Proposal in Progress: An Overview

Growing an Organic Farm Research Network: A Framework to Better Connect Organic Producers with University-Based Researchers

Quick Summary

These are details from the pre-proposal submitted this fall for a SARE REsearch and Education grant proposal. Approach and other details can be changed based on partner discussion. A pdf copy of the pre-proposal can be downloaded here. 

Project Description
The Ohio Organic Farm Research Network will connect organic farmers and land-grant scientists to co-produce knowledge and increase innovation and resource sharing in organic agriculture. Our farmer-centered on-farm approach will increase the relevance and impact of research and engagement efforts.

Budget and Funding Period 
This is a grant proposal for the SARE Research and Education program. The budget cap for the grant is $250,000 for a 3 year period.  We’ve asked this to be considered for longer-term funding (6 years).  November 1, 2021 – November 1, 2027


  • Pre-proposal was due in early October.
  • Invitation for full proposal will be sent in February.
  • Full proposals are due in late March of 2021.
  • Decisions shared in late July 2021
  • Project funds available fall 2021.

Project Goals

Project objective
Develop a sustainable collaborative Organic Farm Research Network in Ohio.

Learning outcomes

  • Generate and share knowledge about impacts of organic farm management practices.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of organic farming techniques, challenges, and benefits among land-grant researchers and educators.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of research methods among organic growers.
  • Build trust between farmers and researchers.

Action outcomes

  • Increase interactions  between researchers and organic growers.
  • Foster well executed organic on-farm research by sharing tools and knowledge between farmers and researchers.
  • Provide organic research experiences for students and faculty.
  • Increase capacity to identify and respond to emerging organic production questions.

Proposed Approach

We believe that a collaborative on-farm research network that integrates contributions from scientists and farmers can dramatically accelerate the discovery and uptake of new knowledge in Ohio’s organic farming industry. \

We will use these key activities:

  1. Establish the OOFRN as a formal partnership of OSU, CSU, and OEFFA; hire network facilitator.
  2. Establish a farmer-scientist advisory board to guide OFRN decisions and priorities and review project progress annually.
  3. Support farmer-scientist teams to design and initiate on-farm collaborative research that addresses priority research questions.
  4. Engage participating farmers and scientists to review findings and discuss changes to research protocols after each field season.
  5. Develop activities and communication products to share research results with the broader organic farming community, leveraging existing partner resources.