We all know the famous “Got Milk?” campaign. But did you know that all farmers—organic and conventional alike—had to pool their funds to support national promotion campaigns like
Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO) began with the 2002 Farm Bill, which included an exemption for organic farmers from contributing to national promotion programs like “Got Milk?” In response, Organic Valley devised a way for farmers to pool their exemptions into an organic-focused granting fund as a way to promote and advance organic farming.
Our name says it all: Farmers Advocating for Organic. FAFO is a grant program funded entirely by annual, voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers. It's the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic.
The fund provides a way for Organic Valley farmers to address the long-term needs of the organic marketplace and the future of organic agriculture by supporting the development of long-term solutions. Through combining resources, Organic Valley farmers are able to invest in projects that affect the livelihoods of organic farmers across the country.
Simply said, FAFO is organic farmers helping organic farmers.
FAFO funds projects that make a difference
Grants are awarded to research, education and advocacy projects focused on protecting and promoting organic in ways aligned with these strategic priorities:
Go organic, stay organic
Efforts that support farmers transitioning to organic, preserve and increase organic acreage, and provide the training, development and resources needed to ensure future generations of organic farmers.
Amplify the organic voice
Efforts that educate consumers and other key stakeholders on the proven benefits of organic food and farming.
Increase organic farmer success
Efforts that provide organic farmers with the information, tools and resources they need to be successful and profitable.
Interested in Applying?
Non-profit organizations and academic/research institutions are eligible to submit a letter of interest (LOI) via our online grant portal. LOIs will be reviewed and responded to within two weeks. If an LOI is approved, an organization will be invited to submit a full application.
Grant applications are reviewed three times per year, following the application deadlines: February 15, June 15 and September 15. LOIs submitted within one week prior to the application deadline will be given an additional week extension on submitting the full application. Decisions are announced 6-8 weeks following the deadline.
One-time grants are awarded in the amounts of $5,000-$50,000, with an average grant award of $20,000 and the size of the award corresponding to the scope and impact of the project. Grants exceeding $50,000 and multi-year grants are considered under extraordinary circumstances by invitation only.
Check if your organization and project meet the following criteria before applying:
- Non-profit or academic/research institution
- Advances FAFO’s mission of protecting and promoting the organic industry or the livelihood of organic farmers (with an explicit focus on organic)
- Category of research, education, or advocacy
- Aligned with FAFO’s strategic priorities
- Organization's impact reaches beyond local community
- One-time grant requested in the amount of $5,000-$50,000, corresponding to scope and impact of project
- Administrative overhead does not exceed 5% of amount requested
To learn more about the FAFO program's application criteria and process, download this overview.
Contact FAFO Program Manager Vicky Reeves firstname.lastname@example.org