2008 FAFO Grants


Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (SAC)

$25,000: Farm Bill Advocacy and Implementation.

Sustain USA

$20,000: Facilitate the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force and develop a model for securing state and federal funding for local and organic food systems.

American Farmland Trust 

$5,000: Establish a presence in Wisconsin to launch outreach activities and farmland preservation campaign.

Center for Food Safety (CFS)

$15,000 (includes $5,000 from the Small Grant Fund): Support legal work for the Agricultural Biotechnology Project. Over the past year CFS has won several landmark legal victories in preventing the introduction of new genetically engineered crops.

New Spirit Ventures

$20,000: 1) Host and plan a summit to determine how best to support and develop land investment and ownership programs to bring more land under organic management. 2) Develop a long-term lease agreement between a private land owner and organic farmers.

Organic Farming and Research Foundation (OFRF)

$15,000: Educate USDA leaders and Congressional representatives by funding Organic Farmer Fly-ins. OFRF has a long history of federal organic policy work.

The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)

$10,000: Continue developing the National Organic Action (NOAP) Plan. The NOAP plan continues to be drafted with the active participation of farmers, farm workers, regional processors and retailers and consumers. The NOAP plan will establish a broad set of goals for organic agriculture over the next decade.

National Campaign For Sustainable Agriculture

$5,000: Ensure proper 2008 Farm Bill implementation and appropriations.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)

$25,000: Expand the Help Wanted Program to support new and transitioning organic farmers. Since its inception in 2005, MOSES estimates that the Help Wanted program has reached over 6,000 farmers.

Local Harvest Alliance

$15,000: Advocate for a local and organic future and create a model for how suburban communities can develop and promote a vibrant food economy based around the local and organic production of food.


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agronomy

$11,006: Identify growth traits and field performance of vegetables grown in certified organic conditions in the north central United States and provide recommendations for optimum performance.

University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center

$20,000: Research season extension and best practices for enhancing long-term fertility in high tunnel organic vegetable crop production.

Chico State University, College of Agriculture

$40,000 ($20,000 in 2008 and $20,000 in 2009): 1) Research the economics of grain inputs and pasture management in the Western United States; 2) Host a grazing school for beginning and advanced dairy farmers.

Ohio State University, Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program

$25,000: Securing the future of organic research and education (Endowment)

University of Wisconsin, Department of Plant Pathology

$6,000: Research the production of certified seed potatoes in the Midwest and how to control diseases in organic production.

University of Minnesota-Morris, West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC)

$12,303: Track and research changes in mammary health and fertility in a dairy herd while transitioning to organic production. WCROC recently decided to transition a portion of their dairy herd (close to half) to an organic production system.

University of Vermont Extension

$38,016: Develop strategies to optimize the production of dual purpose crops on organic dairy farms.

Minnesota Dairy Initiative

$3,704 (small grant fund): Study and compare forage production systems of conventional and organic crops and how to extend grazing season.



University of Minnesota, Southwest Research and Outreach Center

$25,000: Organic No-Till Research and Education (second payment of 2007-approved grant)

Generation Organic Program (Gen-O)

$20,000 (original grant – $30,000 – approved in 2007 for 2008 funding. Grant modified from original application in 2008): 1) Increase presence of organics at FFA National Convention and distribute organic agriculture curriculum to FFA chapters; 2) Host Gen-O Farmer Regional Meetings (2009)

“What’s Organic About ‘Organic’?,” LLC

$40,000: Production of a documentary film examining the current beliefs about organic food and agriculture. To be released Spring of 2009.

Land Stewardship Project (LSP)

$40,000 ($20,000 in 2008 and $20,000 in 2009): Farmer Training and Leadership – Expand new organic and sustainable farmer training and create farm mentor program (phase II of an initial grant awarded by FAFO in 2007).

CROPP Cooperative Organic Outreach and Networking Initiative

$50,000 ($50,000 also earmarked in 2009): Grant monies will be used to facilitate a conversation between organizations doing similar types of outreach to new, existing, or transitioning organic farmers across the country. A portion of this grant helped initiate the work of CROPP’s and MOSES’ CRP Transition to Organic Project ($20,000) in 2008. Grant monies will be dispersed to applicant organizations once a collaborative outreach strategy has been developed.

Dakota Rural Action

$15,000: Establish a South Dakota Beginning Farmer Training program
modeled after a 2007 FAFO grant project developed by Land Stewardship Project)

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides

$5,000: Educate Idaho potato producers about organic production, market, and economics to promote transition of Idaho’s famous product. Also, research and identify needs of transitioning Idaho potato producers.

