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Sustainable Agriculture Research Funding Sources

An ear of corn with husk made of money.
Compiled by:
AFSIC Staff
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

May 2011
links revised March 2013

This resource is part of our Sustainable Agriculture: Information Access Tools tutorial which identifies outstanding sources that address sustainable agriculture, research and information sources, contacts and experts, research funding sources, educational and career opportunities, and upcoming events.

This fact sheet lists U.S. government and non-government entities that provide funding for research activities related to sustainable agriculture including organic farming and food, integrated pest management, water quality issues related to agriculture, rural community and small farm topics, alternative and value-added marketing practices, and more. Emphasis is on research funds, not farming, housing, regulatory or compliance funding. For these, see Where Can I Find Agricultural Funding Sources, http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/funding.shtml

Availability of research funds varies according to applicant category: some funds are available to individuals, some to organizations and some to agencies. There may be additional stipulations. Contacting each program office separately for complete information is highly recommended.

Information services that can assist with the grant-making process – pointers to texts on grant application strategies, complimentary literature searches and referrals to online sources and expertise – are available from the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) at the National Agricultural Library. See Applying for a SARE Grant? http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/saregrant.shtml

This listing is not meant to be comprehensive. Although we have checked contact and applicability information, AFSIC does not guarantee the accuracy of the information nor does it endorse any program. We will appreciate any comments, suggestions and/or corrections.

I. General Information and Directories

Grants.gov
Created through a partnership of Federal Agencies, this site directs grant seekers to over 900 programs offered across 26 Federal grant-making Agencies. Using the “Find Opportunities” function, one can search for grant opportunities throughout the Federal government and/or register to receive all e-mail notifications of new grant postings.
http://www.grants.gov

Community of Science Funding Opportunities Database
Subscription required for access.
http://pivot.cos.com/

The Foundation Center
“The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants – a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector.” In addition to the Web site, there are five regional library/learning centers and a national network of more than 300 Cooperating Collections. Information and directories for individual and non-profit grantseekers.
http://foundationcenter.org/

North American Forum on Agricultural Research (NOFAR)
“The objective of this site is to provide links to North American institutions and organizations active in or with interest or association with agricultural research for development. It is hoped that the site will facilitate contact between individuals within North America and contact between individuals in the North and South.” Links to farmers organizations, non-profits, government agencies, funding agencies, private industry, universities and colleges.
http://ppathw3.cals.cornell.edu/iipmweb/nafar/nafarlinks.htm

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II. Selected Directories and Information Specific to Federal Agriculture Programs

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities: Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation and Community Development, by Margaret Krome, Teresa Maurer and Katie Wied, 2009
“This extensive directory of federal programs that offer assistance in sustainable agriculture, forestry, conservation and community development was compiled in 2009 by U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies working together for sustainable rural development, in collaboration with The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and the National Center for Appropriate Technology. This guide is written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States.”
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/betterrural.html

Federal Funding Sources for Rural Areas Database, Rural Information Center, National Agricultural Library, 2007
“Search the database for information on rural federal programs. Full program description and contact information for each program. This database is in cooperation with the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.”
http://ric.nal.usda.gov/Rural-Federal-Funding-Database

Funding Opportunities, ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
Updated weekly.
http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/funding.php

Funding Opportunities: Funding Sources for Projects in Sustainable Agriculture, Food Systems, and Organic Farming, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), University of California.
http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/grants/funding

Grants for IPM, Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program (PA IPM).
http://extension.psu.edu/ipm/grants

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III. Federal Funding Programs by Agency

A. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Current Research Information System (CRIS)
The Current Research Information System is USDA's documentation and reporting system for ongoing and recently completed research projects in agriculture, food and nutrition and forestry. Explore currently funded research topics and programs by funding agency, topic area, region, etc.
http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

About Us
“Through grants offered by NIFA, the USDA enables researchers throughout the United States to solve problems critical to our farmers, consumers, and communities. NIFA is the USDA's major extramural research agency, funding individuals: institutions: and public, private, and non-profit organizations.” Information about Research Emphasis Areas; Types of Research; Who Does the Research and Research Program Development and Management.
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/qlinks/research.html

