Organic produce can fetch a nice premium at grocery stores and Farmer's Markets, while also being better for farm workers and the environment. But learning how to farm organically can be a challenge. The USDA's Organic Transitions Program offers grant money to help address some of those challenges, and the application period is now open. From the good folks at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coaltion:
The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program is to support the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are newly adopting organic practices. In Fiscal Year 2011, the grants will focus on the environmental services that sustainable agriculture enhances, such as climate change mitigation and soil quality preservation and enhancement.
Projects should address practices associated with organic crops, organic animal production (including dairy), and systems integrating plant and animal production.
Public, private, and state higher education institutions are eligible to apply for this grant at any level up to $750,000. Projects may span one to three years with a funding cap of $300,000 per year.
The deadline for submitting RFAs is June 30, 2011.