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 that advance FAFO’s mission: to protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers.
Within this context, FAFO is currently prioritizing projects that focus on:
- Projects that benefit family farmers who produce organic dairy, eggs, meat, produce, and grain/forage
- Projects that focus on organic soil health and biology
- Projects that strengthen CROPP Cooperative (internal)
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.
There are two grant cycles per year. The current LOI deadline is March 1, with applications due March 15. The next application deadline will be announced May 2021.
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 (optional, but projects meeting this criteria will be prioritized)
- 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