Program Description

The “Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program” supports innovative research that will have the biggest impact on bringing organic into the future. For 2022, the research should focus on transforming how organic systems can contribute to climate change mitigation and resilience.

The food system is in a dangerous predicament—it's a significant contributor to one of its own biggest threats—climate change. Fortunately, just as poor land-management practices are contributors to climate change, use of good on-farm practices can actually lead to climate change mitigation. Organic farming is poised to be part of the climate change solution, because organic farmers do not rely on fossil-fuel intensive synthetic inputs to manage pests or increase soil fertility, and they also use farming techniques that sequester carbon in the soil.

However, more work needs to be done to understand specific strategies that can be undertaken by organic growers to mitigate climate change. Further, organic farmers are already facing negative impacts from climate change, such as drought, flooding, invasive pests, and extreme weather events. In addition to mitigation-focused projects, research is needed to better understand techniques organic growers can take to adapt to current and future climate changes.

This program will place priority on projects that demonstrate an ability to use systems-based, cutting-edge techniques to change the trajectory of organic for the future. 

View the Full RFA to Apply 

Important Dates 

Pre-Application Open: December 13, 2021

Pre-Applications Due: January 28, 2022 5:00pm ET

NOTE: An approved pre-application with an invitation to submit a full application is required for submission.

Full Application Invitation: February 28, 2022

Full Applications Due: April 4, 2022 5:00pm ET

Award Notification: Summer 2022

Award Amount 

This program will award grants of up to $200,000 per project. All projects must have planned durations ranging between one and three years. Matching funds are not required for this project.

Matching Requirements 

Matching funds are not required for this project.

Program Priorities

The Organic Center and FFAR seek projects that foster innovation with the potential for transformative impact on mitigating and adapting to climate change using organic techniques. Applications that address the following will receive preference:


  1. Contributes to the goal of increased mitigation and/or resiliency to climate change in organic systems.


  1. Relies on innovative, systems-based approaches with cross-discipline collaboration.


  1. Engages organic farmers in the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of the project.


  1. Integrates diversity, equity, and inclusion into the project design, development, and communication.


  1. Serves the public good by making data open and accessible to the public, and includes at least one open-access publication submission.

The Organic Center and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research welcomes applications from all domestic non-profits, higher education institutions, US government-affiliated research agencies, tribal government entities, or any combination of the above.

Future Priorities  

The "Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program" will center on the following focus areas over the next three years. Read about how these priorities were developed here.

2022: Organic techniques for improving resiliency to climate change and better mitigating climate change.

2023: Systems based investigation on connections between soil health, microbial communities, and/or plant productivity.

2024: Accounting for true costs and externalities of farming, incorporating a monetary value for human health and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, improved water quality and beneficial biodiversity


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