Farming, Funding & Research Resources



OAK Farming Tools and Templates

  • OAK has developed resources to help farmers find services, source supplies, make a crop plan, keep important records and more.

Explore organic farming tools and templates here





Berea College Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Curriculum ensures that graduates know and understand scientific facts and principles pertaining to soils, plants, animals, economics, and ecology and will have the ability to apply those facts and principles to the management of agriculture and natural resource systems. Courses explore agriculture and natural resources within the broader societal contexts of culture, ecology, economics, politics, and history.

Community Farm Alliance (CFA)

  • Works to organize and encourage cooperation among rural and urban citizens through leadership development and grassroots democratic processes to ensure an essential, prosperous place for family-scale agriculture in our economies and communities. Programs and services include Kentucky Double Dollars, Farmers Market Support Program, Podcast, Fresh RX for Moms and more.

Grow Appalachia

  • Addresses food insecurity throughout central Appalachia through home and community garden initiatives, foodways, farming, and hunger relief programming. As a Strategic Initiative of Berea College, Grow Appalachia partners with organizations, communities, and families in Appalachia to create healthy, resilient, and economically viable food systems.

Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund (KADF)

  • The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF), in statute, is administered by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB). The mission of the board is to invest these funds in innovative proposals that increase net farm income and affect tobacco farmers, tobacco-impacted communities and agriculture across the state by stimulating markets for Kentucky agricultural products. This includes finding new ways to add value to Kentucky agricultural products and exploring new opportunities that will benefit Kentucky farms now and in the future. The KADB meets the third Friday of the month to review and take action on applications for county and state Agricultural Development Funds.

  • County Agriculture Investment Program (CAIP) is a 50/50 cost share with 11 investment areas to increase net farm income, add value to products, and diversify operations.

  • On-Farm Energy cost share
  • Food Safety Efficiency Incentive 

Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation

  • KAFC addresses the unique financing needs of agriculture in the Commonwealth. The mission of the KAFC Board is to strengthen Kentucky agriculture by providing access to low-interest loan programs through joint partnerships with local lending institutions. KAFC assists beginning farmers, farm families, and agribusinesses in obtaining the necessary capital to establish, maintain, or expand their agricultural operation. The KAFC meets monthly to review and approve loan applications and offers low interest loans under the following categories: Ag Infrastructure Loan Program, Ag Processing Loan Program, Beginning Farmer Loan Program, Large Animal Vet and Diversification through Entrepreneurship.

Kentucky Center for Rural and Agricultural Development (KCARD)

  • Facilitates agricultural and rural business development and provides educational opportunities, technical assistance and business support services to new and existing agribusinesses of any size. Support for business planning, grant writing and more. 

Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA)

  • KDA's Organic Program - Essential documents from Kentucky's organic certification agency, including certification procedures, forms and fee schedules.
  • Programs to assist agricultural businesses including Kentucky Proud Promotional Grants and Buy Local Program.

Kentucky Farm Service Agency (FSA)

  • Offers financial assistance to new and beginning farmers. There are several FSA Farm Loan programs available to qualifying new farmers that are looking to buy and operate a farm. The Microloan Program that can be used for startup costs, farming expenses, and for the purchase of essential tools. 

Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC)

  • Offers Third Party GAP Audit cost-share, Small Fruit Cost-share, School Garden Grants, Farm to School Programming and supports grower - buyer meet ups, professional development, research and more throughout the Commonwealth

Kentucky State University - School of Agriculture Communities and Environment

  • Information generated by a group of researchers, teachers, and extension staff conducting projects related to organic agriculture. 'Third Thursday Thing' - free sustainable agriculture workshops held at the Kentucky State University Research Farm on the Third Thursday of every month.

