USDA Announces Funding Available for Organic Agriculture Researc - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

USDA Announces Funding Available for Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Programs

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Cedar Rapids News

    Cedar Rapids

    Local news and information for Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, Mt. Vernon, Central City, Robins, Alburnett, Fairfax, Palo, Ely, Lisbon, Springville and the surrounding Linn County area.

    More >>

    Local news and information for Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, Mt. Vernon, Central City, Robins, Alburnett, Fairfax, Palo, Ely, Lisbon, Springville and the surrounding Linn County area.

    More >>
  • Waterloo News

    Waterloo News

    Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond and Elk Run Heights.More >>
    Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond, Elk Run Heights and the surrounding Black Hawk County area.More >>
  • Iowa City News

    Iowa City News

    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
  • Dubuque News

    Dubuque News

    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
(KWWL) -

More than $17 million in funding to support the progress of organic agriculture was announced by the USDA on Thursday, December, 10th. 

The grants to encourage growers, producers, and processors to find innovative ways to improve organic agriculture is a result of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Funding for the grants is part of the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative.

"Over the past six years, USDA has strengthened programs that support organic producers as they grow, thrive and respond to increasing consumer demand for organic products," said Secretary Vilsack. "The projects funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative will help identify innovative solutions to critical challenges facing organic agriculture, ultimately strengthening local markets, improving rural economies and expanding access to healthy food for Americans," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.

The statement went on to include:

 "The purpose of the OREI program is to fund high-priority research, education, and extension projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. Past projects include a project at Washington State University to document the ecological role of wild birds on vegetable farmers, providing owners with practical, science-based recommendations for wild-bird management, and a project a joint project between Pennsylvania State University, Delaware State University, and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore to predict benefits and costs of cover crop mixtures in the context of regional climate, soil and management variability; empower organic farmers to use mixtures to meet their farm-specific goals; and to integrate this research into undergraduate organic education to further prepare the next generation of growers and researchers.

Funded projects will aid farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning by delivering practical research-based information and will improve the ability for growers to develop the Organic System Plan required for certification.

OREI has eight legislatively-defined goals:

  • Facilitating the development and improvement of organic agriculture production, breeding, and processing methods
  • Evaluating the potential economic benefits of organic agricultural production and methods to producers, processors and rural communities
  • Exploring international trade opportunities for organically grown and processed agricultural commodities
  • Determining desirable traits for organic commodities
  • Identifying marketing and policy constraints on the expansion of organic agriculture.
  • Conducting advanced on-farm research and development that emphasizes observation of, experimentation with, and innovation for working organic farms, including research relating to production, marketing, food safety, socioeconomic conditions, and farm business management
  • Examining optimal conservation and environmental outcomes relating to organically produced agricultural products
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties that are particularly suited for organic agriculture

Applications are due March 10, 2016. Please see the request for applications for specific program requirements."

Powered by Frankly