OFRF Receives NIFA Grant for Soil Health Education & Outreach


OFRF is pleased to join the esteemed group of grant recipients announced by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on October 11th. The grants are provided for research that helps farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic products, and are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG).

OFRF was awarded $41,759 to present a Special Session Symposium on Organic Agriculture Soil Health Research and multiple related sessions at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America (otherwise known as Tri-Societies). More than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators, and students are scheduled to attend the meeting, which takes place October 22-25, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.

The sessions will focus on nine main issues, ranging from the effects of cover crops and compost to the influence of soil management practices on economic returns. The information is applicable to both organic and conventional production systems to improve sustainability and profit.

In addition, the grant is providing funding for a live online broadcast of the Special Session and scholarships to help students, farmers, and researchers attend the conference.

Grants for OREI and ORG are made through a competitive peer review process involving an external panel of experts. To date, NIFA has awarded more than $183M through the OREI and ORG programs. OFRF released an analysis of organic research funded by these programs from 2002-2014 and provided recommendations for future research investments by USDA. “Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments, 2002 - 2014”. Most of the OREI and ORG projects reflect the same organic research priorities OFRF identified in its 2007 National Organic Research Agenda, as well as the 2016 update.

“We are grateful to NIFA for helping us share our extensive organic research and best practices for building soil health with such a large audience,” said Brise Tencer, Executive Director at OFRF. “Congratulations to all of this year’s grant recipients for working to advance the growth of organic agriculture through scientific research.

View the complete list of 2017 grantees here.