Kentucky State University - Small Scale Farm Grant

  • The Kentucky State University (KYSU) Center for the Sustainability of Farms and Families (CSFF) works to develop resources to provide assistance to small-scale farms. This program helps farmers who want to improve their farming operations, improve the marketability of their products with value-added enterprise, and who want to further their farming and agricultural knowledge through educational trainings.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

  • NRCS in Kentucky offers financial and technical assistance through their Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). The program can help with things like grazing and nutrient management, fencing, stock water systems, pasture planting, and seasonal high tunnels. Locate your local NRCS Office and visit them to learn more. 

  • NRCS newly published Organic Fact Sheet here.
University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification
  • The Center for Crop Diversification is a Specialty Crops-focused Cooperative Extension organization based out of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and Environment. 

  • Crop Profiles for organic crops as well as Price Reports and Budgets

  • Explore the Interactive Maps for share use equipment, fruit and nut cultivar nurseries and others.
  • Organic and Sustainable agriculture professional development and Community of Practice

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension 

  • Every county in the state has an office to provide agricultural outreach and education to Kentucky communities. Each office has an Agriculture Agent, and some have a Horticulture Agent who are there to assist farmers. Get to know your local Extension agents and let them know you are interested in organic practices.

University of Kentucky Food System Innovation Center

  • Food safety and marketing resources for producers, processors and entrepreneurs including many useful and regular trainings.

    • Trainings: Better Process Control School, Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points, GAP Audit Preparatory Training, Food Safety Regulation, MarketReady, FSMA Grower Training

    • Services: Process Review, Nutrition Labeling, Food Chemistry Testing, Microbiological Testing

University of Kentucky Sustainable Agriculture Program

  • Flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum that offers a hands-on apprenticeship on a Certified Organic Community Supported Agriculture project as well as internship opportunities with farms, organizations, and academic institutions.

Western Kentucky University Department of Agriculture

  • Undergraduate and graduate courses in sustainable agriculture, and student research opportunities to work with organic agriculture systems.




Acres USA

  • North America's oldest and largest magazine covering commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming

Ag Solidarity Network

  • A diverse network of farmers, farmworkers, homesteaders, and food systems professionals who are collectively growing the organic movement. A collaborative space for mutual exchange of skills, expertise, peer support and learning. 

ATTRA -- Organic Farming Resources from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

  • A wealth of detailed, readable, and useful information for growers: organic certification; organic production of vegetables, fruits, flowers and livestock; organic pest management; organic fertility management; organic marketing.

CSA Innovation Network

  •  A resource base of programs and tools built by and for individuals and organizations supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) development. The purpose of the CSA-IN is to generate and facilitate idea sharing across the CSA community and to build awareness of the value of CSA to consumers.

Cornucopia Institute

  • Advocacy organization striving to empower farmers and consumers in support of ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food

eOrganic Community of Practice at

  • Organic agriculture material created by a nationwide network of extension personnel at Land Grant Universities including articles, factsheets, videos, news, FAQs and 'Ask an Expert' service

The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

  • Free guidebooks:
    • Small-Scale Organics: A Guidebook for the Non-Certified Organic Grower (pdf
    • Farm Made: A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers (pdf)


  • A nonprofit organization, formerly known as the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), that promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed. Offers information and resources on just about every aspect of organic production.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

  • An alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.

National Organic Coalition (NOC)

  • A Washington voice for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and progressive industry members involved in organic agriculture

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

  • NCAT has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. NCAT is a trusted, practical connector for individuals and businesses who are working to leave our world better than we found it by providing a trusted knowledgebase, providing individualized technical assistance, facilitating practical solutions, and connecting people with each other to support sustainable agriculture and clean energy systems. 

The Organic Center (TOC)

  • Peer-reviewed science on verifiable benefits of organic farming and products. The Organic Center summarizes the latest research into distilled bites so you can make informed choices. 

