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Grants to USA IHEs for Research to Enhance Organic Crop and Livestock Production

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Organic Transitions (ORG)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
CFDA Number: 10.303
Funding or PIN Number: USDA-NIFA-ICGP-009747
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 04/27/23 5:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA universities and colleges for integrated research in identified priority areas in the organic agriculture industry. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying. Collaborative projects are encouraged. Projects may include both crop and livestock research.

One of the primary goals and objectives of the ORG program is to address practices and systems particularly associated with organic crops, organic animal production, and organic systems that integrate crop and animal production.

Priority Areas for FY 2023: NIFA is soliciting applications for ORG in the following areas (not listed in order of importance):

  • Priority 1: Document and understand the effects of organic practices on soil health and fertility; greenhouse gas mitigation; enhanced biodiversity; and understanding of weeds, pests and diseases dynamics for better management to help systems adapt to climate change, build resilience of the organic farming system, protect water and other resources, and provide other ecosystem services. These practices include but are not limited to crop rotation; livestock feeding and management; livestock-crop system integration; organic manure, mulch, and/or compost additions; cover crops; and reduced or conservation tillage.
  • Priority 2: Develop improved technologies, methods, models, and metrics to document, describe, and optimize the ecosystem services and the climate change adaptation and mitigation ability of organic crop, livestock, and integrated crop-livestock production systems.
  • Priority 3: Develop cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from NOP’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. This may include effective substitutes or new technologies, cultural practices, cultivars, or breeds that render the NOP-cited substance in question less limiting to production under organic standards. Studies of alternatives should include evaluation of efficacy based on resulting productivity, profitability, climate change adaptation, and natural resources stewardship effects. NIFA encourages a sustainable whole-systems approach but will also consider proposals that are narrower in scope.
  • Priority 4: Overcome barriers to organic transition. Projects under this priority should address major barriers that limit the transition to organic agriculture in a specific region, crop, or animal production system and develop practical information and tools for producer use. These can include, but are not limited to, production challenges during the transition period, local and regional infrastructure constraints, marketplace challenges, disruptive conditions like the COVID-19 pandemic, and administrative or policy barriers. Any constraint must be acknowledged by growers and other stakeholders. Proposals to improve organic animal or crop production management strategies and production systems should be submitted to the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).

For further information on purpose and priorities, see:


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applications may only be submitted by colleges and universities, as defined in 7 U.S.C. 3103, 1994 Institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities.

Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.

NIFA will recognize and prioritize COE applicants that carry out research, extension, and education activities that relate to the food and agricultural sciences. A COE is composed of one or more of the following entities that provide financial or in-kind support to the COE:
1. State agricultural experiment stations.
2. Colleges and universities.
3. University research foundations.
4. Other research institutions and organizations.
5. Federal agencies.
6. National laboratories.
7. Private organizations, foundations, or corporations.
8. Individuals; or
9. Any group consisting of two or more of the entities described in (1) through (8).

Lobbying and advocacy activities are not allowed.

Duplicate, essentially duplicate or predominantly overlapping applications submitted simultaneously to both ORG and another NIFA program, such as OREI, in the same fiscal year is not allowed and will not be reviewed. NIFA will disqualify both applications if an applicant submits duplicate or multiple submissions.

Funding Restrictions:

Pre-Application Information
Application Deadline: 5:00 P.M. Eastern, April 27, 2023

New Users to must register early with prior to submitting an application.

Applicants must provide matching contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all Federal funds awarded under the ORG. Non-Federal matching funds may include in-kind support.

NIFA may waive the matching funds requirement for a grant if one of the following applies:
1. The results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or
2. The project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the grant recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.

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For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Technical Assistance Webinar:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
The budgets that applicants provide may not exceed $400,000 per year with the total amount budgeted per award not to exceed $1,000,000.

Term of Contract
ORG anticipates funding standard Integrated Research, Education, and Extension projects with a project period of 2 to 4 years.

Contact Information
Program Contacts:

Dr. Mathieu Ngouajio

Dr. Steve Smith

Catherine Bohnert

National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 419205, MS 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-6205 Support: Online Support:
Telephone support: 800-518-4726 Toll-Free or 606-545-5035
Email support:

NIFA Support:

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