The EFAO was established in 1979 with the purpose:
1. To develop and provide programs promoting the practice and advancement of ecological agriculture which maintains and enhances the health of the soil, water, crops, livestock and the diversity of the environment.
2. To educate and increase the public's understanding of ecological agricultural methods like soil tillage, green manures, cover crops, composting, crop rotations, soil erosion control, and conservation practices by offering courses, seminars, conferences, farm tours, meetings, and publishing a newsletter and by collecting, researching, and disseminating information on this topic to the general public.
3. To bring together people who are concerned about ecological agriculture so they can share experiences, support each other and create community.