Rodale Institute, in partnership with Organic Farmers Association, offers a micro-grant program specifically targeted to support small-scale BIPOC* farmers, whether organic, transitioning to organic, or an aspiring organic farmer.

Grant funding is focused on needs such as tools, equipment, training, consulting, or anything that ensures the farmer’s success. Funding should have the potential to positively impact a farmer’s transition to organic, allow them to better market their products, or solve a particular problem that is typically un-fundable through normal operational or lending strategies. Projects that have a high potential for impact on the individual farm and/or the communities they serve will be given the highest priority.

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*Black, Indigenous & People of Color

How does the program work?

Applicant Eligibility: Any U.S. small-scale BIPOC farmer who is currently organic or wishes to pursue the transition process to become organic, or any student/intern/apprentice involved in an organic operation is eligible to apply for these funds. Organic Farmers Association will be a partner in the process to screen potential recipients for the grants.

Funding Amount: Rodale Institute will fund up to $18,000 per year for projects that meet the program’s requirements. Projects will be prioritized based on potential impact and success. Project budgets should be between $500 and $2,000, with an anticipated average budget of approximately $1,000. Multiple-year budgets will be accepted for projects requiring several years or seasons to complete, with annual milestones being described and met. In that case, the dollar amount of the submission can exceed the maximum allowed for a single year allotment.

Reporting: An annual report will be due 60 days after the end of the project.

How to Apply

Timeframe: Applications open on January 1 and are due by March 31 of each year. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of Rodale Institute staff and board members, Organic Farmers Association, and/or partnerships with other groups as appropriate. Funding decisions will be made by May 31. Funds will be available immediately and released as per the demands of the project being funded.

Application Process: The application process is a streamlined internal process requiring a single-page application and budget, with additional appendices permitted to a limit of 5 pages. Application should be submitted to Elaine Macbeth, Chief Financial Officer, via email or mail. The office of the CFO is available for help with any or all parts of the application process, but input from Rodale Institute staff or any other office is no assurance that the project being submitted will be funded.

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Sample Projects

Below is a list of examples that Rodale Institute would consider fundable through this micro-grant. This list is not exhaustive and is meant for guidance and inspiration.

On-farm consulting by Rodale Institute Organic Crop Consultants to support transition to organic

Small-scale facility upgrades: cooler projects, raised bed construction, cold frames, etc.

Unique outreach promotion designed to attract consumer attention

Hosting or attending workshops or educational events

Farmers market marketing materials to improve sales

Farm visitor experience enhancement such as tents, tables, displays, sound system, etc.

Book writing and publication

Stipend for internship, travel, and/or apprenticeship

Professional farm photos, videos or website

Stipend or tuition for a class

Special purpose software

Signage

Questions?

Please contact Elaine Macbeth, Rodale Institute Chief Financial Officer, at Elaine.Macbeth@RodaleInstitute.org.