FFAR and OFRF renew partnership to improve soil health research


U.S.-based Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) announce the continuation of their partnership to fund on-farm research advancing the climate benefits of organic agriculture systems.

Priorities will focus specifically on the potential of organic agriculture to sequester carbon, mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce the environmental impacts of fertilizers and pesticides, and build resilience to a changing climate. Following an initial collaboration in 2019, this partnership has been renewed with a US$66,000 grant from FFAR to support OFRF’s 2021-22 organic research grant cycle. OFRF is providing matching funds to ensure a total investment of at least $120,000 this grant cycle.

The partnership between OFRF and FFAR has been instrumental in providing research that enables organic producers, and others wishing to farm more sustainably, to implement practices that optimize management of nutrient, weed, pest and disease while improving soil health. Five of the 13 research grants OFRF funded in the 2019-20 grant cycle focused on soil health and were a direct result of the previous FFAR grant.
“Organic systems that emphasize soil health help farmers and ranchers increase resilience to the impacts of climate change,” said Brise Tencer, OFRF’s executive director. “There is also extensive research demonstrating the potential of organic systems to reduce agriculture’s contribution to climate change. FFAR’s ongoing investment in farmer/researcher collaborations will support science-based solutions addressing the most pressing challenges facing organic farmers and ranchers today.”
FFAR’s executive director Dr. Sally Rockey said they are “thrilled to continue our partnership with OFRF to fund research that can improve soil health, mitigate the effects of climate change, and support thriving farms. Soil is the foundation for a productive agricultural system. Investing in cutting-edge research and technologies today with partners such as OFRF will ensure the soil health is optimal for generating nutritious food for the future.”
OFRF’s grants program is open to all applicants in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design, and implementation must take place on certified organic land. All research projects require strong education and outreach components and must lead to measurable outcomes. OFRF will request letters of intent (LOIs) for its 2021 grant cycle this summer. 
To date, OFRF has invested over $3 million in 355 grants across North America. 
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