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

$15,000: Educate farmers about how to manage organic farm habitat for wild pollinators so as to utilize new funds being made available for wild pollinators in 2008 Farm Bill.

Youth Initiative High School

$15,000: Develop a national organic foods and nutrition curriculum – “Learning to Love Organics” – for high school students. The curriculum will integrate information about organic and sustainable farming methods, nutrition and whole foods cooking methods.

Montana Department of Agriculture

$2,500 (small grant fund): Educate and recruit organic grain producers.

Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy Farmers Endowment Fund

$50,000 ($25,000 in 2008 and $25,000 in 2009)

Grants Overview - 2007


Center for Food Safety (CFS)

$10,000: The very first grant that the FAFO Committee made was to the CFS to help in their legal fight to stop the commercial sale of GMO-Alfalfa.  CFS filed and won a lawsuit against the USDA to stop the sale of GMO-Alfalfa pending further review by the government.

Environmental Working Group Action Fund (EWG)

$5,000: Support the EWG Action Fund web-based campaign seeking signatures for a petition demanding that he 2007 Farm Bill give organic agriculture a fair share of the research and data collection dollars in order to help grow organics.

National Farm to School Network (F2S)

$15,000: Support the creation of the National Farm to School Great Lakes Region.  The F2S network is a national effort focused on creating farm-to-school programs as models for improving the economic viability of family-scale farms and child nutrition. Funding from FAFO is a matching grant required to harness further Kellogg funding for this project.

Generation Organic (Gen-O) Program, CROPP Cooperative

$20,000: 1) Increase the presence of young organic farmers at that National FFA Conference held each year in Indianapolis, IN. 2) Host three regional CROPP Gen-O gatherings.


The Organic Center (TOC)

$34,135: Provide seed money to initiate a ground breaking “Organic Herd Health Study”.  The study will focus on comparing the health of organic dairy cows and conventional dairy cows using a variety of indicators.  UPDATE: FAFO seed money allowed for the TOC to successfully harness close to one million dollars in USDA funding.  University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cornell University and Oregon State University will be conducting the study.

University of Minnesota’s Southwest Research and Outreach Center

$50,000 (2007/2008): Support the development and research on organic no-tillage crop production in the Upper Midwest. Field days will be held in conjunction with performed research.

Land Stewardship Project (LSP)

$16,000: LSP’s Farm Beginnings ™ program provides new and transitioning organic farmers with hands-on training in goal setting, business planning, alternative marketing, creative financing and on-farm education.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI)

$18,258: This grant will focus on the development of high methionine corn varieties Breeding and testing will take place on three different test plots across the Midwest.

CROPP Cooperative

$6,700: James Frantzen, Organic Prairie Pork Pool Specialist, will lead this innovative project.  Research will experiment with winter farrowing on organic farms by using a newly engineered swine nesting box made by a company based in South Dakota.  FAFO funds will be used to support data collection, outreach and education to local FFA chapters and the purchase of limited research equipment.

North Carolina State University (NCSU)

$35,502: This project aims to further develop the organic farming community in the Southeast region through providing continued education on organic grain production in this area of the country.  The proposal addresses the following goals: increase the number of farms producing organic grains and increase the profitability of organic grains on farms already producing organic grains.  NCSU will host field days, meetings and bus tours.

CROPP Cooperative – Farmer Renewable Energy (FREP) Program

$25,000: FREP was launched in 2007 and seeks to support CROPP farmer-members in their efforts to become more energy independent and improve their on-farm sustainability.  This FAFO grant will support on-farm energy assessments, the continued farmer education of various methods of efficiency and renewables, and will provide farmers with grant writing assistance.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)

$5,000: This project will focus on supporting and education crop and forage farmers considering making the transition to organic, local feed mills, and extension agents who work with young farmers and farmers expressing interested in organic feed production.

River Country Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, Inc.

$13,700: This Wisconsin based program is dedicated to educating farmers on the benefits of managed grazing.  This FAFO grant will focus on providing farmers across the Upper Midwest with unique one-on-one training and mentoring on specific grazing issues and questions. 

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA)

$15,000: This grant will assists NODPA in transitioning their highly utilized “Odairy Listserave” off of a public server and onto a private server.  Hosting the listserve on a private server will allow for NODPA to eliminate unwanted ads and junk mail that is clogging participant emailboxes.

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