a single document.
The primary audience for your proposal is a hardworking group of volunteer board members who bring a wide range of expertise to the evaluation process. They review numerous proposals per cycle and appreciate proposals that are brief and to the point.
All proposals must be a maximum of 9 pages in length. Bibliographic references, primary investigators’ curricula vitae (CVs), and letters of support may be included as brief appendices to the proposal. CVs are limited to no longer than two pages each.
The page limit is rigorously enforced to ensure fairness. Proposals that surpass the page limit or otherwise do not meet these requirements will not be considered for funding.
Number the pages of your proposal. Limit the body of the proposal to no more than 9 pages. OFRF requires that 12-point font be used for all text in the proposal.
Begin your proposal with a ½-page abstract of the project and then address in order each of the 11 points outlined below under Proposal Content Requirements.
The successful application will provide a clear rationale for the project and demonstrate that there is a significant need for the proposed education/outreach project. It is important that the objectives for your project be clear, well-structured, and succinct. Demonstrate why your project is necessary, present measurable outcomes, and explain what, specifically, you hope to accomplish.
Appendices (in addition to the 9-page maximum) may be used only for literature citations, a one- to two-page curricula vitae for major participants, and letters of support for the project.
General Budget Information
OFRF funds can only be used for expenses directly relating to your education/outreach project. General overhead and operational costs may not be included in your budget proposal.
Ordinarily, OFRF will not provide funding for:
• Faculty salaries;
• Labor or expenses not directly related to the proposed education/outreach activities;
• Permanent equipment;
• International travel;
• Travel to professional meetings or publication in scientific journals.
Provide a ½-page abstract of your project and its objectives, then address each of these points in order:
1. List the name, phone number, mailing address, and email address for everyone involved in the project, including farmer/rancher collaborators. Identify the primary investigator for the project and the project title. State total amount of funding requested from OFRF. (Provide full budget with details later in proposal. See question 11.)
2. What are the specific objectives of this project? For each objective, present a measurable outcome that will indicate successful achievement of the objective. Describe how the project will foster the improvement and/or widespread adoption of organic farming practices.
3. Describe what kind of educational project you are requesting funds to develop. Is it a manual, training program, etc.? What high priority organic farming issues does it address? What steps have you taken to determine that the project you're planning has not already been done? OFRF requires that you conduct a review of the literature and existing educational resources on the subject matter and demonstrate how your project builds on existing work. (For guidance, see “Suggested Resources” below.)
4. Provide detail on the content you will present to your audience. Characterize your target audience. Estimate the size of your audience. Please describe how your project meets the educational needs of your audience.
5. Describe the organic farming issues being addressed by this project. What organic farmers and/or ranchers have you consulted on the topic? Detail how organic farmers and/or ranchers have been involved in determining the objectives of the project and its planning.
6. How will you gather the information for this project? How will you involve farmer/rancher collaborators in developing the content? Please present a plan for peer review to assure the quality of your project.
7. How will you create the project? Please describe the specific steps you will take to organize production of the document, meeting, or other project.
8. How will you ensure that the project reaches organic farmers/ranchers or other end users? Please present a distribution plan targeting the end users or audience including articles, publications, videos, images and reader friendly synopsis of the project’s positive impact. Projects developed with OFRF funds must be available for free or for a minimal cost to cover production expenses. If a fee is charged for the final product, OFRF reserves the right to request that a certain number of free copies be provided to key information centers in order to make it broadly accessible to organic producers.
9. Provide a timeline or calendar of important milestones for completing the project. If the project will take more than one year to complete, please provide a year-by-year breakdown of the project timeline. State what the date of completion will be.
10. What are your qualifications to do this work? What previous experience do you have in preparing the type of project you are proposing to do? Include the qualifications of the researchers or producers with whom you are collaborating. Please include a 1- or 2-page CV or resume for major participants only.
11. What is your project budget? Document other sources of support for the project, all matching and in-kind resources, and list other funding sought. Your budget should detail labor, materials, and outreach costs, with justification for each. Include fair compensation for farmer collaborators.
Make sure to supply the name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number for the principal investigator for the project.
1. OFRF reserves the right to not accept a proposal into competition if, in staff’s judgment, proposal is not competitive because of certification status or inadequate methodology; or if proposal does not address organic farming issues or does not follow these proposal requirements.
2. 12-point font must be used for all text in the proposal.
3. Number the pages of your proposal and limit it to 9 pages.
4. Email your proposal as an attachment in either .doc, .wpd, .pdf, or .txt format to email@example.com. All elements of a proposal must be included in a single document. Please call or email if you need to make arrangements to submit via other types of electronic or mail delivery.
Proposals must be received in the OFRF office by midnight on the deadline. The upcoming deadline is Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
Proposals submitted electronically or otherwise delivered after 12:01 AM Pacific Time Thursday, May 16, 2013 will not be considered for funding unless previously arranged with the Grants Program Administrator.
Proposals will be reviewed by the members of the Board of Directors of the foundation. OFRF reserves the right to seek outside technical consultation as necessary.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate education and outreach proposals:
1. Presents clear learning or outreach objectives demonstrating that the project will foster the improvement and/or widespread adoption of organic farming practices. Specifies measurable outcomes that will indicate successful achievement of the objectives. Demonstrates how accomplishment of the objectives will be measured and evaluated. (15 points)
2. Proposes to create an education or outreach product or event that addresses a high priority organic farming issue, including production, social, or economic problems. Documents its uniqueness by presenting a review of similar resources and demonstrating how it builds on the existing body of work. (10 points)
3. Targets a high priority audience, defined as organic producers and/or those considering making the transition to organic certification; researchers; policymakers; and/or agricultural information providers. (10 points)
4. Clearly details educational content that will be presented and demonstrates how this will meet the target audience’s educational needs. (10 points)
5. Demonstrates meaningful producer involvement in identifying the problem addressed by the project and in carrying out the project. A peer review plan for quality control of the final project must also be included. (15 points)
6. Presents a well-organized plan for carrying out each element of the project. (10 points)
7. Presents a viable distribution plan for the educational product or proceedings of the event, making it/them available to organic farmers/ranchers or other clearly identified end users. (10 points)
8. Proposal is well-written and clear; follows the requirements in the Request for Proposals including page limits and font size; and presents a realistic time table for each of the project's activities. (10 points)
9. Describes the qualifications and skills of the applicants and all cooperators demonstrating that they are qualified to ensure the success of the project. (5 points)
10. Presents a well-justified and detailed budget appropriate to carrying out the project's objectives, showing any matching funds applied for or already secured. Provides fair compensation for producer participation. (5 points)
OFRF requires that successful applicants sign a grant contract before initial payment of the grant award. OFRF will retain 10% of the total grant award until completion of the project, timely submission of a final report by the grantee, and a satisfactory evaluation of the project by OFRF staff. Evaluation involves analyzing whether or not the original project objectives were met, not the success or failure of a project.
OFRF's previously-funded projects. This will give the applicant a sense of the type of projects the Board has an interest in funding and help avoid duplicating previously funded work.
If you have additional questions, you may write to, call, or email OFRF Research Grants Administrator, at phone 831-426-6606 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.