Special OFRF grants target organic management of pests

SANTA CRUZ, California, November 16, 2004: The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) announced the availability of grant funds specifically for research on managing weeds, insects, and diseases using organic methods. These research funds result from a partnership with Region 5 and Region 8 of the Environmental Protection Agency under the EPA’s Sustainable Agriculture Initiative.

Region 5 includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and 35 Tribal Nations in those states. Region 8 includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and 27 Tribal Nations in those states.

OFRF’s Board of Directors will accept proposals from farmers, scientists, extension agents, and other interested research partners and individuals in these Region 5 and Region 8 states and Tribal Nations.

The proposal application deadline is Dec. 15, 2004.

At its meeting in Santa Cruz on Nov. 5-6, OFRF’s Board of Directors voted to defer its fall 2005 grants cycle in order to conduct an evaluation of its general grants program. The Board made this decision in light of recent significant increases in federal research funding for organic agriculture.

“Our policy work has been so successful at gaining federal dollars for organic research, we felt that it was time to assess our niche in funding organic research,” commented OFRF Board president Steve Ela, organic fruit grower from Hotchkiss, Colorado. “We know that OFRF’s small grants program has initiated organic research all around the country, and we want to continue its effectiveness in a changed organic world.”

As its general grants program evaluation proceeds, OFRF will continue to offer research grants in partnership with the EPA. The Foundation expects to re-open its general grants program following the evaluation. The deadline for March 2006 consideration of grant proposals is December 15, 2005.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation funds organic research and education projects in North America, and has awarded 233 grants totaling more than $1.5 million in support of organic farming research and education projects since 1990.

For more information on the OFRF grants program, including a list of previously funded projects, guidelines for applications, and a free guide to conducting on-farm research, contact OFRF at 831-426-6606, or e-mail jane@ofrf.org. Complete information is on-line at http://www.ofrf.org.

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