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USDA announces funding for organic research

Over $21 million is being set aside for the initiatives

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

In an effort to help improve the practices of growers, producers and processors who specialize in organic agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $21.3 million is being made available for grants and research programs.

“Research, education, and extension gives the organic agriculture industry the opportunity to expand on best practices, implement more efficient techniques, and develop new approaches to distributing its products,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director in a release. “With today’s grants, USDA’s university partners are better positioned to help ensure the continued success of organic crops and growers.”

The grant money will be split between NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and the Organic Transitions Program.

OREI will receive $17.5 million of the grant money to focus on helping processors and producers market their products. Key components to OREI include biological, physical and social sciences while putting an emphasis on assisting farmers and ranchers with farm planning.

The Organic Transitions Program (ORG) will receive $3.8 million to be used for researchers to innovate from a scientific point of view. ORG focuses on the application of research, education and extension knowledge while improving the competitiveness of livestock and crop producers who are making the switch to organic production strategies.

More information about the OREI and ORG funding can be found by visiting NIFA.

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