The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) was authorized as part of the 1985 Farm Bill and first funded in 1988 as LISA (Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture) program. The name was changed to SARE in the early 1990s to reflect the broader scope of the principles of sustainable agriculture and to express the dual mission of research and education.
From its inception, the program's goal has been to support farmers, researchers, and educators as they explore practices that improve stewardship, profitability, and the social and economic health of farm communities.
The primary tools of the SARE program are grants, which are offered annually to farmers, researchers, educators, non-profits, community based organizations and community activists in the agricultural community. Grants are not the only tools, but grant funds are understood to be the chief lubricant in the development of new approaches and new ideas. SARE seeks out innovation in sustainable agriculture, and rewards grant applicants who offer up interesting, potentially workable ideas. The SARE program also emphasizes outreach and the dissemination of project results so that the grant program will have the widest possible benefits.
SARE's national outreach office is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. It operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont (Award Nos. 2007-38640-03953 and 2007-47001-03782) to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. Guided by a Steering Committee, SARE Outreach maintains the website and publishes a variety of print and electronic resources for farmers, agricultural educators, and consumers. It also hosts SANET-MG, a sustainable agriculture listserv with subscribers from around the globe.
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program supports sustainable agriculture in 13 states and two U.S. territories.
Southern SARE's leadership structure encourages each member to contribute fully, while at the same time allowing tasks to be distributed appropriately. Three distinct groups operate within the region—the administrative council, technical reviewers and the state sustainable agriculture coordinators. Each group serves a different purpose.
Contact Southern SARE with questions related to grants, publications, this website, and when seeking general information about sustainable agriculture in the Southern region.
Guidelines, travel regulations and forms for reporting expenses for those traveling for SARE.
Each year the Southern region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program provides sponsorship support for conferences, field days, workshops and other events organized by universities, community organizations, NGOs and other ag professionals across the Southern region.