On-Farm Research Grants
ATTENTION: When applying for this grant, please refer to the guidelines in the Call for Proposal and carefully follow the application procedures.
Southern SARE has long supported farmers in their efforts to conduct new and innovative sustainable agriculture production practices. In 2002, On-Farm Research Grants came on the scene to provide opportunities for those working directly with farmers and ranchers on sustainable agriculture efforts.
Similar in scope and focus to the Producer Grants, On-Farm Research Grants are one of SSARE’s “small” grants programs, offering $15,000 for up to a 2-year project for Extension agents, university researchers, NGOs, and government personnel (like NRCS or USDA-ARS) who currently work with farmers and conduct on-farm research with at least one farmer/rancher cooperator. Emphasizing relationship building between researcher and farmer, this grant has no pre-proposal requirements, nor are applicants asked to demonstrate specific outcomes in an intensive way. Proposals are easy to write and straightforward to manage, with simple reporting requirements.
Between 2002 and 2017, 110 On-Farm Research Grants have been awarded, totaling over $1.5 million. Funded topics have ranged from agroforestry to horticulture to pollinators to small ruminants.
Important: On-Farm Research Grants are not open to farmers. If you are a farmer/rancher or an organization of farmers/ranchers, you are not eligible to apply for an On-Farm Research Grant. You should apply under the SSARE Producer Grant program.
Who can apply for an On-Farm Research Grant?
Agricultural professionals who currently and regularly work with farmers and ranchers. These can be Extension specialists, university researchers, NRCS, NGOs, or other organizations. Projects must be conducted on farm.
How much will the grants fund and how many are funded?
Project maximum for On-Farm Research Grants is $15,000 for up to two years of research. SSARE funds about 6 proposals each year.
What can On-Farm Research Grant funds be used for?
On-Farm Research Grant funds may be used for the following purposes:
- Costs of sampling and sample analysis,
- Materials and supplies needed for the project,
- Outreach expenses, such as holding a field day,
- Travel needed for the project,
- Hired labor, including farmer/rancher labor beyond their normal farming duties,
- Refreshments at educational events, such as field days.
Are there things that On-Farm Research Grant funds can't be used for?
On-Farm Research Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:
- Starting or expanding a farm, farming operation or NGO,
- Buying equipment,
- Permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, e.g. planting an orchard, buying a herd, permanent fencing, permanent irrigation, permanent greenhouses or buildings,
- Lunches or other full meals at field days or large gatherings,
- Testing of commercial products.
What else should I know about On-Farm Research Grants?
- On-Farm Research Grant proposals must include at least one farmer/rancher project cooperator and the project must be conducted on that cooperator’s farm.
- Successful proposals include clear goals and objectives, and outreach plans; all related to sustainable agriculture projects.
- On-Farm Research Grant projects should be innovative, generate results that are useful beyond one year, and produce information that many farmers can use.
Ready to Apply?
When you are ready to apply for an On-Farm Research Grant, download the On-Farm Research Grant Call for Proposals and carefully follow the instructions. The application process always begins with the Call for Proposals. All the rules and guidelines and everything you need to complete the application process and successfully submit your project can be found in the Call for Proposals.