Organic Consumers Association

  • Advocacy organization representing consumers who wish to promote a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)

  • OFRF sponsors research and education to foster improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. View the searchable database of project reports. 
  • OFRF’s new, free online course: Soil Health Strategies for the Southern Region is based on the guidebook Building Healthy Living Soils for Successful Organic Farming in the Southern Region. This self-directed course dives into the application of organic soil health principles through a series of practical modules with concepts and strategies, illustrated by innovative farmer stories. Course participants will also find resources for deeper dives into soil health topics, descriptions of the inherent properties of soil types commonly found in the South, and snapshots of the latest soil health research being conducted in the region.


  • The Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN) offers an educational framework for supporting organic grain production in the Upper Midwest. See fact sheets, join the listserv and access other production resources. 


Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)

  • Maintains a searchable list of OMRI-approved products that may be used in USDA certified organic operations. 

Rodale Institute

  • Nonprofit research and education foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people and the planet with a website full of farm resources including free online course on transitioning to organic production; research, webinars and workshops.


  • A network of Black Farmers in the Southeastern United States who are committed to culturally relevant, ancestrally guided and ecologically sustainable agricultural-based living. 

Savanna Institute 

  • Works with farmers and scientists to lay the groundwork for widespread agroforestry adoption in the Midwest US. Inspired by the native savanna ecosystems that once covered much of this region, the Savanna Institute conducts research, education, and outreach to support the growth of diverse, perennial agroecosystems.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

  • Research and education grants to advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities and a searchable database of project reports and many publications available for free download or sale.
  • Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual (pdf)
  • Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies (pdf)
  • Managing Cover Crops Profitably (pdf)
  • Building Soils for Better Crops (pdf)
  • Manage Weeds on Your Farm (pdf)

USDA Economic Research Service 

  • Offers an Organic Agriculture Briefing Room with research, analysis, and information about the organic market. 

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides leadership and funding for programs that advance agriculture-related sciences. We invest in and support initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. NIFA programs that might be of interest to Kentucky farmers and Agricultural Professional are included below and more can be found at the link above. 
  • The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. The OREI is particularly interested in projects that emphasize research, education and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning by delivering practical research-based information. 
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awards AFRI research, education, and extension grants to improve rural economies, increase food production, stimulate the bioeconomy, mitigate impacts of climate variability, address water availability issues, ensure food safety and security, enhance human nutrition, and train the next generation of the agricultural workforce.
  • The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. 

USDA National Organic Program

  • NOP is a federal regulatory program that develops and enforces consistent national standards for organically produced agricultural products sold in the United States. NOP also accredits third-party organizations to certify that farms and businesses meet the national organic standards. These certifiers and USDA work together to enforce the standards, ensuring a level playing field for producers and protecting consumer confidence in the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal. Information on organic certifiers, international marketing of organic products, organic labeling, allowed and prohibited substances, and cost share programs for organic producers.



Certified Naturally Grown

  • Peer-review certification for small-scale, direct-market farmers using natural methods.

Demeter International

  • Maintains international biodynamic certification standards, which require compliance with national organic standards and governs national biodynamic certification agencies, including Demeter USA.

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)

  • Working toward worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially, and economically sound systems based on principals of organic agriculture and promotes integrity and harmonization of organic standards worldwide and articulates unifying principals of health, ecology, fairness and care while also addressing criticisms and common misconceptions of organic agriculture.

Organic ePrints

  • Searchable archive of research related to organic agriculture and free and complete manuscripts available for almost 10,000 studies.

Organic Trade Association

  • Association of North American businesses dedicated to promoting and protecting the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. Offers industry statistics and news.
  • Maintains consumer education website, Organic - It's Worth It and the How to Go Organic database of resources for producers and processors transitioning to organic.

Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL)

  • Organic agriculture research and consulting centers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria conduct practical research and transfer knowledge into agricultural practice
  • Maintains archive of global organic statistics and new

Sustainable Food Trust 

  • Based in England and partnered globally, SFT works on a wide range of issues, projects and campaigns including sustainable livestock, measuring farm sustainability, true cost accounting and more.