Organic Agriculture Research

The University of Minnesota currently has more than 20 ongoing research projects that focus on organic food and agriculture. Many involve collaboration across disciplines and locations, and most are externally funded.

Organic field research takes place across the state, on several UMN Research and Outreach Centers as well as on-farm in collaboration with commercial growers. The University of MN is especially lucky to have nearly six acres of urban certified organic land on the St. Paul campus. This land provides students and faculty a unique resource to experience on-farm research and hands-on learning.

Current organic research taking place in the St. Paul fields includes:

  • Nitrogen fixation between two clover cover crop systems, Eli Crain (UROP Grossman Lab)
  • Summer cover cropping systems for soil health and beneficial insect support: Naomy Candelaria Morales, Vivian Wauters, Mar Horns (Grossman Lab)
  • SWD research in raspberries, Claire Hodge, Matthew Gullickson (Rogers Lab)
  • Cover crops for soil health in high tunnels, Miriam Gieske (Grossman Lab)
  • Alternative crops: field peas and quinoa, Adria Fernandez (Sheaffer Lab)
  • Increasing production of summer lettuce and cauliflower, Camila M. L. Alves (Tong Lab)

Additional certified organic land in the UMN research system includes:

  • South West Research and Outreach Center (SWROC, Lamberton): 120 acres
  • North Central¬†Research and Outreach Center (NCROC, Grand Rapids): 6 acres

Check out our People page for information about University of Minnesota faculty engaged in organic research and teaching.

For resources related to undergraduate opportunities to conduct research, check out UROP and Johnson grants, which allow students to design and conduct a research project in a wide range of topics.

For additional resources and publications related to Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, please visit the Minnesota Institue for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA).


Organic Research Grants

Organic research is commonly funded by both organic and sustainability specifiic programs as well as more general programs.  The materials posted below are intended to give a brief introctuction to the programs most commonly used to support organic work. Specific programs deadlines and priorities are liekly to change and should be seen as a rough guide.

  • PDF iconOrganic Research Grants
    • (Powerpont presentation hightlights grant programs with sample previously funded project.)
  • PDF iconGrants Overview
    • (Text document highlighting the same grants as the powerpoint above; includes priority funding areas rather than sample projects)