Funding Opportunities
Site includes links to information about the National Research Initiative (NRI); Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program (ICGP), Special Research Grants Program (SRGP) and Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). Specific areas include: Biobased Products and Bioenergy, NRI; Community Food Projects; Global Change Initiatives, NRI; Global Change: Carbon Cycle, NRI; Integrated Organic Program, ICGP; Integrated Pest Management Centers; Managed Ecosystems, NRI; Methyl Bromide, ICGP; Outreach, Assistance: Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Ranchers; Pest Management Alternatives, SRGP; Rural and Community Development, SBIR; Small Farms, Agricultural Prosperity, NRI; Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Water and Watersheds, NRI; Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment, ICGP; and Weedy, Invasive Species, NRI.
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/funding.cfm

Funding Mechanisms
Description, directory and contacts for research, education and extension activities at partner institutions through three main CSREES funding mechanisms: formula funds, competitive grants and non-competitive grants and agreements. (Updated January 2009)
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/about/pdfs/funding_mechanisms.pdf

Regional IPM Centers: Funding Opportunities
http://www.ipmcenters.org/Funding/

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Program offers three different types of grants for funding of relevant research projects: Research and Education, Professional Development, and Producer Grants.
http://www.sare.org/Grants

USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Partnership and Cooperative Agreements
"RMA" annually announces availability of funds for partnership and cooperative agreements via the Federal Register and its Web site. Partners conduct risk management and crop insurance education, community outreach and assistance, and research and development activities.”
http://www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/agreements/

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
“The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) was created through an amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976. The grants, administered by the FMPP, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. .”
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/fmpp

USDA Rural Development (RD)

Rural Development
Information, loan and grant resources for a variety of community-based programs aimed at helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America including: Rural Cooperative Development Grants; Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG); Research on Rural Cooperative Opportunities and Problems Program; and funds related to 1890 Land-Grants, Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives, and Small/Minority Producer Grants.
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Partnering
While not a direct source of grant funds, “ARS continually looks for opportunities to partner with businesses, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and universities. These partnerships are designed to augment research programs, expedite research results to the private sector, exchange information and knowledge, stimulate new business and economic development, enhance U.S. trade, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.” Information, licensing information and contacts.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Business/Business.htm

B. Other Federal Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Grants and Debarment: Find Current Funding Opportunities
Contains information on CFDA Catalogue, Grants Competition, Small Business Gateway and Open Announcements, and Grants.gov
http://www.epa.gov/ogd/competition/open_awards.htm

U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Science
Colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, for-profit commercial organizations, state and local governments and unaffiliated individuals may submit grant applications in response to grant solicitation notices. Programs include the Biomass Research and Development Initiative.
http://science.doe.gov/grants/index.asp and http://www.usbiomassboard.gov/

C. Other Federal, Regional and State Government Resources to Consider

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IV. Foundations and Non-Government Organizations

Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA)
HRI strives to fund research that specifically deals with green industry related issues. HRI-supported projects focus on significant problems, regulatory issues and emerging opportunities in the nursery and landscape industry. HRI research encourages environmentally responsible management practices, increases nursery crop producers' business or financial expertise, and improves and expands the market for plant material.”
http://www.hriresearch.org/index.cfm?page=Content&categoryID=165

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/

The Ceres Trust
http://www.cerestrust.org/

Newman’s Own Foundation
http://newmansownfoundation.org/

Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
“The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation promotes a sustainable and just social and natural system by supporting grassroots organizations and movements committed to this goal.”
http://www.noyes.org/

The Organic Center
http://www.organic-center.org/

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
“Since 1992, OFRF’s grantmaking program has awarded more than $1.5 million for over 200 projects. Our grantmaking objective is to generate practical, science-based knowledge to support modern organic farming systems. OFRF-funded project emphasize grower-researcher collaboration, studies conducted on-farm and/or in certified organic settings, and outreach of project results.”
http://ofrf.org/

Stonyfield
http://www.stonyfield.com/about-us/our-mission/profits-planet

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
http://www.wkkf.org/default.aspx?LanguageID=0

Other non-governmental sources: Many additional organizations may offer research grant opportunities. Most are related to specific commodities, topics, populations and/or regions. Non-profit organizations – farm, animal welfare, food and consumer groups; trade and commodity organizations; private companies – commercial food manufacturers and distributors, farm and livestock suppliers, etc. – may offer support for special projects. Some helpful directories:

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Last Modified: Apr 16, 2013
 
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